Questions for those of you who had a no kids wedding

posted 3 months ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
765 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

mrsssb :  I told people verbally and put it on my wedding website. Our rsvp form on the website also has space only for the invited guests. I guess I won’t know until after the wedding if it worked or not. 

Post # 18
2419 posts
Buzzing bee

We wound up doing online RSVPs, which prevented people from RSVPing for additional/uninvited guests.  It also allowed us to get more accurate data on food allergies/dietary restrictions which was very helpful – lots of food alleriges and dietrary restrictions in our crowd!

Post # 19
148 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2021 - City, State

weddingmaven :  I disagree wholeheartedly.

Such “etiquette” is archaic, especially in a modern era of assumptions and inobservance.  Many weddings are not childfree, and having one signals a change in the norm, which should absolutely be noted on an invitation.

Personally, I think if you’re having a childfree wedding, you should have a 100% childfree wedding.  Many parents may not complain to you, but it will be the one thing they talk about from your wedding “our kids weren’t good enough to go but there were some children allowed.” I know this from it being said to me by parents about a couple of different childfree weddings they attended. If you’re find with that, then it isn’t a concern. My opinion is mine alone. 🙂

Good luck bee!

Post # 20
512 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

We had a child free wedding (and were parents of a 1.5 year old at the time). We included it on our wedding website, and on the invitation, and also reached out to friends we knew might bring their children from out of town and arranged babysitters for them at the hotel. No one complained, and as far as I can tell, everyone had a wonderful time.  

Post # 21
2139 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

mrsssb :  This might be rude buuutttt… we had the calligrapher address invites to only those invited and then she also prefilled the rsvp card with only the invited named too… stopped any questions. 

Post # 22
246 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

We are having very limited children at our wedding. We decided our cut off was inviting our nieces and nephews, but that’s it. We invited 6 kids, only 4 are coming, and 2 if those are part of the bridal party. 

We didn’t have anything in our invitations, but the envelopes were addressed to just the adults, we started on the RSVP card how many seats were reserved, and had a line about not being able to accommodate people’s children on the wedding website. 

So far, one of my fiance’s cousins is miffed that her four children aren’t invited, but she hasnt said anything directly to us. She talked to her sister, and the sister told us about it.  We aren’t addressing it with her unless she brings it up to us directly. 

Post # 23
707 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2018 - UK

We had a completely child free wedding. Whilst I had heard of the etiquette of invites being inclusive, I also knew that not everyone would be aware of that, and that several people in our circle would probably bring their kids even if they weren’t named on the invite. We had a note on the invitation to say the event was adult only. The no-kid thing was hugely important to me, and was absolutely a hill I’d die on, so we wanted to make it clear from the offset.

For close family (my cousins, in this case), we spoke to them beforehand and let them know our decision and why we’d made it. They were totally fine with it. They arranged childcare and still attended.

We had one friend decline because he preferred to bring his children, which was totally fine – there were no hard feelings on either side. We also had a relative (husband’s cousin’s daughter) decline because of the decision. She made a bit of a snarky comment, but it didn’t bother us. 

Post # 24
1971 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

It’s rude to say no kids on an invite.

You address the invite to the parents & on the RSVP card you say how many seats you’ve allocated for them.

My sister got the message pretty quickly.  She called me as soon as she reserved the invite. 

No kids! We made exceptions for new born babies 

Post # 25
181 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

FutureMrsMcGinnis :  It’s not necessarily a “change in the norm.” What is normal can be a regional/social circles thing. I’ve been to many weddings and very few of them had children invited. My husband’s family, on the other hand, always has big family weddings.

OP – I would not put anything on the invitation, but address the invitation to the people who are invited as PP recommended. If you have people in your extended family who are good at spreading a message, you can also call them and let them know so they can help you to head off any questions/confusion. (I’m not suggesting that they should just randomly tell everyone, but my mother-in-law was able to do this when family members brought up booking hotel rooms for their kids at our a child-free wedding, etc.)


Post # 26
772 posts
Busy bee

mrsssb :  We addressed the invite to those who were invited and asked our parents to spread the word that we’d be having a child free wedding before invites went out. We also put one line on the website. We didn’t fill it with all the “We love your kids BUT we want you to have a night out blah blah blah” bullshit, we just said, “Adults only please” under “reception details”. We got zero crap about our decision (though we did get a few from far away guests with kids. They were gracious and didn’t imply that they COULD come with kids, likely they would have declined either way 

Post # 27
850 posts
Busy bee

Please do directly indicate that children are not invited, whether writing “adult reception to follow” on the invite, or “unfortunately children cannot be accomodated for” on the website, etc…something. 

Child-free weddings are not the norm from where I’m from. Babies/toddlers generally sit in laps, so expecting “reserved seats” to get the message across may not be totally clear to a family with one or two small children. Babies also don’t generally eat food prepared at the wedding, and many RSVPs are written in a way to take a headcount for caterers…another reason not putting babies/children on RSVPs isn’t as clear as some people seem to think it is. 

I understand the surface of “it’s rude to say who’s not invited”, but if it’s rude to tell them their kids aren’t invited, then it should be rude to not invite the kids. I just don’t get the logic behind feeling rude about telling parents not to bring their dependants, but then expecting them to read between the lines because you’re too ashamed to say it directly. 

To be clear, I’m not saying child-free weddings are rude or wrong, I just think it’s rude not to be clear about it and then hold it against someone who didn’t catch on to the lack of details. It drives me nuts when I get an invite that doesn’t specify children, because half of the time they don’t want kids, and the other half didn’t think they needed to mention them because it’s just assumed that I’ll bring them. So whether it’s child-free or child-friendly, please make it black and white. 

Post # 28
12127 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

kiram :  “I understand the surface of “it’s rude to say who’s not invited”, but if it’s rude to tell them their kids aren’t invited, then it should be rude to not invite the kids.”

That’s not the point and is a false conclusion. It’s not rude to say “adults only” because children should be included. It’s rude because it implies people are either so ignorant that they don’t know how to read or that they are too rude too care. 

An invitation comes to you, addressed by name. That’s who is invited. If people are really so worried, they can communicate directly or indirectly with the prime suspects to see if they need or assistance finding childcare. We’re not usually talking dozens of people here. 

Post # 29
1083 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

weddingmaven :  I second this. Specifically saying “adults only” implies the bride and groom assume the recipients are too stupid or ignorant to understand that a wedding invite addressed to just the adults means just the adults. Most people aren’t stupid. And on the off chance there is confusion, they will always clarify.

For reference, when we were considering if we were going to invite kids, we were planning on inviting “the x Family”. So instead of addressing to just the parents, it was going to be addressed to the whole family. That implies that kids are invited.

99% of parents understand that an invite addressed just to them is just for them.

We had someone make a big song and dance about not being able to bring their daughter to ours, huffing that her partner wouldn’t come and it would just be her. We said “sorry to hear about that – we will catch up with (her partner) at Christmas”. 

He’s coming. She just wanted to come on “her” terms. It wasn’t about the child, she’s just a Bitch with a capital C. Most people aren’t like that

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