Should You Have an Adults Only Wedding?

October 22, 2023 | justine

Keep scrolling for important tips for hosting an adults only wedding. Image by Jennifer See Studios.

When crafting your wedding guest list, the power is in your hands. If you envision a gathering exclusively for the grown-ups, that’s totally fine (in fact, many couples opt for it!). But, arranging an adults-only celebration can pose some questions. How should you word your invitations? How can you address guests who need to know the arrangement? Don’t worry. We’re here to assist with some great advice: be honest and kind. Check out these important tips for hosting an adults only wedding without causing any hard feelings.

Image by Daniela Ortiz

Top Tips for Hosting an Adults Only Wedding

Establish and Stick to Your Age Rule

When creating your guest list, sit down with your partner and decide on an “age rule” for your wedding. This could mean no guests under 16 or any other age that feels right to you. Once you set this rule, it’s crucial to stick to it. If you plan on making exceptions, like having your own children or a few young relatives in the wedding party, clarify these exceptions right from the start.

Be Direct and Clear

If you’re hosting a kid-free wedding, being upfront with your guests is essential to avoid any confusion. Using clear and straightforward language is key. We understand that these etiquette situations can be tricky, but having your wedding your way is worth having those awkward conversations.

Let Your Inner Circle Help

Talk with your close family members and wedding party members about your “no kids” rule as soon as possible. Inform them about your decision so they can assist in answering questions from other guests. Some friends and family who don’t want to bother you with questions may ask your close family members if they can bring children. They don’t need to announce it loudly, but having them informed will make them better equipped to handle inquiries.

Don’t Make Exceptions Selectively

It’s crucial to apply your “no kids” rule consistently. Making exceptions for some children and not others can lead to awkward situations and hurt feelings. Stick to your decision and be firm but polite if questioned.

Be Ready for Difficult Conversations About Your Adults Only Wedding

Some guests may not understand your “adults only” rule despite your efforts to communicate it clearly. Be prepared for questions or requests to bring kids, and respond with kindness but firmness. Mentioning “budget constraints” can provide a more understandable reason.

Help Guests Find Childcare

As a kind gesture, assist your guests in finding childcare solutions. You can ask for babysitter recommendations from your network or even hire a babysitting service to watch the kids in a separate area at your venue.

Don’t Let the No-Shows Bring You Down

Understand that some guests may not attend due to childcare issues, which does not necessarily reflect their feelings towards you or your wedding. Focus on celebrating with those who can attend rather than dwelling on those who cannot make it.

Adults Only Wedding Wording for Invitations 

On the Invitation

If you’re concerned that it might not be clear that your wedding is for adults only, you can gently indicate this on the save-the-dates and wedding invitations. Mention only the names of the invited guests. And if you’re inviting parents, use only their names on the envelope.

For a direct but courteous approach on the invitation itself, you can use phrasing such as: “We kindly request the pleasure of your company at our adults-only celebration. Additionally, on the RSVP cards, you can include a line that says “___ adults will be attending out of ___ total guests,” where you fill in the first blank with the number of adult guests invited in that particular group.

On the Wedding Website 

If you have a wedding website, consider adding a dedicated FAQ section. Under “Can guests bring kids?” or on the information page, include a clear statement like: “While we love all of the children in our lives, we have decided to keep our wedding and reception an adults-only event.”

If some guests still need childcare options, you can mention: “While we understand that some guests may need to travel with children, we recommend local babysitting services for your convenience.”

For Guests Who Ask for Exceptions

If guests inquire about bringing their children as a replacement for a plus-one, you can kindly explain: “We appreciate your understanding, but our wedding is designed as an adults-only event, and we’re unable to accommodate children. This decision is based on the type of event we’re hosting, which is intended for adults.”

Image by Nomad NK

Your wedding day is about celebrating your love, and you can curate your guest list just as you imagine. While handling the “no kids” rule may require some tact and communication, it’s all part of creating the special day you envision.

As you move closer to your dream celebration, remember that wedding invites set the mood for your big day. Whether you’re planning a summer or fall wedding, we’ve got you covered with plenty of inspiration. From the latest design trends to the best websites to buy invitations, we’re here to help you every step of the way.

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