The best etiquette for an “adult only” wedding.

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Written by Wendy Wharton

The best etiquette for an “adult only” wedding. 

While wedding planning is mostly fun and exciting, there will be tough decisions that you will have to make about your day.  Let’s face it, most people have an opinion about kids at a wedding and though they are entitled to that opinion, we want you to remember that this is YOUR wedding and you should set the stage for the most ideal day.  If that day includes children, then invite them and if it doesn’t include children, then don’t let parents, friends or society tell you what’s best!

So now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about the best ways to share the news with your guest and avoid hurt feelings or offense.

Put the information on your destination wedding website.

One of the biggest faux-pas in wedding planning is putting “adults only” on the invitations.  Not only does it look stern, but it changes the feel of the invitation for your guest.  Be sure to create your invitations to include space for only two names to be added on the R.S.V.P and add a little card with your wedding website URL inside. Make sure to add a little note, such as: “For more details on the day, check out our wedding website.”  Make sure to keep the wording on the wedding website light and airy and remind the guests that this will be a fun time, away from the children.  Something like, “We adore your children but due to venue limitations and some of the characters we have invited, this is an adult only event.”

Make sure everyone knows.

Hold a family meeting a.s.a.p. and as well connect with all of your wedding party and make sure they understand your decision to make the wedding “no kids” as soon as possible. People that maybe newer friends to the family, or Family members that just assume their children are welcome won’t ask at all or will ask your Parent’s, Siblings and Wedding Party if they can bring little ones. The last thing you want is a text from Aunt Audra saying “Cindy and Dale called and asked about the children and I told them to bring them.” Where do you go from there?

Stay Strong.

While there maybe some confusion for some, other’s may just want you to make an exception for their personal situation. “I know the website says no children, but I wonder if it is just okay to bring little Sam as we will be away for a few days before and we worry we are leaving him too much, I am sure you understand.” Close your eyes, take a deep breathe and then be firm. (If you can do this while also smiling, add that too) If the guest becomes angry or upset, just politely say: “We are very sorry for any inconvenience but we are not able to make any exceptions, and we look forward to joining us still.”

See if there is a way you can help your guest.

If you are planning an adults-only wedding and if you have the ability, it is very kind and thoughtful to help these guests find a solution. If you have many friends with children, you may want to see if any of the older children, may babysit for the smaller children.  You can also recommend a babysitting service that has good reviews, and if you really wanted to make your guests with children feel extra special, hire the babysitter for them. Maybe the children are babysat all in one hotel room or a separate room at your venue.

There will be some guests that just can’t attend, and that’s okay.

For a million reasons, (parents understand this) there will be people that just can not come without their children.  Illness, no babysitter, separation anxiety, special school or extracurricular events, or sports tournaments come up. Hopefully they let you know in advance they can’t make it, but if they don’t, make sure you don’t let their absence put a shadow on your incredible day.

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