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?

Let’s Hear it for the Boys

This one’s for the boys! The groomsmen are an important part of the wedding, and likely a very important part of your groom’s life. You want to make sure they know how valued and appreciated their presence is, so why not get them a gift as awesome as they are? Shopping for men is actually pretty easy. My dad used to always say that a gift was good if he “needed it, wanted it or could use it.” While I agree, I think an easier set of trends can be applied to shopping for men: Utility. Men love practical things! They aren’t as taken by pretty things as women and would prefer a gift with a purpose besides just looking good. Think a personalized knife or some type of tool or utility card–they’ll love showing it off whenever they use it!

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Alcohol. Men like their alcohol. My fiancé and his friends are whiskey men, my dad likes tequila and my best friend’s man is a gin fan. Point: lots of options! Try to stick with the drink you know they’ll like and you get bonus points if you know their favorite brands. If you don’t know a specific brand they like but you know the type of drink they like, find one you think they’ll like! Maybe they’ll like trying something new! If you really don’t even know which drink to start with, try a monogramed flask for a no-fail gift!

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Hobbies. If you know they guys love doing something together, why not get them something special for their hobbies? If they’re all huge baseball fans or played little league together, get them personalized commemorative bats. My fiancé and his friends love golf, so I think new head covers or a commemorative ball marker would be a fun favor idea for them.

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Do you have any other ideas when it comes to awesome groomsmen gifts?

Top-Notch Thank-You Notes

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The showering of gifts that come with a wedding can be exciting and fun, until you think about all the thank-you notes you have to write. Then it starts to seem overwhelming. How do I write them? What do I say? The questions regarding etiquette and tact can be crippling, at first. To help calm any anxiety, I’ve put together a few tips and tricks for sailing through all those thank-you’s with gracious ease!

Who Writes What? The bride should be sure to handle all thank-you notes for gifts from the bridal shower, while the bride and the groom can share in the responsibility for gifts from the engagement party and wedding.

What Do We Write? The most important thing to remember when setting out to write your thank-you notes is to be sincere and gracious. Mentioning the gift by name will help in this matter, as well as talking about you will use it. Guests love to know that their gifts will be useful to you.

Money Talk. When writing a thank-you note for monetary gifts, simply express your gratitude and how you plan to use it. There is no need to discuss the amount, just mentioning what it will be put towards will suffice.

How Much Time Do We Have? To avoid getting swamped by all the notes you have to write, it’s best to write thank-you notes as the gifts arrive. A good rule of thumb is to give yourself between two and three weeks to write thank you notes for the gifts you receive before or after the wedding. For gifts given on the wedding day, you can theoretically take up to three months because they are likely to be shuffled around more and take longer to get to you.

Wedding Presence. For guests who didn’t give a physical gift but went out of their way or traveled a good distance to celebrate, you should still write a note. Let them know how much you enjoyed having them there and that you couldn’t imagine your day without them. They want to know that their presence was appreciated.

Can We Use Preprinted Notes? Thank-you notes regarding wedding gifts and activities should really be handwritten and heartfelt. With an event as personal as a wedding, guests want to hear from you personally.

Should We Thank Vendors? While it is not necessary, feel free, especially if you feel they did a great job! Vendors also love appreciation just as much as your guests do, and those notes make great testimonials for future clients to consider.