Photo by Charmaine Mallari
Not inviting kids to your wedding? Who you do and don't invite to your wedding is completely your choice, and it's very common nowadays for weddings to be adults-only. Here's how to politely let your guests know that they can hire a babysitter for the evening.
1. Carefully address your invitations
Instead of putting "The Smith Family" on your envelopes, write "Mr. John and Mrs. Jane Smith." That way, John and Jane will know that the invitation is for them and not their children. If you have the time, you can go one step further by pre-filling John and Jane's names on their RSVP card by hand. If you're using a wedding website instead, make sure the drop down or check box lists their names only.
This is the most common way of saying "no kids" on your wedding invitations, and it's considered polite since you're not saying it explicitly.
2. Say "Adults Only" on your wedding website
Your wedding website is a great place to put something that etiquette dictates you should add to your wedding invitations. Be sure to focus on the positive - "Adults Only" - rather than the negative - "No Kids Please" - which can come off as rude.
3. Call anyone who doesn't get the memo
I followed the careful addressing method on my wedding invitations, and one family RSVPed with their children's names anyway. Being the non-confrontational type, I didn't say anything and made the extra room.
From experience I can say: Don't do this! This is your day and however you and your partner decide to celebrate it is up to you. I ended up feeling bad all night for the families who did respect our wishes and hired a babysitter. I know it can be an expensive night out for them, and I wondered if they were looking at the family who brought their kids, wondering what special privilege we were willing to extend their way.
If someone doesn't get the memo, give them a call and politely explain that your wedding is adults-only. Be prepared for some pushback. If this terrifies you, assign the job to your fiancé, or your mother or father/mother-in-law or father-in-law (whoever is closest to the family).
Good luck, be brave, and enjoy the wedding planning process! Keep a level head and remember that families are used to checking whether or not their kids are welcome at certain events.
Next, check out how to word your wedding invitations for all other invitation wording questions.