Now that you’ve settled on your beautiful wedding venue and said yes to the dress, it’s time to settle in and begin creating your guest list and invitations for your special day.

So: what if you and your partner have both decided that you absolutely don’t want children at your wedding? You may be worried about how to tell your guests. While it is becoming more and more common for couples to choose an adults-only wedding, the difficult part always arises when you have to announce it.

First of all, you shouldn’t be nervous about it. After all, it’s your special day, so you should feel comfortable setting the rules. Sure, you may be met with some resistance by certain guests, but in the end, all you can hope for is that they understand and appreciate your wishes.

There’s a variety of ways that you can announce your adults-only wedding. Here are a few of the most effective methods that we have seen over the years.

Include It In The Invites

adults-only wedding invitation

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…Yes, include the no-children announcement in your gorgeous invites! You don’t necessarily need to write “YOUR CHILDREN AREN’T ALLOWED HERE” in big, bold letters. Instead, go with something a little more subtle like “adults-only ceremony and reception”.

You could also try something playful such as, “When the children are away, the adults will play” and then continue on to explain that it will be a kids-free day.

The point is: there are many tactful, beautifully-worded ways to set your adults-only rule in place. Take some time with it, and make sure it sounds gracious yet firm.

Clearly State Who’s Invited

This method will be a little more work for you, but it should save you a lot of headache and hassle, as it is very clear.

On your RSVPs, consider writing out exactly who is invited, as well as adding the exact number of seats that you’ve reserved for each specific household.

It should look something like this:

We have reserved ____ seats in your honor.

M ________________
  and M _______________

_____ will be attending
            _____ must regretfully decline

This way, your guests will understand that there are only a certain number of seats reserved for them. By writing in the clear, exact number of seats you’re reserved for the guest(s), there will be no question of if the children are invited.

Stick To Your Plan

adults-only wedding

Along the way, you may experience a few guests asking you to make exceptions for them and allow their kids to attend.

Don’t let this sway you. Stick to your plan. Politely explain to this person that while you’d love to have their children attend, you simply cannot make any exceptions because if you do it for them, you’ll have to make exceptions for others as well.

This may frustrate or anger some guests, but don’t let it get to you. Stay calm and continue to politely explain the situation to them. After spending months and months of planning—and not to mention money, time, and energy—for your wedding, it simply would not be fair to have your ceremony ruined by a noisy child. Even the most well-behaved kids have off days, and a wedding is not the place you want them to have it.

Anyone should be able to understand this.

Inform Those Closest To You

Your parents and very close relatives/friends will likely be points of contact for your guests as the wedding draws closer. A great way to ensure your guests know that it’s an adults-only wedding is by making sure your parents and close friends properly relay this message to them if they are asked.

For example, if Aunt Sally calls your mother and asks about bringing her youngest child, it’s very important for your mother to step in and help her understand your wishes. Your mother should not be coming back to you saying that she told Aunt Sally to go ahead and bring her child. That will only cause further grief to whoever has to fix that situation.

Talk with those closest to you and make sure you’re all on the same page and give a consistent message to guests.

Post It On Your Wedding Website

If you’ve decide to create a wedding website, it makes a perfect platform for an adults-only wedding announcement.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t rely solely on your wedding website to get the message out there. A lot of your guests probably won’t even look at your wedding website, so think of it as an assist; not the lone place to inform everyone.

Use it to kindly remind guests (again) that you are hosting an adults-only wedding. Make sure it’s clearly-written and in a very visible spot on your website. You can even include a link to a great babysitting service if you’d like.

Consider Offering Babysitting Help

hire a babysitter for adults-only wedding

Piggybacking off the last tip, it may be considerate and generous of you to provide babysitting options for your guests. This doesn’t mean that you should personally hire a babysitter for them, but as mentioned in the section above, it can be something as simple as including a link on your wedding website to a reputable babysitting company.

While you’re absolutely not required to offer this, you might ease some guests’ minds by helping to provide some babysitting options. Many people don’t ever use babysitters because they don’t trust anyone. But if you point them in the direction of a solid company, that could make all the difference.

You’ll simultaneously solve one of their problems and remind everyone (again) that it’s an adults-only wedding when they see you’re offering this.

Your guests should have plenty of time to find their own sitter, but giving them this option might put their minds at ease.

Just Remember…

Having an adults-only wedding can be a sensitive topic for certain guests. Some will automatically assume that they are the exception, so you will need to be on top of that as soon as you catch wind of it.

Be aware also that you might have some guests simply say no to attending. A no-children-allowed rule may be an absolute dealbreaker on their end—and if they confront you with it, simply explain your side and tell them that you wish they could be in attendance, but that you understand.

Finally, having an adults-only wedding is YOUR choice. You are spending the money to have the biggest celebration of your life. Most guests will respect that decision and will understand.

Good luck!