How Do We Tell People We Don’t Want Their Children at Our Wedding?

jill greenburg

Most of our friends now have children. If we invited them all to our wedding there would be nearly 35 kids, we were only planning a guest list of 75 and don’t know how to let people know without upsetting them. We know some people will struggle to get sitters but I’m worried it will turn into a screaming child frenzy if we invite them all. Do we do a blanket no children or invite some, the ones we are closest to and risk upsetting people on the day? Added complication is my two nephews will be there who will be 1 and 3 and my flower girl who is 6. Any help/advice appreciated! – Sarah-Jane

Sarah, I completely empathise, this was the exact situation we had with our wedding too! While we didn’t have a flowergirl or ring bearer, we did have a couple of nieces and nephews there, but chose not to invite our friend’s children.

I want to kick off my reply by saying I am not anti-children, or criticising people who choose to have them, but they’re not really for me. While some people can’t imagine their wedding without kids running around all day, I certainly fall into the camp of those who can.

Although proper wedding etiquette states that unless there is a +1 on the invitation, only people whose names are on the invite should actually rock up, there will always be some people who ignore, or don’t understand, this and will assume their whole brood is more than welcome. To avoid any potential confusion we phoned our friends with kids to explain the situation outright. Pretty much everyone was fine with this, and some were thrilled to have a night away from their sprogs! Babysitters for the win!

If you’re struggling to figure out how to explain why some children (like your flowergirl) are invited but others (like your work friend’s three little darlings) are not, then you can always cite ‘budget constraints’, or ‘space limitations’ as the issue, even if it’s not true.


We only had one person who decided that since she couldn’t bring her child then she wasn’t going to come to our wedding at all. As harsh as it may sound, her feelings around our decision didn’t keep us up at night. We could have spent weeks worrying and trying to please everybody, but the reality is that you never can, however hard you try. Whether it’s children, your choice of food, or the kind of music you play, there will always be someone who’ll wish you’d done something differently. But you know what? It’s not their wedding, it’s yours.

You may well be met with resistance about your decision, but the most important thing is to be consistent and treat everybody equally. If you start making exceptions for that one person who kicks and screams, you’ll only later upset those who didn’t fight your position!

Stick to your guns, Sarah. Decide what the two of you want, and what makes you happy. After all it’s your wedding and you don’t have to justify what you’re doing to anybody else. There’s nothing worse than planning your wedding to please other people.

Might you upset some people? Probably, but that can’t be helped. Weddings are often fraught with politics. So many couples spend way too much time and energy trying to keep everyone else happy that they forget about the real reason they’re doing it at all – to celebrate them!

Remember, it’s YOUR wedding and YOU’RE the one footing the bill. If they’re really good friends they’ll understand the choices you make. And, honestly, if they end up throwing a temper tantrum, then maybe they should stay at home with the children after all!

Bonus Reading: Are babies the next logical step?



  1. We’ve had the same issue and I added a slip into the invites of friends with kids saying “we hope you understand that only family children are invited to our wedding. So please get a babysitter and come party hard with us!”

    We’ve had no negative comments about it so far!


  2. Gemma

    My friend got married in April and the only children there were her two children, and she enlisted the help of a babysitter. Genius. Stress free. Fun. I’ll be doing the same x

  3. Emma

    This is exactly the situation we had at our wedding. We only wanted our flowergirl and were worried how everyone would react. We thought about putting something on the invite but in the end we decided to ring everyone and explain – actually did use the space issue! Although a couple were funny about it most were pleased to have the night off! We were just adamant that it was our day and we didn’t want it interrpted by crying children, especially during the ceremony, as we had seen at so many other weddings! Best decision ever and I don’t regret it at all. Your friends will understand and those that don’t aren’t worth worrying about. Stick to your guns and have a fabulous day.

  4. Employing a babysitter at the venue is a really good idea. We got round this by getting married in a garden full of water features, where children under the age of seven were not covered by the insurance unless they were supervised. We said that, since we were sure the parents didn’t want to spend the whole evening worrying about their children, we suggested they simply didn’t bring them. Everyone left their kids with sitters or relatives and nobody seemed to mind.

  5. Laura

    A friend of mine had a similar issue. She’s getting married in March and has had to say no to children except those actively involved in the wedding.
    They too have a limited guest list because of cost, if they invited the extra children it would be half the guest list again!
    She told me straight away they couldn’t afford to have everyone’s kids there and as we were told months ago we got a babysitter sorted, we booked my Mum! 😛
    She had a few issues with people kicking off about it but stood her ground. She also told everyone who was invited and who wasn’t. Even some of their family aren’t invited because they see them less than some of their friends, that was another thing that didn’t go down well with some people. Again she stood her ground and they’ve learnt she won’t be moved on the subject.
    It’s quite stressful taking your kids to things like this because you can’t necessarily enjoy yourself fully, you’ve always got one eye on your kid and the other on what’s going on around you. That’s not to say you don’t enjoy it a bit.
    It’s also personal preference, some people would just prefer to have a kid free day full stop.
    It’s really not up to anyone else to decide who should be at YOUR wedding and who shouldn’t.

    If you have to lie and blame it on something then do it.
    If you say up front no children you don’t have to say why either.
    YOUR wedding, no justification needed.
    Same goes for people who were single when you invited them then they got a partner, said partner does not get an automatic invite, no matter how well you get on with them. xx

  6. Heather

    many years ago my brother-in-law said no children at this wedding, not even family. after trying unsuccessfully to get a babysitter, I had to stay home and my husband went alone – only to discover their sister had ignored it and taken her son anyway. It still rankles – and it’s more than 20 years ago now.

  7. I think whatever makes you happy, it is your day after all! However if you do choose to have children at your Wedding, make sure they are entertained to keep them quiet!

  8. Claire

    My sister in law had a child free wedding in Scotland (we are in York). My husband went along but because my daughter wasn’t allowed to go, I didn’t.

    We still get along and I bear no hard feelings – it was their day and so long as they have no issue with my being missing, I don’t mind that they didn’t want my daughter there.

  9. Vicky

    The last two weddings I have been to I asked that my children were not invited for fear they would want to come! I was bridesmaid on both occasion and it would have entailed the big one looking after the small one or other people rallying round and I decided it was not fair on anyone! My best friend was horrified when the bride invited her parents and sister so she lost her babysitting options and spent the whole day running round (in full bridesmaid get up) after a toddler, both were frazzled; child over tired, mum stressed neither enjoyed the day. Most parents, no matter how much we love our little darlings, enjoy a day/night occasionally without them. I actually get a little annoyed when people get militant over it then you see them on nights out (minus kids) all over Facebook!

  10. Sarah-Jane Nightingale

    Thank you so much for picking out my question! Lots of great ideas of how to deal with it so thank you. Absolutely LOVE your blog and have managed to source quite a few suppliers through your research. Long live Rock and Roll Bride! Xxx

  11. Janine

    We too are currently having this argument in our household, as we have friends whose baby will be due in 2 months so their baby will be 1 when we marry. I have always said I don’t want any children under 4 at the wedding for running the risk of the whole ‘screaming child at the ceremony’ however our friends are quite upset by this as they quote ‘want to show the baby off’….. Erm it’s our day not theirs!! To make matters worse my other friends who have a 4 year old will be going (who the woman happens to be the ex of the man with the baby) and their 4 year old will be going, and so this is all coming across as favouritism, which it really isn’t! My cousins 5 year old will be going and that will be the only children we have. It’s an awful situation to be in, but like people are saying, if they’re true friends they’ll understand!

  12. Angie

    I had a teeny tiny wedding, but still decided to invite the children of all the attendees. It certainly wouldn’t be for everyone, it was quite noisy, but I have two of my own as well as 6 neices and nephews and all my closest friends have a child or two. I did activity packs for each child under 10 and that helped to keep them busy, and my own children loved having so many kids to play with. That said, if I got an invite which specified no kids, I would get a baby sitter. You have to respect the bride and groom’s wishes!

  13. Alistair Goddon

    We’ve got a very similar situation. We just put ‘no children, except those of immediate family’on the invite everyone understood that but it still means I can have our nephew and godchildren attend without the other 40 children we know.

    You’ll be surprised; we thought everyone was going to be annoyed, but it turns out most were desperated for a night away from the kids that wasn’t going to another persons house full of kids!

  14. I’ve got my own children who were at my wedding (ages 2 and 9 at the time) but children weren’t invited except my two nephews. Firstly I didn’t want to have to fork out the extra cash for children, secondly I didn’t want it to be a chaotic day. I don’t think it’s that difficult to get a baby sitter to attend a wedding and knew my friend’s with children would love a night off! Anyone that sulks over your wedding choices can just bugger off and sulk in my opinion, it’s your day and what you want is the only thing that matters.

  15. Amy

    My sister had a few kids at her wedding and most were well behaved. She provided colouring books and crayons at the place settings for each child, along with some sweets, which kept them happy! However, her two year old flower girl (her best friend’s daughter) absolutely ruined the first dance by insisting on being on the dance floor with them, and crying when her embarrassed mum tried to pull her away. My sister ended up having to dance with her new husband and a small child and the child is in every single one of the first dance photos. It put so much pressure on them having to deal with her during what was a nervous moment for them anyway, having to dance in front of everyone. Our cousin’s daughter started crying during the ceremony as well, which is to be expected if you have children at your wedding, but she was discreetly whisked out of the room by her mum until she calmed down. Crying can be expected, but children running around during the ceremony (I’ve been to a christening where a girl literally ran around the vicar, parents and baby repeatedly and her parents didn’t give a damn – very distracting and not at all thoughtful) or crashing in on those ‘special couple moments’ really does my head in, and I think it’s so rude of parents to get funny if you say no children please! We HAVE to invite nieces and nephews to our wedding, but we’re having ‘no friend’s children please’ and they’ll either accept it or not come. I should probably clarify that I’m by no means anti-children but they can be rather unruly during those special moments and no one deserves to have their big day ruined (especially when they’ve spent so much time, effort and money on it) just to keep others happy.

  16. Emma Hurst

    I’m not having children at my wedding, other than my own. He’s 6… and is my page boy. i wouldn’t want him to be bored all day so his cousin, who is 9 is also a page boy. And thats it.
    I think its outrageous that people think they have the right to tell you who you should and shouldn’t invite to YOUR WEDDING!
    And if you do have the odd page boy or flower girl, that shouldn’t give people the right to question you on that and ask why their child isn’t invited. Its just plain rude, and ou shouldn’t be put in that position.
    People should be touched enough that you have invited them to their big day. Not make you feel like you are a terrible person for not wanting their child their.
    Children get bored at weddings, the parents always look stressed out. Its not not a good time for all!
    What really is annoys me is when they try to make you feel guilty, like their babysitter is your problem ” well what if I can’t get a babysitter” … well unfortunately, you won’t be able to come.
    People don’t have a problem getting babysitters when you see them out every weekend all over Facebook!
    Just do what you want to do. You cannot please everyone…so you may as well just please yourselves!

  17. We’re having the exact same issue right now. We’ve decided the best way for us to handle it is that no children are allowed at the ceremony or wedding breakfast (afternoon tea) when the speeches are made etc. However, if they want to bring them to the nighttime reception they can do but we are not catering for them. We’re having fish and chips at night, there will be a childrens table of sweets and cakes etc – they don’t get the fish and chips! Ha, sounds harsh now I’ve written it down but like Kat said…it’s not going to keep me awake at night. x

  18. Cecillie Marie

    We’re not having children at our wedding. I wouldn’t mind but no one in my group of friends or in my family have small children. The youngest will be my cousin who is 13.

    What about newborns where the mother is breast feeding? You can’t ask her not to bring her baby since the baby needs to be fed. Or can you? What do you think?

  19. CS

    Many years ago my uncle asked my sister to be a bridesmaid in his wedding (she was about 8) and then told my parents I however was not invited (I was 4). In the end the wedding was called off so no-one went but my mum was really annoyed by this and still talks about it 25 years later!

  20. Amy

    We recently received an invite worded somewhere along the lines of “We’d really like everyone to be able to let their hair down with us so we politely ask that no children attend”. You’re paying for it so if that’s your wish then so be it! Good luck

  21. Randi

    We noted on our wedding website and on our RSVP cards “Please kindly note the wedding and reception are adults only”.

    We even went as far on the RSVP card to indicate ____ seats are reserved for you and followed by ____ adults attending ____ adults not attending.

    I know the word “adults” was on the RSVP card three times, but I did the per person cost on food/booze alone and almost fainted at the thought of adding 25 kids to the catering bill. Additional cost would basically eliminate the funds we set aside for our honeymoon. Our wedding is on a Saturday evening and parents deserve a night to themselves. There were more “pros” than “cons” to NOT having the kids there.

  22. Jacqui

    My OH and I have found that we have quite differing views on this topic, I wanted to just say that we are not having children at the wedding, but he doesn’t feel comfortable with that.

    We decided that the best way around it was to be honest with people about what the set-up will be, i.e. we’re not getting married till late afternoon, reception won’t start till the evening in a small venue which opens straight onto a pavement and we won’t be able to provide any separate arrangements for children, so if parents want to bring them it’s fine but they will have to supervise them.

    A lot of our friends don’t actually want to bring their kids anyway – they quite fancy the idea of a night off. The remaining number who possibly might is quite small and I feel I could live with it, but I think it’s likely once they find out that they will probably have to leave the reception after only about an hour they probably won’t bring them – if they do then fine, I am trying to adopt a new F**k it attitude to wedding planning!

  23. We’re the kind of people who bring our kids just about everywhere, but don’t ask questions and aren’t offended if an invite isn’t extended to them. With weddings it’s totally understandable that space might be limited and depending on the venue, it’s not always kid friendly. We recently went to a wedding with both of our kids, and thankfully there were other kids running around, but the venue was also pretty good for that. If people are going to be offended that they can’t bring their kids… well that’s their issue and they kind of need to get over it. If they refuse to come maybe they really weren’t that good of friends to begin with.

  24. Emma

    My sister has kind of messed up a little on this bless her. She doesn’t want any children at any part of her day, but on her day invites they say no children at the reception, and her reception invites dont say anything at all! Now there’s a family argument going on about a cousin whose childs name is not on the invite, but they have asked what time to get the kid picked up from the wedding. Dont make that mistake!

  25. Angela

    I don’t think it’s rude at all to not invite kids. It can almost double the guest list!! We had a statement on our invite:

    “while children are a blessing and a joy, we ask that this be an adults only wedding and reception”.

    Don’t be surprised by the couple or two who bring their kid anyway and say something utterly obnoxious like “oh….we didn’t realize! we won’t feed them”….


    Good luck!

  26. I was really worried about this issue since my fiance has strong feelings on not inviting children, but I was shocked to discover that most people are totally fine not bringing their kids! We ended up saying kids allowed to the ceremony since we’ll be outside and It’s only a half hour, but held a firm line on the reception. That was helped by the fact that our reception is at a brewery and starts at 7PM. haha.

  27. I find the comments about children ‘ruining’ wedding days a bit much. OK so they might cry, whimper, have a tantrum, or toddle onto the dance floor at an inappropriate time. But grown-up guests can often cause even more havoc. By all means if you don’t want kids at your wedding then don’t have them. But let’s just calm down a bit on the whole ‘ruining the day’ thing. They’re just being kids, they don’t know any better. P.S. Wedding days aren’t supposed to be perfect – they’re supposed to be fun.

  28. chloe anne barker

    Weddings are about uniting families not alienating them surely. Children are part of our future and family life. I can understand if you only choose to have family children but to not have any is quite sterile. They are the parents responsibility not yours. It is not about the bride and groom having to cope with them. Most adults are mature enough to handle tears and tantrums should they happen. But not all children are that disruptive. I think it is quite sad when families have to choose to go or not because of this. Adults can be noisy and often unruly too. I would rather see a family together than a bunch of rowdy adults!

  29. Holly Warpass


  30. nicola Hulls

    I have a total of 17 children coming to my wedding i have 3 children myself. Personally I can not see a problem with it. I just hate the fact that people make such a big issue out of it!

  31. There is absolutely nothing wrong with only inviting adults to your wedding. Weddings are expensive, seriously carefully orchestrated events that can be both difficult and simply boring for little ones. While some brides might find a tired ring bearer laying down on the altar or a pack of sugar-high toddlers zooming around the dance floor to be adorable, not everyone does. As someone else pointed out, they’re kids and they don’t know any better. For some, that’s reason to excuse them, but for others it’s a reason not to invite them.

    For our wedding, we chose a beautiful 300 years old historical property. The ceremony was outdoors in a garden, with the reception in the next building. The floors in the building were all original – cobbled brick in one room and wood in the next – and treacherous for stilettos let alone little running ties to catch on. The tables we rented were hand carved wood farmhouse tables and were covered in glass and candles. There were lit candles every cocktail hour high-top, every windowsill, the gift table, the cake table, the bar… We had an incredible caterer who helped my foodie self design the perfect menu, which happened to not be remotely kid friendly.

    Add drinking adults, dancing and having a good time, and you get a space that is in no way safe or fun for a child. There were opportunities to get hurt almost everywhere and it just didn’t make sense to include them.

    I’m a graphic designer and when I made our invitations, I simply addressed them to the proper people. On the reply card, I included a small line under the space for names that read “Number attending: ___ of ___”, and wrote in the number invited on the second line. This politely prevented anyone from assuming extra invites – no one is going to write 5 of 2!

    We got no push back at all, and several friends commented that they were excited to get a night off to enjoy themselves with the other grown ups without constantly chasing and entertaining their little ones.

  32. Christine

    I have not been to many weddings, but the two latest weddings have been with a few kids. My aunt and uncle had their kids and their nephews in the wedding. And them being family and good friends, made them run around outside playing. The only thing “interrupting” was when my aunt made a speech and my cousin ran up to my uncle and said “I have to poop!” But that was something funny, because that is kids. My sister also had her own kids and her nephews in the wedding. They did also run around playing, and did not have any problem with anything. But in both weddings, the grandparents, aunts and uncles, and friends of the couple were taking care of the kids. That made it easier for the couple of the day to enjoy everything.

    I am doing something similar when I get married. My future husband have kids from another relationship, they are 4 and 6 now. But I also have a brother that is 5 and a sister that is 3. So they will of Corse be invited, but they play well together. I do have cousins at the age of 4 and 7. I have nieces and nephews who is 6 months, 2 years, 4 years, 5 years, 6 years and 9 years old. But. I am hiring a “babysitter”. When I am getting married, I will make a place for the kids. There will be somebody that can be with them and play with them. I want it to be activity’s for the kids, and snacks. And when the dinner is over, and the kids have played around for a while I want to make a sleepover. With movies, and some candy. And someone who can be with them so they feel safe. It is a day for the grownups. And I want my guests to enjoy themselves. That means that I will have to spend some extra on babysitter and stuff for the kids. But I love them, and I want kids in my wedding.

    But I do understand that some people don’t want children in their wedding. Not all kids are well behaved. Not all people dream of a wedding with kids running around. Respect for the bride and groom is everything. It is their day, and they should be able to decide everything without somebody being offended.

  33. We had a 2-part wedding day. The day part was at a countryside village hall and I am one who couldn’t imagine no kids running around on my wedding day. Even though I don’t have any kids and I’m not planning any, I really do like most of them and we seem to get on, so not to see my friends’ children on my wedding day would have felt like some important people were missing. However, the evening celebration was at a restaurant and that was glammed up adults only. One couple did tell us that would mean that they couldn’t come because they had no sitter for their 2 kids, but we had to let that be their problem to sort out!

  34. Sara Payne

    We put on our invite that as we were limited to numbers we couldn’t invite children but then said we hope that all you parents see this as a chance to let your hair down and use it as time with each other. Lots embraced it just a few were a bit off but it worked!

  35. I think sometimes it’s nice to have children at the wedding but there comes a point where it can become chaos if there are too many. It’s such a difficult decision though because you can’t invite one family and not another without causing offence hence why often couples decide no kids rather than having to choose which kids.

  36. I have completely changed my mind on this issue. I used to think weddings should be an adult only affair but I now have nieces and a few close friends have had children. We will have them all on the day, but the style of wedding we’re having does mean it’s suitable for children too. Y there are ten, ranging from newborn to about eleven years old and there was no way for us to pick and choose. Luckily it is ten though, not half the guest list again!

    A big issue that made me reconsider is that every single person is travelling for our wedding. Some for just a few hours by car, some from New Zealand and Hong Kong. What are people meant to do with the uninvited kids when they have come halfway around the world?

  37. kelly veal

    When it came to kids we had no qualms. No kids and that included my one and only niece. We told everyone to their faces and we had no trouble whatsoever. We had no kids ourselves and everone understood. We were pretty hard line throughout our planning. We had 26 at the actual wedding, with the risk of offending a few friends. But we were really selfish. We were only concerned that we were married at the end of day!

  38. Alex

    I’m having the same issue–some of my family was LIVID but we just handled it. You can’t make everybody happy. We’re only having 100 guests and if they brought their kids that number would grow OR my friends would have to be left off the guest list in favour of children who don’t know my name and won’t appreciate being there–full disclosure I’m also just not much of a “kid” person and some of my relatives have INCREDIBLY badly behaved children. We just put down a blanket restriction: children under 12 are not invited.

  39. Jennifer Sage

    This reminds me of my advice to women having a baby (midwife in practice for 30 years). The only people you should have at your birth (and wedding)are there for you and not to meet their own needs. If they are offended it is a clear demonstration that they are selfish enough to rate their need on YOUR wedding day ahead of YOURS.

  40. Spot on advice Kat!! As a non-child friendly person myself, but with lots of friends who have children, I was incredibly nervous about making the no children announcement. I actually found a very witty little announcement on the internet which suited us perfectly and we put it on our invites. And not a single friend refused to come because of that. In fact, they were all incredibly pleased to have a night off from the little ones so it all worked out for the best.

    It does take a bit of courage to make the decision, but I can honestly say it was the best one we made with regards to the day. We really felt it was OUR day then and not some screaming little kiddy’s!!

  41. As a mother of 3 kids I’m shocked anyone would have an issue with wanting an all adult wedding. I personally think it’s genius. My husband’s cousin is having an all adult wedding and my bil is upset about it.

    Brides and grooms…if someone cares enough about you they’ll remember this is YOUR day. YOU are the ones getting married. I love my hubby’s cousin and while I wish my kiddos could come to see her as she makes the next step on her journey well that is something “I” want…and it’s not about me. It’s about her…

    The complainers have had their wedding. If they chose to have kiddos (I did and one of those kiddos is now getting married!! I feel old. 😉 ) at the wedding great. If not ..take the kids out to the movies and hang out at home.

    Personally, I’m just hoping to find someone to watch 3 kids for a whole weekend….because I can’t wait to enjoy myself with my husband for a whole weekend!!


  42. Dionne

    I recently went to a wedding that stated that only ‘nursing’ children could attend (which I thought was very thoughtful) but I still found it tough with the baby and wouldn’t have minded at all if they said no kids!

  43. Decca

    I’m very lucky in that I only have one friend with children (2 boys aged 4 and 1 by the time of the wedding) and one cousin expecting a baby (and the baby will be 9 months old by the time of the wedding,) so those three children won’t add much to the overall bill!

    One of my friend’s boys is my godson, so it would be strange not to have him there (he is to be our page boy and at four he is old enough to know when he needs to be quiet and sit still for a little while,) and if I’m having the two boys then it makes no sense to exclude my cousin’s little one. I have other cousins with children, but the children are sadly not in their lives, so there would be no point in extending an invitation that wouldn’t be taken up and might even upset people.

    I fully support people who say no children, and if my godson wasn’t being my page boy I probably would have stipulated no children too. I’m not anti-children, I just know that the day is for the bride and groom, not for every parent to parade their little darlings around. You have baby welcomings, and bris and Christenings for that kind of thing, not weddings.

  44. Rachel

    We got married two months ago and only had 4 family children at the wedding. Each to their own, but we didn’t want to have to feed people who would push round the food on their plates and say they suddenly didn’t like chicken anymore, or who would make a fuss during our vows/speeches. I also didn’t want our adult guests to be distracted from what the day was about, which was “US” I went to a wedding a couple of years ago and my standout memory of the whole thing was a 2 year old who screamed her head off for the entire day. Not what we wanted to happen at our wedding at all. Yes we did upset one person, but all of our other friends who have children said they were thrilled to be able to get dressed up, let their hair down and be a couple for the day and not ‘mum & dad’
    My advice, do it your way, it is YOUR day and sod everyone else, hopefully you’ll only do this once, and it should be exactly the way you want it to be! A wedding day is the one and only day when it is just about you and the person you love….so make the most of it.

  45. Jaime

    I am getting married next month and despite our invitations say only the names of my cousin and his wife he RSVPd for the both of them and his three young children (aged 1,3 and 5). I was really torn and wondered if I was being selfish to not want children at my wedding. I understand that it is about family and that it is one day that will never be perfect and will never be a reflection of a happy marriage anyways… but still I would be so upset if in the middle of the ceremony, the only thing that I actually think is important, when my dad was delivering his stories of our childhoods or development as a couple or when my fiancé was saying his vows a child started crying. I looked at a lot of things on the internet and it seems to be a very heated topic… there is the group of people that can’t understand why parents assume their children are welcome everywhere and wonder why parents would feel a need to bring their children everywhere and there are the people that feel like you are personally shaming an entire family by only inviting the adults of the family. I am obviously the former and I feel like with weddings people will probably judge me for things that don’t mean that much to them no matter what I do so it is important that I do what I feel is best.

    I felt like phoning them to say their children can’t come seems kind of rude since it isn’t like we talk on the phone otherwise. To me it makes it more awkward like “What is the real reason you are calling?” so I decided to really think about my wording and respond to their electronic RSVP. I explained to them that our venue was small and we decided not to invite children so that we could have more of the people that we grew up with present and that other guests have had to make alternate arrangements for their children so it would be hurtful to them. I explained that I love them both and I love their children and I hope to see them all soon and that if they are no longer able to come due to the difficulty and expense of finding a sitter that we would understand but that if there was anything we could do to help we would be more than happy to and that if they can make it would be a great date night full of dancing. I told them I hoped they are not personally offended because it was not a decision made from a personal place and that I know they are excellent parents with well behaved kids.

    I hope that it was kind enough that they do not take it to heart, as it seems some parents do. I hope they can still make it and I hope they don’t hold it against me but like so many other things in weddings in life all you can do is what is best for the situation and hope it all turns out.

  46. This has helped me so much, we want a child free wedding, we have 4 kids between us but the oldest is 20 and the youngest is 9 and they will all have roles in the wedding. I’ve been stressing how to tell my guests they can’t bring their children but feel fine about now after reading these posts, thanks again

  47. Barbara

    We are getting married in may and we wrote on the invite “Respectfully, this is an adults only celebration” I know I have a few guests who were not so happy about it. I don’t want any chaos or screaming so im glad I did it as it’s clear to everyone what kind of wedding it will be. Most people were very happy to have a kids free evening 🙂 just remember you can’t please everyone so make sure you do what you want, it’s your day!


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