Questions for those of you who had a no kids wedding

posted 2 weeks ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
427 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I didn’t have a no kid wedding but I have a close cousin who did recently.  She said she indicated the no kids on their website and still had people trying to include their kids.  Her venue didnt allow for kids and she didn’t want to have them anyway because they increase the numbers significantly which increases costs.  She also had a destination wedding and those that wanted to go went.  She often vented to me that people were still trying to bring their kids but she stood firm and in the end she had the wedding she wanted.  Those that were willing to leave their kids home did and those that didnt, didnt. 

Post # 3
116 posts
Blushing bee

1) I put 19+ event at the bottom of the invite

2) Yes, but mainly Mother-In-Law checking to see if so-and-so’s kid could come. We said no. 

3) I think that’s fine. Include a space for dietary issues but no space needed on the invite/rsvp page.

4) We had an FAQ on our website that said something like “are children invited? Unfortunately we cannot accomodate children.” Something simple. 

Personally I think if you are telling everyone it’s CHILD FREE then it should be free of all children. If you want to make exceptions for some children, I would just do your plan in #3 and name who you want to invite. As soon as you start adveriting it as child free and people show up and there are kids there I think they could get upset. A blanket rule with holes in it doesn’t cover well.

Post # 4
47154 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

1. I was taught that it is impolite to say who is NOT invited on the invitation, so we did not say “No Children” or “Adults Only”. We addressed the invitations by name to those who were invited. We indicated the number of seats they were allotted on the rsvp card (not necessary for online rsvp’s).

2. One couple asked about their children.We responded ” We are unable to accommodate children. If that means you will be unable to attend, we will miss you at the wedding.” They managed to find a sitter.

3. I would keep the comments section. If someone tries to add their children, you can respond by email given that they chose not to speak to you personally about it.

4. You could mention that you have chosen a child free or adult only wedding on the website.I would not call it a rule. It’s a choice, which you are entitled to make.

5. It is fine to have the only children be the ones in the wedding party.

Post # 5
88 posts
Worker bee

I did the same as above pp.

On my wedding website, it has an FAQ saying, “We love children, but we unfortunately cannot accomodate blah blah..”

Post # 7
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

First let me say I am sorry you felt obligated to invite people you didn’t want to the wedding, I feel it’s your special day and you should pick who you want to share it with regardless of who the people are, you have the rights to make your wedding perfect for you and if that includes no children then so be it! I am sure parents can find sitters or something and it would prob be a nice night away from kids anyways… and because it is YOUR wedding you have the right to choose who is in the wedding party even if that includes kids.. that doesn’t give a free pass for everyone else to bring theirs. A friends wedding that I went to had NO KIDS on their invites, and had an open space for songs for the DJ to play, they had 3 Kids in their wedding but once the ceremony portion was done, and about an hour after dinner was over the kids left, so the reception portion was completly child free

Post # 8
1321 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

We addressed our invites to specifically just the adults.  Our electronic RSVP system did not allow people to RSVP for more people than we designated, and we did not put a comment box on the RSVP so people couldn’t write anything in.  We also put something in the Q/A of our wedding website that says something like:

Q: Are children allowed to attend?

A: Unfortunately we are unable to accomodate children that are outside the bridal party.


We haven’t had any problems so far with that setup.

Post # 9
11646 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

mrsssb :  Any designation on the invitation is improper. Invitations are supposed to offer hospitality, not be exclusive. It’s considered rude to appear to think so little of your guests that you assume they do not know how to read an invitation, or that they would crash a wedding with uninvited guests. 

The proper way to handle is individually. If someone has the nerve to add additional guests, you can reply that you are sorry for any misunderstanding but the invitation was for the couple. You can either offer child care resources or say you’re sorry if it means they can’t attend. 

It is perfectly appropriate to include immediate family children only and not at all necessary that they be given roles in the wedding party to do so. Children, like other guests are quite often invited by category, for example siblings, nieces and nephews only. 

Contrary to popular belief, children in the wedding party are guests first and foremost who have been given a role. The role itself does not justify having them there at the exclusion of other children related in the same exact way. 

Post # 10
3309 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

We did a Q&A section on our wedding website and addressed it there. We just said that we were unable to accommodate children and understood if people couldn’t attend because of that.

We had one couple ask and just said that we weren’t having kids at the wedding. They didn’t make a big deal out of it.

We did paper and online RSVPS but nobody tried to add anybody.

Post # 11
2917 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

mrsssb :  Even though technically it’s rude for people to assume that their invite includes their children, a lot of people will assume that. And they might RSVP without mentioning the kids, thinking it’s not a big deal.. not everyone lives by tradtional ettiquette or sees that as being rude.

I would add something to your website stating no kids, and if someone asks you about the kids, just let them know it’s an adult only function.

The friends and family we have that have children were excited about a night out without kids, except Mother-In-Law who really wanted our nephew there… that took more than one “no”.

Post # 12
6900 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Traditionally etiquette dictates that only those who are listed on the address of the invitation are invited. Unfortunately etiquette is just one value that seems to be lacking as we move through generations. It used to be that putting “adults only” on the invitation wasn’t something that was considered proper, but sadly, now it’s almost what you have to do because the vast majority of people have NO CLUE about formal event etiquette. That coupled with the fact that many people in smaller towns are used to casual weddings where everyone is invited, it would just never cross their mind that their kids wouldn’t be.

I had a kid-free wedding and I’d do it again 100%.What we did:

  • Addressed the invite only to those two were invited.
  • The reception card read (in a pretty design to make it more like artwork) “Please join us for an adult evening of dinner, drinks & dancing”.
  • Lastly, the RSVP line read something similar to:
    • __2__ seats have been reserved in your honor.   Number attending:______

Everyone was invited as a couple or “and guest” if they were single, so pretty much every blank we wrote in “2” for the number invited.

We did have quiet a few family members that declined which was totally fine by me. Honestly I’ve found in all my years those who typically RSVP no over it being kid-free are people you aren’t that close with anyway. Not a single VIP declined over the kid issue. The people who did were family members we rarely if ever see and who were invited only out of obligation. The biggest regret I have is that we cut some people Darling Husband would have like to have been there (mostly his friends from growing up) due to space to accommodate his large family and they’re all the ones who declined. 

Post # 14
11646 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

mrsssb :  Again, why don’t you just invite all of your cousins without their children? You are assuming a rule about inviting all or no children that does not exist and never has. If you are consistent people have no justification to be upset. And if they are, that’s their problem. 

Post # 15
9097 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

we had a kids free wedding.  we invited people by name on the invitation. we had absolutely no issues.

DH’s cousin’s older 2 girls were flower girls.  the younger one hung out in a hotel room with the babysitter.  then the older 2 girls joined their sister. and i think the babysitter took the girls back to their house, while parents partied and stay overnight.


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