How to Tell Guests You’re Having a Kid-Free Wedding

May 21, 2019
By: Marquee Event Rentals

It's not uncommon for weddings to be kid-free. Our event rental experts put together some tried and true ways to thoughtfully share the news.

Having a kid-free wedding is not uncommon. Former wedding planner and contributor Sandy Malone said, “At least half of the weddings I've planned have been ‘adults-only.’” Higher costs, venue restrictions, and personal preference are just a few reasons couples choose to have a child-free wedding.

With a little pre-planning and careful wording, couples can express their wishes in a way that minimizes pushback from parents. Here some tips from the wedding event rental professionals at Marquee:

First, decide how kid-free your wedding will be. Are kids prohibited from the reception and the ceremony, or just the ceremony?

Define the age of an adult (18 and older or 21 and over). Some couples allow older children and welcome those ages 12 and up.

Once you’ve committed to your decision, explain it clearly in the invitation and on the wedding website, event page, etc. Here are a few ways to politely say, “No kids allowed.”

  • This event is strictly 21+
  • Adults-only wedding and reception
  • This invitation is extended to adults only
  • Due to venue restrictions, no guests under 21
  • By management request - no guests under 18
  • Parental advisory: explicit dance music will be played, colorful stories will be told - this is an adults-only affair.
  • Due to our large extended family, we’ve decided to limit our invite list to guests 12 and older, we appreciate your understanding.

Stand by your decision, even if you receive negative feedback. Your wedding, by definition, is a personal celebration.

6 Additional Tips for Planning a Child-Free Wedding

  1. To prevent confusion and hurt feelings, include specific guest names on the RSVP. Using a fill-in-the-blank RSVP may lead to a difficult conversation between you and a couple who RSVP’d for their entire family.
  2. On your wedding website or event page, include a list of recommended childcare providers or nannies alongside information about the event dress code and places to stay. This is helpful for parents and subtle reinforcement of your policy.
  3. If you plan to have a flower girl and a ring-bearer, be prepared to address why you made an exception for these children and not others.
  4. Decide in advance how you’ll respond if a close friend suddenly says they can’t attend because their childcare fell through at the last minute.
  5. Consider hosting a separate event where children are welcome, such as a brunch or picnic. This can be a nice way to keep the peace.
  6. Most couples make an exception for nursing mothers. If you know a new mom, contact her personally to let her know she’s welcome to bring her little one.

Wedding Event Rentals from the Wedding Experts
Marquee Event Rentals has helped thousands of couples celebrate their special day. We’re happy to answer any questions you have about planning a wedding in Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Austin, Dallas, or San Antonio.

You can also review our helpful wedding planning checklist, learn how to choose the best tent for a wedding, or browse our wedding event photo gallery for decor ideas.