How to Have a Child Free Wedding

Here’s another contentious issue for your guest list: do you want to invite children?

What if you don’t?

People tend to forget their kids aren’t the centre of everyone’s universe, so if you want an adult-only wedding, how do you explain to people that their little darlings aren’t invited?

The biggest problem crops up if you invite close family’s children – do you then invite extended family’s children? And what about your friends’ kids? This won’t just send your numbers – and your budget – skyrocketing; a tantrumming child might drown out your ceremony or the speeches.

When I got married, I didn’t have any children and neither did any of my close family. So we chose not to invite any children at all. Most of our friends were happy to attend without their kids – after all, they got a chance to enjoy the day and party without having to be responsible for the little ones. Whatever decision you make, you need to be clear about it when you send your invitations – or it can be really awkward.

Make sure you address the invitation to the parents only. Even better – include a hand-written note on the invitation or on the RSVP. Parents will appreciate this little touch.

Here are a couple of suggestions as to how you could word it:

“Although we’d love to invite children to our celebrations, we simply don’t have the luxury of numbers. We hope you understand and sincerely hope it doesn’t stop you from joining us on the day.”

“Numbers are a bit tight, so we’re only able to accommodate children from our immediate family. We hope you understand and sincerely hope it doesn’t stop you from joinng us on the day.”

“We respectfully request that our wedding day is an adult-only occasion.”

Or, a little less formally:

“We can’t wait to see you at our wedding! Our celebrations are adults-only, so let the grandparents spoil the kids and take advantage of the opportunity to let your hair down with us.”

Of course, you could always call your guests and explain on the phone that their little ones aren’t invited.

Be up front! Remember, it’s your day. Even though you may get one or two tantrumming parents, you don’t have to accommodate everyone else’s children if you don’t want to. You can write whatever you like on your invitations – we don’t force you to use any particular template, so there’s plenty of room to explain who’s invited and who isn’t.