Adults only when most friends have kids

posted 2 years ago in Guests
Post # 16
7439 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I just responded to your other thread about feeling like your friends won’t be there for you when you get married because they’ve all “been there done that” and have kids now, so it will be inconvenient. My thoughts on this thread are that while you are 100% entitled to have a kids free wedding, this may prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy about the inconvenience.

If your friends are local and their kids are out of the baby stage, then it should be okay for them to get babysitters, but if you’re asking people to travel to your wedding and not inviting their kids – or if anyone is still breastfeeding – it might be logisticlaly impossible for them to attend a kid free wedding. In that case you could either make an exception and let those children attend, or just accept that they may have to decline.

Post # 17
2422 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

It’s not rude to have a child free wedding, but it may mean that those with young children will opt to not attend, and that isn’t rude either.


This happened to my husband’s cousin. Husband has a ton of first cousins all aged within a few years of each other (6 kids in the family, every one went on to have 3-4 kids within a few years of each other, leading to lots of first cousins close in age). Anyways, by the time the last cousin got married, each of his closest first cousins had young children. He and his wife wanted adults only and the wedding was about 5 hours away from where most of us lived. We all declined, not to be punitive, but because logistically it did not work out for us.


He then opened it up to kids, but I think all of us felt weird bringing them knowing that he and the bride would have really preferred to have adults only. My sister in law brought her kids and later said she wished she would have just declined altogether. But her cousin really wanted her (and the other cousins) there.

Post # 18
762 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015 - Backyard

The majority of my wedding guests had children, which would have meant 25% of the guests would have been kids (25 kids running around at my backyard wedding) and for that reason I limited it to babies under one year only. I believe proper etiquette dictates you must allow for potentially breastfeeding and/or young babies (one year or younger) and if other people aren’t able to or don’t want to find childcare for the evening then they’re allowed to rsvp no. Of course it’s trickier for an out of town wedding but I would still hold my ground. There are plenty of times in life when parents can and should have child free outings. 

Post # 19
10 posts
  • Wedding: November 2017

I would say if you are thinking of requiring your friends with kids to travel overnight or for the weekend it is a little rude to say no kids…I have a child and I feel a little insulted when people make such a huge deal about no children allowed. Especially if you end up having a flower girl or ring bearer because then you broke your own rule.

I personally think a child at a wedding is a little crazy because my child is crazy and we have not brought him to a wedding since he turned one and could walk and talk back! We are attending a wedding out of state this weekend and are not bringing him by choice. He was allowed to come but I cannot always control his behavior so I would hate for his actions to ruin someone else’s big day!

The only obstacle is having someone watch him overnight since we are travelling and it is hard to leave him! Most parents I know in this situation have only one parent attend while the other stays home with the child. Whoever is closer to the bride and groom attends…just something to think about that your friends might not come if their kids aren’t allowed.

Post # 20
2087 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

We had several out of town friends with kids and we would have gladly invited them, but none of our friends wanted to go through the hassle of bringing a child or multiple children on a weekend trip, involving planes and hotels when it was not a family vacation. The cost and inconvenience was just too much and it was much easier to leave them at home for 2 nights. I don’t know anyone with kids over toddler age who refuse to leave them for a few nights, no exceptions. I find that concept weird.

Post # 21
1845 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

Disclaimer: I totally get kid-free weddings. I don’t generally find small children wound up on sugar and tripping people on the dance floor to be cute. One of the most fun weddings I’ve been to was kid-free, and I loved it.


HOWEVER…if your friends are all in the having-kids stage of life, you have to accept the fact that a kid-free wedding means that a lot of them may not come. Especially if any of them have to travel. Baby sitters can be hard to come by (and expensive), since we no longer live in a world where everyone has a grandma/sister/cousin down the street to watch them. Plenty of babies do NOT do well with strangers. Plenty of parents (completely justifiably) do not want to leave their baby/small child with a strange babysitter provided by the bride and groom. 


In short, you have to decide what is more important: as many of your friends/loved ones coming as possible, or your vision of a childfree wedding. There is no right or wrong answer. 

Post # 22
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - Philadelphia, PA

 there is not one thing wrong with planning a child free wedding OR wedding planning BEFORE being engaged! You do whatever your heart desires! I came on this site to get helpful info for my wedding and get excited about the planning with other bride’s and it’s so sad to see people so negative and judgemental my goodness! 

Post # 23
10236 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

View original reply
Tiffany280 :  

“….and it’s so sad to see people so negative and judgemental my goodness!”

Where are you seeing this ?  

Post # 24
156 posts
Blushing bee

I love my child more than anything, they are my life. I am with them 24/7 because that is where I am happiest. However, I LOVE child-free weddings, personally to me they are adult-only events but even more than that I think they should be whatever the bride and groom want it to be. You don’t owe anyone an invite, if you don’t want children don’t have them bee x

Post # 25
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - Philadelphia, PA

View original reply
elderbee :  on most posts. I didn’t mean this one in particular 

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