Planning an adults-only wedding? How to say no to kids

A picture of children and other wedding guests
This is something we get asked all the time, how do we communicate we don’t children at our wedding?


Deciding on a family-friendly or adults-only wedding is a really tricky part of wedding planning. If you’ve decided to go the no-kids route, communicating your wishes can be awkward and uncomfortable – but we have a few ideas that make breaking the news a little easier.


Have a chat first

As soon as you’ve decided to not have kids at your wedding start casually mentioning your choice to your loved ones. If you think a particular friend or family member may take the news badly, hop on the phone and have a chat. Explain your situation and communicate your wishes, and the great majority of people will be understanding.


Give plenty of notice

Give wedding guests plenty of notice if you’re planning to have an adults-only celebration. It’ a good idea to add a note on your Save the Dates addressing your choice. The more notice you give, the better the likelihood that parents can find babysitting or make other arrangements for their little ones.


Get specific with how you address the invitation

Be very clear about who is invited by addressing the invitation using exact names. It’s a good idea to pre-fill names on the RSVP card too so there can be no confusion about who is on the guest list. Etiquette dictates that those named are the only ones invited, so don’t be vague.


Not sure how to word it?

The trickiest part of the whole no-kids deal is wording it as gently and as kindly as possible – after all, we’re dealing with little humans and the people who love them. My best advice is to have a chat to your stationer about the right wording to choose, but something along the lines of the following always work a treat.


Although we adore your little ones, this is an adults-only affair.

We love your kids but thought you might enjoy a night off. Book a babysitter and get ready to party!

We’d like to give all of our guests the opportunity to relax and let their hair down away from little eyes and little ears. For that reason our reception is adults-only.

We hope you’ll join us at an adults-only reception that will immediately following the ceremony

We plan to celebrate into the night and hope you do too. So sweet dreams to those under 16.



The choice is yours

One important thing to remember is that you can’t please everyone, and there will likely be people who are a little miffed by your choice. But, ultimately, it’s your choice. It’s your wedding, so stick to your guns and celebrate the way you want to.


If you had an adults-only wedding we’d love to hear about your experience breaking the news to friends and family. Share your story with us on our socials.