(Closed) Request no children at the wedding????

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
493 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

My family spread the word, and we printed “Please make childcare arrangements” on the RSVP card.  No one brought their kids.  

Post # 4
1667 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I like Jennis idea, we aren’t having kids either and are specifically only inviting Mr. and Mrs. Soinso, not “and family”, so hopefully people will take the hint, but I like the please make childcare arrangements thing.

Post # 5
311 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

We are putting “Adult Reception” on my invites and spreading word around prior to the wedding. We can not afford everyones children as much as we would like. Even then, there is something special about having just adults celebrate with you on your day. I went to a wedding recently who allowed children and it was insane! There were kids running around on the dance floor when the couple had their first dance! (and no, their parents didnt stop them but that is another story) You could tell the photographer was annoyed but what could she do?! I def like the idea of putting “please make child care arrangements”

Post # 6
16213 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Don’t include children’s names on the invites and definitely spread through word of mouth that there’s an age limit.

Post # 7
671 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

We had no children at our wedding and here is what we did…

1.  We did not put children’s names on the envelope (outside and inside, if you are having both).  In your case, if you want children that are 12 or older, I’d put their name on the envelope(s) and not put the younger children’s names.  This is a subtle way to let the parents know who is invited and who is not. 

2.  Also inside the invitation, on our insert card, we wrote that childcare would be available.  This is another subtle way to tell people that their kids are not invited — but you are doing everything you can to accomodate the parents and make life easier for them.  We had our childcare in a hotel room less than a block away from the restaurant where our reception was being held.  It worked beautifully. 

Good luck!! 

Post # 8
837 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

You can’t tell people who’s NOT invited.  Address the envelopes to those actually invited and on your response card write the names of those invited and how many seats are reserved. 

Post # 9
90 posts
Worker bee

Good luck!  My Maid/Matron of Honor insisted on bringing her baby, so there went my child free wedding.  I did get the opportunity to put together super cute goodie bag/activitie bags for the kids.  In retrospect it wasn’t the end of the world, no babies cried in our reception, and the kids meals were cheep cheep cheep!  Too bad I couldn’t have had childrens meals for everyone:)

Post # 10
1545 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I know what we will be doing is wrong but my BFF gave me this great idea. My Future Sister-In-Law will have two kids by our wedding one that will be 5 and one that will be turning 1. Those are my nephews and I want them at the wedding and I do not care if they other guest get mad that they are there.I love them very dearly and want them apart of our big day. But I am adding a sticker (kinda like the clear label) at the bottom of the invitations that says Adult Wedding please no children under 12 on certain invites. My friend did this and it worked for her. The ones that didnt bring their kids had a great time. She did not put this on a few peoples invites and it really did work on good. The ones that had children did not go to the ceremony just the reception and there wasnt little kids running around. I am thinking that I will have maybe 5 at the most there under 12. We have a few friends that already said they didnt want to bring their kids they wanted to have a night out so I know they wont mind.

Post # 13
1645 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

We had a daytime wedding, which is def. different than a more formal evening affair. I wanted kids, and made goodie bags for the kids with snack, juice box, activity book, bubbles, toys, etc… It was a huge hit. And there was a playground right nextdoor, which some of the parents took their kids to after eating.


I think your Maid/Matron of Honor bringing a baby is a little different than bringing older kids, who are clearly able to be away from mom for a while. I’m glad it worked out, but personally I think you could have made an exception to the rule for her instead of changing it, without offending too many people. I know several couple’s who have allowed babies to attend a child-free wedding so mom didn’t have to leave the baby for very long.

Post # 14
90 posts
Worker bee

@mrstilly.  I was upset at the time.  The baby was 6 months old and my Maid/Matron of Honor did have childcare options.  She was a maidzilla, and even at one point stated my ceremony interferred with her feeding time and asked me if I could change it.  I was only really concerned about the ceremony which was 30 minutes and requested the baby did not attend.  I did not feel this was a huge request… but the baby showed up at the cermony.  I was so upset at first, but hindsight is 20/20.  I have an amazing picture of my Maid/Matron of Honor and her little girl taken right before we walked down the aisle.  The baby did not make any noise during the cermony.  I am thankful for that and I think it influences my feelings about things now.  Had the baby cryed during our vows, I think I would have been pretty upset.  That being said, I firmly understand now that our wedding celebrated much more than just us, but all of the people who have made us the people we are today.  My Maid/Matron of Honor is one of those special people.  I think a lot of my pre-wedding fears were a little selfish and silly looking back on things.  Our wedding was a fantastic day, and part of what made it fantastic was that the guests were happy that we had been thoughtful of them. 

I can understand people not wanting children at weddings, but each case is different.  For us, our out of town guests with children would have been hugely put out if we had requested that they did not bring their children.  Childcare arrangements would have been very challanging for these people, and an added expense when they already are spending a lot of money to attend our wedding.  If we would have allowed only some children, that would have been very difficult for other guests.  Thankfully we only had 7 children that attended our wedding, and they were all very well behaved.  The venue we had our wedding at provided a childs meal for $7 (that was super tasty) and I spent maybe $5 per child on some activities that I put in a chinese take out box that matched our wedding colors.  The kids were all super excited for some new toys and played with them throughout the wedding reception. 

Had there been the potential for 20+ children I might have found an alternative such as a childs room at the venue.  I actually looked into doing this, and it would have only cost about $200 for 4 babysitters and the venue would have provided a spare room for free with a TV/DVD player.  I know this may not work for everyone, but guests would be very happy that they did not have to source their own childcare in a strange city. 



Post # 15
544 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I also added a note to our wedding website on a page called Childfree. It reads As our wedding and reception are intended as evening & adult only events, we request you leave your young ones at home. Please contact us with any questions!

Post # 16
7173 posts
Busy Beekeeper

You can do several things:

1.  Start spreading the news verbally (in your conversations about the wedding with those families).

2.  Address the invites to just the parents.  

3.  Include a space on your RSVP card with the number of seats reserved for that guest

4.  Include “Adult Only Reception” on the reception card

Good luck!  I was surprised with how many hurt feelings there were over my decision to not have kids… brace yourself for the unexpected decline because parents are offended their child was not invited….

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