- Wedding

Child-Free Weddings

Helping you to navigate the complexities of a child-free wedding

If you’ve read our previous article, “How to create a fun, child-friendly wedding” you’ll know that we are packed full of ideas of how you can make your wedding fun for the kids. 

But not everyone wants to focus on children during their big day. 

Some people prefer to have an adults-only wedding. 

We are experienced wedding and event planners, and we work across the UK. We’ve hosted many events where children are not invited, and we can help you navigate the complexities that may arise from your decision to have a child-free wedding. 

Choosing to host an adult-only wedding should be a choice made by the bride(s) or groom(s). Although others may have an opinion, there is no right or wrong answer. Ultimately, your day should be about you and your fiancée. 

If you are clear that you want to host a child-free wedding, we’ve pulled together some advice to help you politely tell your guests that their children are not invited to your wedding. 

The way you tell your guests is crucial

In our experience, most people will accept your decision to host an adult-only wedding. If there are any issues, this could be because the guest is expected to travel a long distance, or because they’ve had minimal notice to arrange childcare. We believe that the way you tell your guests that their child is not invited could be crucial to avoiding any unnecessary conflict with your loved ones. 

There are many different reasons why you may choose to limit the number of children at your wedding. Perhaps you only want to invite immediate family members only. Or maybe your venue is not a child-friendly wedding venue, and you feel it’s better for everyone that children are not there. 

To help you, we’ve collated some suggested statements that you can use on your wedding invitations to make it clear that you are hosting a child-free wedding. 

How to tell your guests that children are not invited to your wedding 

You may think that simply naming adults-only on your invitations makes it clear that children are not invited to your wedding. 

However, that can be ambiguous. 

In our experience, it’s best to offer a short statement outlining your decision at the bottom of your wedding invitation. You do not need to go into huge detail – one sentence is enough. 

Here are a few suggestions for how to tell your guests that children are not invited to your wedding. We’ve outlined a few suggestions across various scenarios – we hope that you find this helpful. 

You want a strict adult-only wedding

  • “We are sorry to say that we are unable to accommodate children at our wedding.”
  • “Please be aware that our wedding will be an adult-only occasion.”
  • “We are unable to invite children to our wedding. We appreciate this could be an inconvenience and we hope that you will still be able to attend.”
  • “We have decided to host an adult-only wedding.”

Confirming that you are only inviting certain children

  • “Due to guest and budget restrictions, we are only able to extend the invite to the children of close family or members of our wedding party.”
  • “Unfortunately, as much as we’d love to invite all of our friends’ children, we can only accommodate a few close family children.”
  • “We are only able to invite the children of immediate family to our wedding.”

You’re only inviting children to part of the wedding

  • “Children are welcome to attend the ceremony and early reception. However, from [time] onwards, the wedding will be adults-only.”
  • “Children outside immediate family/the bridal party are not invited for the ceremony. However, they are welcome to join us for the reception.”
  • “After the ceremony, please join us for an adult-only reception.”

Having a babes-in-arms decision

  • “Our wedding will be an adult-only event. However, you are welcome to bring children under 12 months.”

Letting your guests know that your wedding venue doesn’t allow children

  • “Unfortunately, due to restrictions at our venue, we cannot accommodate children.”
  • “Our venue has a strict no-under-18s policy. This means that we are unable to welcome to children to our wedding.”
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What NOT to say to guests if you are not inviting children to your wedding

You might feel that having a child-free wedding means that your guests can relax and let their hair down. While this may be true, you shouldn’t say this to your guests because it could come across as rude or patronising. 

You should also steer clear from saying “we thought you would appreciate a night away from the kids” because it could cause issues if your guests struggle to get a babysitter. 

Ideally, you should try to avoid mentioning that children are unwelcome or unwanted. 

If you are having a child-free wedding, you need to be sensitive that for some guests, not inviting their children could be a deal-breaker. They might not be able to attend if they haven’t got childcare readily available, or they are travelling a long distance that requires a hotel stay. 

If you can be mindful to your guests, you will have better relations with no hard feelings. 

Can you offer suggestions for wedding childcare options?

In some circumstances, you might be able to reduce some of the stress for parents by highlighting any wedding childcare options that could be available. 

Perhaps your wedding venue has a built-in babysitting service, or maybe you know of a local club or organisation that offers wedding childcare or creche services.  As the wedding party, you are under no obligation to pay for these services on behalf of your guests. However, being able to offer suggestions or alternatives to your guests will show that you are considerate and mindful of their needs. 

If you are looking for wedding childcare options, why not get in touch? As experienced wedding planners, we have a strong contact book of potential suppliers we could get in touch with on your behalf. 

Inspired Occasions are here to help you plan your perfect wedding

We hope that this guide has given you some ideas for how you can tell your guests that you are not inviting their children. If you need help or assistance in planning your wedding, please email info@inspired-occasions.co.uk 

We work across the UK, helping people to make their dream day become a reality. 

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