To invite children or not to invite children that is the question…
Do you plan on inviting children to your wedding?  This topic is a widely debated subject.  But ultimately, the choice is up to the bride and groom.  But if you do plan on NOT inviting children to your wedding, here are some ways you can do it without sounding harsh or inconsiderate.
Children-at-weddings

Somewhat subtle… 
If you are wanting to be subtle then the best way is to address the invitation to the adults only.   Also, you should only add the names to the RSVP card that you are inviting.
This way does put you at risk because some guests may assume that the kids are “automatically” included like a package deal.  Which can lead to some type of drama if the parents find out last minute that kids aren’t invited or they actually end up bringing their kids to the wedding.  You may want to confirm verbally with the guests that have children that they are not to attend.
Straight to the point…
Being direct with your guests on the invitation leads to no confusion.   You would want to address the “no children” somewhere on your invitation or RSVP card indicate that children are not invited to the wedding.  There are some options you can use any of the following ‘straight to the point’ statements:

  • No children
  • Adults only
  • Strictly no children please
  • Adult wedding and reception
  • Please respect our wishes for a child free reception
  • Adult only affair
  • This invitation is extended to adults only

Although this method is effective, beware some sensitive guests may find it rude.

children at weddings
Sugar coat it…
Let’s face it, you are going to have a bunch of people at your wedding that are ‘pro-children’ but you have made a decision not to invite children.   Your approach could be more delicate or something thoughtful perhaps:

  • In order to allow all guests, including parents, an evening of relaxation we have chosen for our wedding day to be an adult only occasion. We hope this advance notice means you are still able to share our big day and will enjoy having the evening off!
  • Children at the ceremony, we’d love them on the scene. Reception time, however, is an adult’s only theme.
  • To give all our guests the opportunity to let their hair down and have a good time without having to worry about little eyes and ears we politely request no children.
  • While we love to watch the children run and play, this is an adults only kind of day.
  • Sweet dreams to children under 16

The drawback is that this will take up a lot of room on your invitation or it may come at an extra cost to print out on an extra card.

It’s someone else’s decision…
Some wedding venues actually specify that no children are allowed.  If that happens to be the case with your venue, then try one of the following statements on your invitation:

  • Due to restrictions at our venue, children are not invited.
  • Management request no children under 16 (or whatever age this may be).
  • By request of management no children.
  • Regrettably children are unable to attend.

Choosing this way great because it lays blame on someone else,  while protecting you from the fire of any disgruntled guests!

Children at the ceremony not at the reception…
If you’re happy for children to attend the ceremony, just not the reception then you may want to try something like:

  • Children welcome at ceremony only.
  • Wedding ceremony followed by adult only reception.
  • Children are very welcome to attend the ceremony but the reception is an adults-only affair.
  • Children are welcome at the ceremony, however to allow all of our guests to enjoy an evening of relaxation, we respectfully advise that the reception is for adults only.

Good luck!
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