How to Politely Exclude Kids From Your Wedding

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Wedding Blog

Wedding planning insights from the experts.

How to Politely Exclude Kids From Your Wedding

Kathryn Draney

It can be difficult to decide whether or not you'd like to have children at your wedding. Whether you already have your own children, or are close to the kids of your friends and family, it can be controversial if you decide to throw an adults only event. Some of your guests may be upset that their children are not able to attend. Some may be upset that they will need to find child care. But when it comes down to it, it's YOUR big day, and if you'd like to omit children from the party, you should! Child-free weddings and receptions can be less stressful on you and your fiance because there is a smaller chance of hiccups or unexpected tantrums. You've probably seen a flower girl walking the wrong way down the aisle, or a ring bearer dropping the pillow. Some kids burn out quickly during the wedding reception, meaning parents (your friends) may have to leave the party early. Here are some ways to politely inform your guests that kids should stay home. Just remember - if you say "No Kids!" but make exceptions for a few favorites, other parents may be upset.

  • State on your invitations that little ones are not included. Phrases such as “Adults Only Celebration Please” or “Date Night - Enjoy the Night Without the Kids!” are sweetened ways to say "No Kids!"
  • If you receive any pushback from relatives or friends, politely explain that you and your fiancé prefer to have an adult atmosphere and that it won’t be appropriate for kids. You can also let them know it would mean the world to you to have them attend but that you understand if that’s not an option. Place the decision on them of whether they choose to come or not.

  • Some couples don't want to have kids present during the ceremony, but don’t mind having the kids at the reception. If this sounds like a good middle ground, you can let the families with children know that their kids are invited to the reception, but that it will be an Adults Only Ceremony.
  • If childcare is an issue, you can offer to hire a nanny/sitter for the children and reserve a room at the hotel you’re using so that the kids are safe. This way you’ve provided an alternative so the parents don’t have to choose between attending the wedding and watching their kids.
  • If all other options don't "work" for your family and friends, you can reserve a separate smaller room at your venue. Have the nanny/sitter watch the attending kids there, and supply a craft table, kids food, and even a movie to keep them entertained (and close to mom and dad).

It is your right, as the couple getting married, to tell your guests not to bring children to your wedding. Be polite, yet firm in your request. It's important that you don't budge for a few special friends, because if you say "No Kids!" but make exceptions for a few favorites, other parents may be upset.

Have your wedding your way - even if it means not having children present!