A kid-free wedding. Seems simple enough, right? But there’s always a chance for an exception, from the flower girl your mother-in-law insists on having to your breastfeeding maid of honor’s infant daughter. While some couples are still happy if their kid-free wedding is mostly kid-free, what if you’re just not a children person, and you’re pretty set in your adults-only ways? We’ve got five tips to keep your wedding truly kid-free.
Be Prepared for “No”
While some parents will be excited to have a night to themselves for your wedding, others won’t want to leave their kids at home for the night (or the weekend), which means some of those guests with children will decide not to attend your wedding. And while others might really want to be there, there are a lot of costs involved, from childcare to any travel costs to get themselves and their kids to your wedding, and those costs can be prohibitive.
So while you shouldn’t rearrange all of your plans (or force yourself to learn to love kids) just so a few extra guests can attend, you should understand that you will have guests choose not to celebrate with you because of your adults-only policy. Think through the parents on your guest list, and decide with your partner how much you want those people to be there—knowing that some of them may decide not to (or may not be able to) attend. Then figure out where to draw the line. If you’re committed to being kid-free, your guest list might be smaller. If you’re committed to having those friends with children at your celebration, you might need to reconsider your stance.
The most traditional way to let people know their children aren’t invited to your wedding is with proper envelope addressing. If you’re inviting a couple, the envelope should read “Mr. Edward and Mrs. Sheila Davis.” Their names are on the invite, which means they’re invited—and no one else is. If you write “The Davis Family,” you’re including parents and children, so don’t do it!
Add It to the Invite
Not all wedding guests know the nitty gritty of envelope addressing etiquette. So once they’ve opened the envelope (which they very well may toss in the trash, TBH), remind them that there are no kids allowed. In the lower left corner, opposite where you’ve printed the dress code, simply add the words “Adults Only.” Pretty clear, huh? On the RSVP card, ask guests to specify how many people will be attending. To avoid having to call them and let them know that the invitation wasn’t actually for their entire family of five, add a line that reads “___ of ___ guests will be attending,” and fill in that second line with the number of people the invitation is for.
Announce it Everywhere
The more frequently you note that children aren’t invited, the more likely you’ll be to have an actually kid-free wedding. Print “Adults Only” on your save the dates and invitations. Mention it on the FAQ page of your wedding website, as well as on the wedding day timeline. And have your parents, in-laws, and wedding party spread the word, too.
Of course, having a kid-free wedding means your friends with children will need to make other plans for their little ones during your celebration. Some will leave the kids home with Grandma for the weekend, while others might decide to bring their children along for a getaway and will need coverage during your ceremony and reception. Add a section to your wedding website with information for local babysitters.
If possible, arrange to have childcare available on-site—this works great if you’re getting married in a hotel, and multiple parents could team up to cover the cost of babysitting while they’re dancing downstairs. Do your best to seek reputable sources of childcare, either from your wedding planner or a trusted local. Believe us, the parents on your guest list will love knowing that their kids are in good hands!