If you're hosting an adults-only wedding, you've probably realized that it can be a sensitive topic. It can be tricky to find a balance between clearly stating who isn't invited while still being sensitive to your guests' feelings.
I've compiled my favorite ways to both imply and directly state that children aren't invited to your wedding celebration for you, so your invitations are clear and polite!
The first place that you can clarify who is invited to your wedding is on the envelope for both your save the date and invitation. This is also a great tip if you are having trouble clarifying plus ones!
How you address your wedding invitation can help to specify exactly who is invited, but sometimes guests dispose of these before reading them. Additionally, it can be difficult to address an invitation to a family in which some adult children are invited, but young kids are not. A solution for both of these is to specify the number of reserved seats on your RSVP card. On most RSVP cards you will see the phrase, "We have reserved __ seats in your honor". Fill in this blank before you send out the invitation! This is where you will specify how many guests in this household are invited.
Stating it on the invitation
If you are still concerned about certain guests not getting the memo about it being a child-free wedding, the best option is to state it outright on the invitation. A great way to do this on a traditional invitation is to state, "Adult-only reception to follow," after the wedding details. The one catch about this wording: a guest could potentially believe that their child was still invited to the ceremony, as long as they don't attend the reception.
On your Wedding Website
While I believe that all of the most important information about your wedding day should be on your invitation suite, your wedding website is the perfect spot for explaining that your wedding is going to be child-free. Most wedding websites will have an FAQ page, and the very first question should be, "Are my kids invited?" There are tons of respectful ways that you can answer this, but these are my two favorites:
A GREAT ALTERNATIVE?
Regardless of how politely you state that children are not invited to celebrate with you at your wedding, there's a chance that someone will be upset. It can be difficult to find a sitter, or maybe they weren't planning on the extra expense, or don't feel comfortable traveling without their children.
A fantastic solution to this, which still allows you to have your child-free wedding, is to hire your own sitters! If your guests are booking a room block at a hotel near your wedding venue you can book extra rooms or conference space for all of the kids and some trusted sitters for the evening. Order them some pizza and cupcakes, and they can have their own party that doesn't interfere with your adults-only event. While it does put an added expense on you, it is a fantastic service to offer for friends and family who have children that aren't able to attend.
For some couples, hosting a wedding that is adults-only is very important, but it can be a tricky world to navigate. Including consistent language throughout your wedding invitation suite and on your wedding website is key to avoiding any unwanted guests at your wedding.
While every wedding is unique and should be handled as such, I hope that my guide helps to limit the stress around clarifying your wishes to your guests!