You want an adult-only celebration, but you aren’t sure how to say no to kids at a wedding – we hear it all the time at the Heritage Center!

It’s normal to feel conflicted when considering what you want for your special day and what guests might expect, especially when it comes to their kids. However, there’s nothing wrong with wanting only adults present, and it doesn’t mean you don’t adore the little ones in your life! We’ll share how to politely say no to children at a wedding so you can make your vision come to life without causing unnecessary discomfort.

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Bride and groom dancing together at a wedding reception

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Is It Rude To Have A No Kid Wedding?

In many cultures and traditions, weddings are considered family affairs. The idea of an adult-only wedding might be met with surprise or even resistance from guests who are used to bringing their kids along. Many parents expect to involve their children in the celebration, regardless of how young they are. Some could find it inconvenient because it means they must find a babysitter.

However, not meeting your guests’ expectations on this matter doesn’t mean sending a no kids wedding invitation is rude! As long as you ask respectfully, that is.

How To Politely Say No Kids At Wedding

When requesting friends and family leave their small children at home, leading with tact and sensitivity is essential. Acknowledge the potential impact and explain the reasons behind your decision. Telling your guests why you want an adult-only wedding could help them see it’s not personal – it’s about creating a specific ambiance or adhering to a tight wedding timeline. Once they have your point of view, they may be more understanding.

Here are a few tips for executing a memorable wedding theme of “no kids”:

  • Communicate Early In The Invitation Process
  • Be Clear And Consistent In Your Messaging
  • Address Concerns With Care
  • Provide Alternative Arrangements For Families

Communicate Early In The Invitation Process

Mention your desire to have only adults at your wedding as early as possible. Setting the expectation early will give parents plenty of time to make arrangements (and if anyone’s upset, they have time to come to terms with the rule).

Typically, you’ll send a “Save-the-Date” card several months to a year before your wedding. At that point, you can include adults-only wedding wording, giving friends and family a generous heads-up.

Remind guests about the policy by sending a no kids wedding invitation. Hopefully, they will have already secured childcare! But mentioning your request again ensures there are no surprises and you’ve done your due diligence.

Be Clear And Consistent In Your Messaging

Maintain clear and consistent messaging across all communications, from the save-the-date cards to the actual invitations. For example, if you communicate your request on the save-the-date and then say something like, “We can’t wait to celebrate with everyone!” on the invitation, guests might assume you mean everyone.

You can eliminate the confusion by repeating the polite message on your save-the-date and precluding it with “As a reminder…” There’s no room for misunderstanding or last-minute surprises this way!

Address Concerns With Care

A few friends or family members will likely call you to ask questions or voice their concerns. Maintain your consistent, polite, and respectful messaging by empathizing with guests and reiterating your point of view.

Begin by validating their feelings about your child-free wedding. Then, gently give the reasons behind your decision. You might mention that it does not reflect how you feel about their children but rather a choice that contributes to your ideal atmosphere. If relevant, provide any logistical reasons influencing your decision, such as venue capacity or the desire for a more formal event.

Provide Alternative Arrangements For Families

If possible, offer a solution to accommodate guests affected by the no-kids policy. The thoughtful gesture could remove the conflict altogether and make it easier for them to attend.

One option is to arrange group childcare service at a nearby establishment on the day of the event. Parents can have peace of mind knowing their children are in professional care, allowing them to fully enjoy a memorable wedding. They might even thank you in the end!

Wedding invitation

No Kids, Adults Only Wedding Wording Examples

Include a graceful note when you request the presence of your guests (but not their kids). Here are a few suggestions for how to nicely say no kids at wedding, ranging from casual to playful and more formal:

  • “While we adore your little ones, please note that our wedding ceremony and reception will be adults only.”
  • “Please join us for an adults-only evening as we celebrate our wedding.”
  • “Adults-only party ahead! We hope you can join us for the celebration.”
  • “Sorry, kids, this one’s just for the grown-ups! Join us for an adults-only celebration.”
  • “While we love your little ones, this celebration is for adults only. Let’s have some fun!”
  • “Join us for a day filled with love, laughter, and celebration! While we adore children, we’ve decided to host an adults-only wedding to allow everyone to relax and enjoy themselves.”
  • “In the garden of love, we’ll exchange vows and dance the night away. While fairies and elves are welcome, please note that our wedding will be adults-only.”

Alternatives To A Kid-Free Wedding

If you feel that a kid-free wedding would deter many guests from coming – or you want to involve children in some aspects, like dancing during the party entrance song or dollar dance – there are ways to meet in the middle.

For example, you could designate child-friendly areas where little ones can play with one another, do wedding-themed crafts, or just relax and watch a movie (while supervised, of course). This would be a great thing to ask a wedding planner about if you’re considering hiring one!

You might also consider hiring one or two childcare professionals, depending on how many children will be there. Parents can fully participate in the wedding without worrying about what their kids are getting into and check on them at any time.

A third option is to pick a wedding venue with an attached hotel, like the Heritage Center at Brooklyn Center. Parents can attend the wedding ceremony with their kids and bring them back to the room or pool to play during the reception. Or this could be where the childcare professional watches the kids – they will be close to their parents yet away from the event.

If you choose to use one of these kid-free alternatives, it might be a good idea to enlist the help of a day of wedding coordinator. They’ll help make sure everything goes according to plan!

Jacklyn and Adam kissing at a wedding reception

Tonya Hjort Photography

Have Your Minnesota Wedding Ceremony And Reception At The Heritage Center Of Brooklyn Center

If you want to have an adult-only wedding, the Heritage Center has got your back! Contact us today to start planning your unforgettable event – sans children.