Micaela
Beginner November 2021

Help! No children @ wedding

Micaela, on March 22, 2021 at 3:53 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 25
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I know this is a common problem on here, but I don't know how to approach our no kid rule for our wedding. We'll be having a destination wedding in Hawaii, so we figured it would be more affordable for our friends and family to come without kids. We know for a fact that none of the parents with children would need to hire help to watch their children while they're gone. I see it as a good idea financially, for everyone. I'm just struggling with the nicest way to tell people. I don't know if a quick text is too informal, or telling them over a phone call would get mixed reactions. Any advice is helpful!!

25 Comments

Latest activity by Micaela, on March 30, 2021 at 2:42 PM
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag

    You address save the dates and invites only to adults, not "and family". If anyone asks or rsvps for their kids, contact them immediately and let them know you have space/budget constraints. You can also add tge info to your website.

    • Reply
  • Ava
    VIP May 2022
    Ava ·
    • Flag
    I think if you are willing to put in the effort to call each household with children and speak to them personally, that is always going to be the most well received method. Taking the time to call them is very gracious and more personable, and them being able to hear your voice ensures they will not interpret anything the wrong way (ie, less likely to get offended). And it provides you the opportunity to explain your reasoning behind the no children rule, if you so desire to do so. Plus, speaking to them personally ensures that they fully understand the rule. So no having to deal with awkward situations of people not getting the hint with only addressing the envelopes to adults, or not seeing information on your website, etc. and making travel arrangements for their children to attend with them.
    • Reply
  • Lisa
    Rockstar July 2022
    Lisa ·
    • Flag
    I wouldn't reach out ahead of time to notify anyone. On the invites, be specific with how you address them: "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" instead of "The Smith Family". Also, consider adding a line on the RSVP cards or invitations that says, "We have reserved __ seats in your honor", and fill it in with the number of people from that household you are actually inviting. If anyone RSVPs for someone who wasn't invited, reach out to them at that time to explain that you are unable to accommodate additional people other than those who were listed on the envelope. You could also add a line on your website to state that it's an adults-only celebration, and put the link to your website on your invitations.
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  • Caytlyn
    Legend November 2019
    Caytlyn ·
    • Flag
    Not inviting children is a good indication that children aren’t invited. A text isn’t necessary and I’m not sure there’s an appropriate way to say “hey, we expect you to travel outside of the continental US for our wedding and your kids aren’t welcome.”
    • Reply
  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari ·
    • Flag

    Address your STDs/invites to the adults only and put "Invited guests only, please no children" on your wedding website.

    We did both those things, but I did follow up with a couple of guests who would have needed to travel who had young children. These guests did not live locally, would drive and stay the weekend (no flights required), and had family who could watch the kids. Both said they saw the note on our wedding website and were excited for a kid free date night!

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  • M
    VIP January 2019
    Maggie ·
    • Flag

    It's fine to not invite children to your wedding. But having a destination wedding where children aren't invited can make it more difficult for your guests to attend. I would touch base in person with your VIPs (not your whole guest list) to make sure they understand what you are planning and that they will be able to make it. Then make your plans and send your save the dates addressed specifically to the adults in each household.

    When you are answering questions/explaining, I would be really careful not to try to use the reasoning that you are excluding children because you think that will be more affordable for everyone. That doesn't really make sense because all parents regularly make decisions based on their own financial situation and their kids. You don't need to decide that for them. Again, it's fine not to want kids there for your own reasons, but don't lay the "blame" on other people.

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  • Kelly
    Dedicated February 2022
    Kelly ·
    • Flag

    We are putting it on our wedding website and on our invites! This is how I worded it:

    A Special Note: As much as we both adore and love children and believe that children are the future, we kindly ask that you please leave your little ones at home! We want everybody to be able to enjoy themselves to the fullest!

    Since you are having a destination wedding, if any of your bridesmaids or groomsmen have kids you may want to make sure they know that so that they can make the proper arrangements.

    • Reply
  • Dj Tanner
    June 2021
    Dj Tanner ·
    • Flag
    I would definitely put this on your wedding website. I would definitely just address the invitations individually as well, but for whatever reason people that have children sometimes automatically assume that just because their kids names aren’t on the invite that they can still bring them anyway. You can have an FAQ on your wedding website and you can say something like ‘ this is an adult only event.’ But be prepared to get asked regardless if someone can bring their kid. If they call you to ask you or if they text you, just say unfortunately due to capacity limitations you guys weren’t able to invite kids.
    • Reply
  • MK
    Expert September 2021
    MK ·
    • Flag

    With your wedding being a destination, I imagine there aren't a ton of families you'd need to inform that kids weren't welcome. I would reach out to the directly by a phone call or FaceTime and let them know. I totally support and agree with your 'no children' decision, but I also would expect that some guests will decline your invitation if they aren't able to bring their children - so I would be graceful and understanding about those who chose not to come.

    • Reply
  • Samantha
    Rockstar October 2022
    Samantha ·
    • Flag
    Are all the children older and that’s why you think the parents will be able to leave them alone? That is probably not a given - lots of people don’t feel comfortable leaving teenagers or middle school age kids comfortable when they are going somewhere that requires plane travel. Additionally, Hawaii is the sort of place that people would want to extend the stay for a vacation.
    Perhaps a good work around would be to personally let them know that anyone under 18 is not invited to the ceremony or reception, but you understand they may be bringing them on the trip. Having raised teenagers, I am fairly certain that they would be very happy to not attend the wedding events with all the fun Hawaii has to offer.
    • Reply
  • Natalie
    Expert November 2020
    Natalie ·
    • Flag
    I agree with this! While most parents are happy finding a sitter for an evening out, many would be very uneasy finding someone they trust (and would be comfortable asking) to watch their children for multiple days while they’re a plane ride away.
    • Reply
  • Heather
    Devoted October 2021
    Heather ·
    • Flag

    It's totally normal not to invite kids to the weddings. Just make sure to add that somewhere on the invites AND website. I liked how Kelly worded hers! You can use something like that as a template. Just know that people may still ask lol. So, make sure you stay your ground if you really insist for no kids. And I'm so excited for you since you'll be having your wedding in Hawaii! It's going to be so beautiful!

    • Reply
  • SHY
    Master January 2022
    SHY ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Exactly what I was going to say!

    I find this to be the easiest way to approach it without coming off rude to family and friends!

    • Reply
  • Jennifer
    VIP August 2021
    Jennifer ·
    • Flag

    Agree with the others, putting it on your website and calling immediately if they try to RSVP for children is the route to go.

    • Reply
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Legend March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    • Flag
    Have you considered eloping to Hawaii and throwing a local reception when you’re back? Or are you ok if most guests who have kids decline? I’m all for “no kid” local weddings but can’t imagine most of your guests will be ok leaving their kids at home while they travel out of state.
    • Reply
  • Liza
    Savvy September 2022
    Liza ·
    • Flag

    I think you can have a good combo of ways to deal with the no kids aspect. I would definitely address save the dates and invites to only the adult names. After that if you have a website or somewhere you are keeping updates to guests I would have some sort of FAQ about kids. On my website I'm just saying something along the lines of "We love your kids but we want tonight to be your night off." After that I think it's dealing with guests individually. I wouldn't reach out unless you feel they really don't seem to understand or if they ask you. If they ask you I'd approach it the same way and say that it isn't that you don't love their kids but that you'd like it to be a weekend away for them, kid free.

    I also don't think that 'no kids' is an unpopular thing for people to do on their wedding days. It shouldn't come to shock people that kids aren't invited. If it's close family or something you might feel an exception is necessary - for example my only first cousin's on my mom's side are teenagers and their dad (my uncle) has passed away so I am making my cutoff as first cousins instead of "no kids" so that the two of them are still able to be apart of my day. In the end, everything is you and your fiance's decision so if they don't like it then they can choose not to be apart of the day. You're not always going to make everyone happy but you need to be happy so stick to your guns!

    • Reply
  • Yame
    Just Said Yes July 2022
    Yame ·
    • Flag
    Hey! I’m kind of going through the say thing. One thing I’ll personally say is this: once you send the invites with the exact names/amount, you don’t necessarily have to text/call everyone individually. Just make sure the invite is very specific to who is invited and that’s it! You don’t owe anyone an explanation on why no kids on your day. You don’t have to be rude and you don’t have to exhaust the energy of letting everyone know personally. Enjoy your big day and the biggest of blessings on your union with your spouse!
    • Reply
  • V
    Savvy April 2021
    Victoria ·
    • Flag
    For me I called every guest with a kid and explained that we would be having a child free wedding. Since we didn’t have a save the date, I also sent a email and put it on our wedding website. Honestly it went fine just explained them that we would like to have a night for you to enjoy.
    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Just Said Yes November 2021
    Amanda ·
    • Flag

    Hi! I am doing the same thing Smiley smile We are offering babysitting onsite because our venue has an extra room and we do know that it will be an issue for some families, however, you definitely don't have to do that. I did this at my previous wedding and I've helped friends around this tricky corner with wording as well.

    I suggest you make it more about you and your finace and your guests and less about the kids. Focus that you want everyone to have a carefree celebration and take that route opposed to no screaming kids Smiley winking Also, you don't need tell everyone individually. I recommend including an additional card and slip it with the people who it applies to. They will see it with their invite and it will give them plenty of time to make arrangements. It also doesn't allow them to pressure or guilt trip you... remember, it's you and your fiance's wedding, it's about your celebration not about their needs.

    I haven't finalized what we are saying, but here's my current rough draft, if it helps!

    "While we love seeing the smiling faces of all the children in our lives, we have decided to host an adult-only (don't say child-free, again, keep the language focused on positivity surrounding adults, not negativity surrounding children) wedding and reception. We want all of our guests to be able to celebrate with us and enjoy a cocktail or two as we begin this next chapter. We are offering onsite babysitting for individuals who cannot make separate arrangements; please provide this information when you RSVP on our wedding site (obviously you can omit this sentence if you are not providing care). Thank you for understanding; we cannot wait to celebrate with you!

    Good luck!! And remember, it's your wedding - do what's best for y'all! Smiley heart

    • Reply
  • Ashley
    Savvy July 2022
    Ashley ·
    • Flag

    The way i was told to go about it was to just say hey is there anyway you find someone to watch the kids for the wedding we are only aloud so many people and made the decision not to have kids there because of the drinking the distance that has to be traveled. But that was before we made the decision to do a more local wedding but most of our friends and family understood right away.

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