How to (Politely) Request a Child-Free Wedding

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Earlier this week, I was chatting with one of my best friends about a wedding she went to over the weekend. While the wedding was beautiful and she enjoyed being there for one of her oldest friend, she couldn’t help but note on the number of children in attendance, despite the bride’s wish that the event be adult-only.

This got us talking and thinking: how do you clearly and politely indicate to your guests that you do not wish to have children at your wedding?

This requires some finesse, as simply putting “Adult Only” on the invitation or reply card could be seen as a bit harsh.

If you want to be subtle, state that you have reserved enough seats only for the number of adults you are inviting. Traditionally, if you only address the invitation to the adults of the household, your guest will know that only the adults are invited (if children are invited, invitation should be addressed with “Name and family”). Be careful of being too subtle though, as some may bring their children anyway. To protect against this, try confirming with guests about their attendance and remind them of your request that they not bring their children.

To be more direct, include a note in the invitation suite that politely outlines your intentions for an adult-on occasion. While this method is more likely to give you the desired outcome, know that some people may be offended. But it’s your wedding, and this is what you want, so it’s ok (as long as you are gracious about it). State plainly that you want to ensure everyone has a good time without the stress of children and kindly ask that parents make care arrangements for their kids that night. Adding a little tact and finesse to your request will make your guests most likely to acquiesce.

Have you been to a wedding that requested no children? One with children? Which would you prefer for your own wedding?

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