Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wediquette: No Children Allowed!

How do you tell your guests that we are not inviting their children to our wedding? What will they say when they see our family members children there?

This can be a tricky one because some guests simply won't understand why their children are not invited - at the end of the day - its not your problem. If your wedding isn't child-friendly, do not spend time apologizing for it. Its an adult affair, end of story. Now, instead of the tacky "no children please" line at the bottom of the invitation - address the invitation to exactly is invited from that home: Mr. and Mrs. Bill Smith. If you were inviting kids, it would read: Mr. and Mrs. Bill Smith & Miss. Samantha Smith. If you are afraid you'll have some stowaways in the form of children: call the parents and explain that the evening is for the older crowd, but if it is a destination wedding, their children are certainly welcome to the weekend and that you will provide a babysitter while the parents attend your celebration. It's the least you can do.

If you are allowing only your family to bring their children, guests should not have an issue with this. It is at the end of the day, your wedding and you make the decisions regarding whose invited. Most family members kids are "working" that day anyways in the form of a ring bearer or flower girl, so they should be accepted at the reception.

In the event an un-invited child is at the reception, try and accommodate them to the best of your and the venue's ability, but beyond serving them a child's meal, you aren't obligated to do anything further. Perhaps once the parents realize its not a kid friendly affair, they'll get the hint.


  1. We did not want children at our wedding. It was a glamorous night in NYC - We only invited adults - named on both the outer and inner envelopes.

    People with children RSVP'd that they were bringing their kids!

    I wish I would have thought of the "no children please" - I would have thought that black tie and St. Regis Ballroom would have been enough of a hint. But... alas, it wasn't.

  2. Thank you for the helpful tips Lisa. This is always one of those touchy areas that a lot of couples struggle with.

  3. Thank you for posting this!! I am always telling clients that you really should NOT put "No Children Please" or not quite as bad (but close) "Adult only reception". I feel like people should know who is invited by the way the invitations are addressed but I guess not everyone agrees!!

    One solutions is to have a "jr. reception" for any kids that are attending. Get a room close to the reception venue, hire a professional baby sitter or two, have tons of snacks and activities (and perhaps a TV set with a few DVD's) and call it a day! T he kids have fun and so do the parents!!