Download a free venue comparison spreadsheet
Wedspiration > Advice > How to tell guests their kids aren’t invited to your wedding
Advice
How to tell guests their kids aren’t invited to your wedding
Delicately, that’s how. We’ve shared some advice on how to ask your guests to leave the little ones at home, as well as some alternate ideas that might work for your wedding. Check it out.
Alex Marks Photography
ABOUT
heart
Words by Amy Parfett
date
6 February 2017
SHARE
Pinterest

Because this ↑ is the only throw-down you want to see at a wedding. ‘Bride-worm’ via Alex Marks Photography.

 

We get it. It’s not that you don’t like kids. You probably love them. You might even be planning on having your own one day.

It’s just that you kind of don’t want them at your wedding. There, we said it.

You are not alone here. We like to think this desire to have a wedding without kids comes from a selfless place. You want your guests to have a ‘night off’ to let their hair down with no responsibilities, and just enjoy the moment with total freedom.

But if we’re honest, there’s a probably an itty-bitty part of you that wants your friends to party without the distraction of parenting, the same way you used to when you were all child-free. We’ll be the first to admit we’re slowly raising a hand.

Often, there are valid reasons why it may be wise to ask your guests to leave their children at home, for example, if you’re getting married on a property that has potential hazards. Farms and wineries often have deep dams, barbed wire fences and possibly dangerous animals.

Most venues also have a maximum number of guests that they will allow, and you may not have enough room to have all your friends and family attend, let alone guest’s children.

Ultimately, it’s your big day and you call the shots. But understandably, you don’t want to be a dick about it, so we decided to share some advice on how to delicately tackle this topic.

How to word it

A simple and clear message on your save-the-date, invitation or wedding website is all you need. Think along the following lines:

As much as we love small humans (especially yours), our venue won’t be suitable for the little ones. We kindly ask that you leave kids with a sitter and enjoy a night off on us.

Do

  • Remember this is your wedding and your guest list is up to you – kids or not kids. Don’t feel guilty. In the end, your parent-guests will forgive you. They may just have forgotten what it’s like to be in your shoes.
  • Consider organising a babysitter for your guest’s children, particularly if you’re having a destination wedding. It makes sense that they’ll want to bring their kids along, particularly if it’s a long weekend, so a good way to keep everyone happy is to hire a sitter or two to mind all the youngsters at a designated house.
  • Be considerate and know that there are exceptions. Fresh bubs need their mums, especially if they are being breastfed. Don’t ask your friend to choose between your wedding and her newborn (because you will not like the outcome, and also this is a shitty friend thing to do). Also, if your friend has a child that is disabled or high-need, again, understand that they may be reluctant to leave them with care (and they also may not be able to find the appropriate care needed).
  • Know that it doesn’t need to be a one-size-fits-all. For example, you can opt to have your siblings kids attend but not other guest’s kids. Just don’t break your own rule and allow only some nieces and nephews to attend but not others unless you are ready to start a family war. We advise against this in the lead-up to your wedding.

Don’t:

  • Just print ‘Adults only’ on the invitation. This is your wedding, not a clothing-optional Carribbean swingers resort. It sounds kind of smutty and weird. If you’re conscious of text-space on your invitation, perhaps soften it to something like ‘A respectfully adults-only reception’.
  • Go on and on and on about your decision to have a child-free wedding on your invitations. Keep your message succinct and to the point – your friends and family already know how much you love their darling munchkins, and respect their choice to become parents, and wish you could have all the orphaned children of all the third-world nations join in your big day. It does no good to rattle on about it; in fact it makes things feel awkward and fake.

An alternative

  • Allow kids at the wedding but employ a nanny service to look after them and keep them entertained for the day and evening. You could consider allowing them to attend the ceremony so that they feel involved and then have the nanny service round up all the littlies and take them to a separate room or area at your venue while the parents enjoy the reception care-free. This is also a great way to still have a flower girl (or boy) and page boy (or girl).

 

Coming soon: how to keep kids at weddings entertained (because let’s face it, they are cute)

Other Advice articles
View all articles arrow right
the-rising-trend-of-wedding-content-creators

Advice

The Rising Trend of Wedding Content Creators

Wedding content creators - who are these mysterious new, iPhone wielding wedding vendors? What exactly do they do? Do you need one? What are the costs involved? Recently married writer Sophie Jay Nelson explains this fast emerging 2024 wedding trend.
wedding wines

Advice

The Ultimate Wine Guide For Every Wedding Season: What Wines To Serve (And How Much)

Sure, weddings are first and foremost about love but they’re also about showing guests a good time and there’s a fair assumption that there will be wine served – and plenty of it. Hence we’ve put together our ultimate wine guide that covers what wines are most suited to the season you’re getting married in and how to calculate how much wine you will need to ensure no one is left feeling thirsty.
wedding tax my debunked

Advice

OPINION: Does The ‘Wedding Tax’ Actually Exist? Yes (And No)

Something you should know about the wedding industry: it’s full of legends. Not people who want to skim off the top of their couples. Here we shed light on why the wedding tax is a myth.
outdoor wedding

Advice

Planning An Outdoor Wedding? Read This.

What could be more romantic and magical than an open-air soiree with your loved ones? Outdoor weddings are hard to top – if the conditions are right. Read on to learn how to choose the location and timing of your alfresco wedding, along with a host of other top tips.
Articles you might like
real-wedding-molly-josh-willow-farm-berry

Real Weddings

REAL WEDDING: Molly + Josh - Willow Farm Berry

This south coast wedding deserves a place on everyone's Pinterest. Keeping things fun-yet-still-fancy, this couple's stylish celebration at Willow Farm Berry was as sweet and heartwarming as their love story. Check it out.

Inspiration

24 Best Short Wedding Dresses of 2024

For any bride wanting to make a fashion statement in 2024, short wedding dresses are it. From structured bodices and puffball-inspired skirts to classic, strapless silhouettes any style goes. What matters is the length of the hemline.
what-to-do-if-youre-second-guessing-your-wedding-dress

Advice

What To Do If You’re Second-Guessing Your Wedding Dress

We love pizza but if we were to eat it everyday, the infatuation we have for this classic culinary delight would fade pretty fast. It’s the same with wedding dresses – you look at the same garment every day for months and it eventually becomes less palatable. If you’re second-guessing your wedding dress, you must read this.

Honeymoons

Best Pet-Friendly Honeymoon Airbnbs

There’s a reason people have pets – they are loyal and loving companions and for some a honeymoon wouldn’t be the same without them. Here are Australia’s best pet-friendly honeymoon airbnbs.
Looking for more ideas?
We’ve brought together advice, articles, and inspiration on our Wedspiration to help you find your feet.