(Closed) "Adults Only" – did this offend anyone?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
1191 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@mscuppycake:  I wouldn’t be offended, it’s your choice, but I wouldn’t attend simply because I’m not going to leave my children for days to attend a wedding.

Post # 18
1340 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I think it’s acceptable to have an “Adults Only” wedding, but you can’t dictate whether or not they bring their children on THEIR vacation. You risk alienating (and pissing off) a chunk of your family and friends if you add further restrictions to how and when they spend their vacation time and dollars. 


As an alternative to have your proverbial cake and eat it too, is it possible that your resort offers childcare OR could you possibly hire a nanny for the evening to take care of the children? 

Post # 19
54 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

Every “adults only” wedding I have been to has had a hotel room or something for parents who could not avoid bringing their kids and hired a friend of a trust worthy family member to babysit for the night. 

I don’t have kids so an adult only wedding would not bother me, but I have friends that have turned down a wedding invitation even when they could bring their kid because they could not find a sitter, and did not want to bring their child because the wedding took place when the child was normally taking a nap. 

Post # 20
1879 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Yeah, for a destination wedding, if you want it to be no kids, I think you really need to arrange childcare for the time of the wedding at the hotel or resort. It’s much harder for people to find babysitters out of town, and lots won’t want to pay for a babysitter on top of paying for traveling to your wedding.

Post # 21
4687 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

We didn’t have a Destination Wedding, but all husband’s side flew in from states away. We were very direct with people – NO KIDS. We had it on our invites “Adult only reception” and our website 2 times. One cousin wanted to bring her baby (wtf) and we told her nope!


So we had no kids at our wedding and it was absolutely fabulous. I do not regret being firm about that and frankly I don’t care if I offended anyone. Leave the kid home for 4 hours.


Post # 22
11535 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

If you do not want to invite certain categories of children or any children at all, etiquette does not require you to do so.  However, you should not use the language “adults only” in any of your invitation wording.

Instead, the best way to ensure that only those who are being invited will attend your wedding is to use inner envelopes and write the formal courtesy titles of those who are being invited. I did this, and I had no problems whatsoever.

If someone receives an outer envelope that says, “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe” or “Mr. John Doe and Ms. Jane Smith” and then sees an inner envelope that says, “Mr. and Mrs. Doe” or “Mr. Doe and Ms. Smith,” he or she will be much less likely to have any question about who from his or her family is — and is not — being invited.  If, after seeing both of these envelopes, a guest is still unclear, he or she likely will call you.  At that time, you may politely clarify, “Oh, I’m so sorry for any misunderstanding, but the invitation actually is just for you and John.  We really wish we could have accommodated little Jack and Jill, but, unfortunately, we’re just not able to allow all of our guests to bring their families.  We hope you understand.” 

Post # 23
2947 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 1998

Im never offended at Adults Only Weddings but just understand that some people just like me probably wouldn’t be able to come if its a Destination Wedding. 

Post # 24
118 posts
Blushing bee

We were a destination wedding. I provided childcare information. It did turn a few people away but majority came and had a BLAST! They used childcare or made other arrangements. This was a pic from our guests getting into karaoke. The props were from the photobooth 😀

At lot of the parents THANKED us for the childless wedding. They really were able to act like kids themselves and get some quiet, romantic time with their spouse. 


Post # 25
546 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I agree with the other posters that I do not think its offensive at all, if people do not wish to attend because their children are not invited that is their decision. This means of course you can’t be upset if people decline but it sounds like you’d respect their choice. I think it’s always weird when guests are “offended” by a part of the wedding they knew about ahead of time. You can always politely decline. I would say though if the people in question are top priority guests like immediate family, wedding party, etc. I think you should have a sitter and hotel room for the kids during the wedding and reception itself. But that’s up to you. 

Post # 26
224 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I say screw offense. My husband wanted a child-free wedding and I was the one that caved. I wish I hadn’t worried about “offending” anyone and did it. People showed up with 2, 3, 4+ children. After our wedding we went to one child free and one with only the nephews of the bride and they were both great! I loved my wedding, but that is been issue I wish I’d gone to bat over. At very least did just nieces/nephews. Hindsight is truly 20-20!

Post # 27
4462 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I would never be offended if I was invited to a wedding without my kids and we had zero issues with anyone who was invited without their kids (which was everyone besides the parents of the flower girl and ring bearer). The only issue is that with a destination wedding most people don’t always have the means (or desire) to leave their children for an overnight trip. Perhaps if you could provide information for childcare at the destination for just during the wedding, but let them know that you would love to spend time with their kids at other events (like pre or post wedding events)? Just an option or you may have a lot of people declining.

Post # 28
14055 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

We had an adults only affair.  We had no drama, no push-back, and only one surprise kid issue (the couple was traveling from another country, and wouldn’t be able to attend otherwise, so we were fine accomodating them). We did not indicate “adults only” on the invitation, but rather, addressed the envelopes only to those who were invited.  I have no kids, so this is a non-parent POV. 

Post # 30
114 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2000

I only invited children who were relations To my wedding. I wanted them there because they are family. Other children were simply not on the invitation. My venue simply didn’t have room for a play or nap area. This caused no problems. I love weddings with kids but I realize not all venues or reception styles are appropriate for them. The last wedding we went to our kids were left behind.    They would’ve been bored out of their minds!  They knew no one there. Why bring them?

Post # 31
14024 posts
Honey Beekeeper

It absolutely would not offend me if my children were not invited. There’s nothing wrong with having a child free wedding. 

In many  cases, I’d be more likely to side eye the choice to have a destination wedding.  To me, it can be  like saying that the place is more important than having guests be able to attend. Putting that aside, as a parent,  I would be mildly put off  if the title words were on the invitation itself.  An invitation is supposed   to invite, not exclude. 

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