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Planning a No-Children at Wedding Rule? Wording Tips For Adult-Only Invitations

If you’re planning to lay down a ‘no kids at the wedding’ rule, careful wording is key. Luckily, these adults-only wedding invitation examples and some expert advice can help

A bride with two young bridesmaids, kneeling to show them her bouquet outside of a stately venue

If you want to lay down the law with a ‘no kids at wedding’ rule, wording your invitations or save the dates carefully can make your life a lot easier. But the eternal question is how to tell your guests that you want no children at your wedding? 

Fear not - our polite and considerate wording examples can help you to achieve your dream adults-only wedding day without causing any arguments. We also asked luxury wedding planner, Mark Niemierko, for his top tips on how to say the 'no kids at wedding' rule to your guests, as well as advice on how to entertain kids during your wedding day.

At the end of the day, it's up to you how you organise your own wedding guest list. However, some parents can be sensitive when it comes to whether or not their little ones are included - so choosing how to word 'no children at wedding' invitations should be carefully considered.

We know there are couples who choose to communicate that they're having a child-free celebration by addressing their wedding stationery to the parents, and not naming the children. We'd caution against this - you run the risk that they'll assume their kids are also invited.

Make your adults-only policy clear from the off, not least because it's only fair to give parents plenty of notice to make childcare arrangements well in advance.

To keep this part of your planning as stress-free as possible, we're giving you a number of ways to let guests know that your wedding will be child-free. We've also covered different scenarios, including only having children attending parts of the day or just inviting close family members' children.

Whatever your situation, 'how to word no children at wedding' invitations can be awkward, so we're here to help.

The Rules of No Kids at Weddings

  • Be consistent - it will go down better if the rule applies to every guest. You can make clear exceptions for the children of immediate family and/or of your bridesmaids and ushers, and/or any page boys and flower girls, so long as you let other guests know that's the case.
  • Don't be upset if parents can't attend. You are perfectly justified in having a child-free wedding; they are perfectly justified in not attending if it's inconvenient or they don't want to be away from their children.
  • Don't let anyone guilt-trip you about your adults-only policy.
  • Accept that some parents may need to leave early.
  • If you're having a destination wedding, you may want to reconsider the kid-free policy - it will be more difficult for parents to travel abroad without their children, or find childcare in another country.
  • It's a lovely gesture if you want to pay for a creche/professional babysitters, but it's not obligatory.
  • If you are particularly close to any friends' or family's children, it's a nice idea to include a personal note with the invitations to reiterate that you're sorry not to include them.

No Kids at Wedding Wording Examples

A young boy and girl in black tie at a wedding playing in a 360 booth

Whether you're having no children at your wedding at all, or you're inviting a select few, these 'no children at our wedding' wording examples will help you to make it clear to your guests. 

What to Say When... Your Venue Doesn’t Allow Children

  • 'We are very sorry, but due to restrictions at our venue, we cannot accommodate children.'
  • 'Due to safety reasons at our venue, we are unable to extend this invitation to children.'
  • 'Due to the nature of our venue, we are unable to invite under-18s to our wedding.'
  • 'Our venue has a strict no-under-18s policy, so we are unable to welcome to children to the wedding.'

What to Say When... You Are Allowing Certain Children

  • 'Unfortunately, as much as we’d love to invite all of our friends’ children, we can only accommodate a few close family children. We hope that you will understand this decision and that you will still be able to join us on our special day.'
  • 'In order to meet guest number restrictions, we are only able to extend our invitation to the children of close family and/or our wedding party.'
  • 'Due to space constraints, we are only able to invite the children of immediate family to our wedding.'
  • 'We are unable to accommodate children beyond our page boys and flower girls.'
  • 'We are only able to accommodate the children of the wedding party.'

What to Say When... You Want to Keep It Simple

  • 'We are sorry that we are unable to accommodate children at our wedding.'
  • 'We would like our special day to be an adult-only occasion.'  
  • 'Please be aware that this will be an adults-only wedding.'
  • 'We are unable to invite children to our wedding. We hope that the advance notice means you are still able to attend.'

What to Say When... You're Inviting Children to Part of the Wedding

  • 'We are delighted to welcome children to the ceremony and early reception. However, from Xpm onwards, the wedding will be adults only.' Optional extra: 'We will be providing a creche, please see our wedding website for further details.'
  • 'We respectfully request that under-18s do not attend the reception.'
  • 'Children outside the wedding party are not invited for the ceremony, but are welcome for the reception from Xpm.'
  • 'We would like our special day to be an adult-only occasion, however we would like to open the invite up to your children at the evening reception at Xpm.' 
  • 'Following the ceremony and drinks reception, please join us for an adults-only reception at Xpm.'

What to Say When... You're Keeping Costs Down

  • 'As much as we would like to invite all the children of our loved ones, we will only be able to welcome over-18s at our wedding due to budget constraints.'
  • 'While we adore your children, our budget will only allow us to accommodate adult guests at our wedding.'
  • 'We regret that due to cost restrictions, we are only able to invite over-18s to our wedding.' 

What to Say When... You're Allowing Babies

  • 'Please note that this is an adult-only wedding. However, you are welcome to bring infants under 12 months.'
  • 'Adults only (exception for infants under six months).'

No Children at Wedding Invite Wording: What Not to Say

Bride and groom arriving at Elmore Court, dancing as the guests wave napkins and cheer

  • "We thought you'd appreciate a night off!"

Even if the parents would like a night off, this comes across as a bit patronising - and sounds rather flippant in the face of how difficult it can be to find childcare, particularly overnight.

  • "To give you the opportunity to really let your hair down, we've decided not to invite children."

Again, this has the patronising factor - and can also imply that you think people can't have fun if children are present (and you're allowed to think that, but saying it to a parent isn't all that polite...).

  • "In order to allow all guests, including parents, to have a good time, we have chosen for our wedding day to be an adult-only occasion."

Any wording that implies parents can't have a good time with their children present is unlikely to go down brilliantly.

Advice From An Expert Wedding Planner

Mark Niemierko is one of the UK’s leading luxury wedding planners. Having planned weddings for the likes of James Cordon and his wife Julia, as well as Rochelle Humes and her husband Marvin, he is no stranger to the meticulous detail and sensitive tasks that come with executing the perfect wedding. 

We asked for his professional opinion on how to tackle the 'no kids at wedding' wording dilemma. And, for those inviting children to their big day, he also shared his top tips on keeping kids entertained throughout the reception. 

How To Say No Children At Wedding?

“We have a standard party line that we advise our clients to use on all of their invitations, if they wish to plan a child-free wedding. It’s as follows: 

  • “As our wedding will run late into the evening, we’d prefer to keep our big day for adults only.”

"Nearlyweds can start to doubt their taste and their choices when tackling the pressure of planning a wedding, so I think it’s important to not become too much of a people-pleaser when deciding whether or not to invite children. 

“I always remind my couples that they are allowed to be clear about what they want for their big day, and that includes the guest list.

“If you’re struggling to decide, it can help to consider the situations of the guests that you’re inviting. If you’re getting married later in life and most of your friends now have families of their own then they may struggle with childcare, that’s worth considering.”

Fun Ways to Entertain Kids at Weddings

Gold inflatable balloons spelling out 'kids' surrounded by silver disco balls and confetti in a children's play area at a wedding

“Of course, there’s a really expensive option which is to hire nannies for newborns and young children. Or a slightly more affordable way is to hire a smaller number of nannies to supervise a crèche area. 

“But bear in mind that in the UK, one childminder can only care for a maximum of six children under the age of eight at once.

“In the past, we’ve come up with some brilliant ways for keeping kids entertained at weddings. Once, we dressed a room as a faux “kids members club”, where you couldn’t enter if you were older than the oldest child in attendance. The only adults allowed in were the family nanny and the wedding planner. We gave each child a VIP lanyard, and they loved it! 

“Another important thing to do is to make them feel important. A great wedding planner will give children silly jobs to do, like test if the dance floor is bouncy enough or if the photobooth is working properly. It makes them feel involved, and keeps them out of trouble. 

“Once, the bride’s young daughter told me that she loved Oreo milkshakes, so to keep her happy throughout the wedding day I ordered a pretend “ring for service” bell online, and told one of the waiters to bring her a milkshake every time she rang it! It was a funny, inexpensive way to keep her happy. 

“We also love doing treasure hunts, especially on National Trust wedding venues. You can make them fun and educational. Tipis also make great play areas.

“Children also love animals, so pony rides can entertain them for hours. Honestly, even cardboard box houses can inspire hours of play with a little imagination!

How Might Children Change a Wedding?

“I totally understand why parents wouldn’t want children at weddings. However, some of the funniest pictures I’ve seen from the weddings I’ve planned have involved children doing something silly or funny, and they can make very special memories. So that’s worth bearing in mind! 

“If you’re going to have children present, you need to factor in the logistics. For example, if you’re going to have an area where children will be playing or sleeping, then it will need to be far away enough from the dance floor to not disturb them, but close enough to allow parents easy access. This can compromise the atmosphere a little, as parents won’t be able to let their hair down quite as much. 

“However, having children can bring a really fun element to it. A small handful of them is easier to manage than loads of kids, so perhaps consider the number that you’re willing to welcome. 

“Teenagers are a whole different conversation. They’re becoming adults, but they’re not quite there yet. They may want an adult meal over a kids meal, but they probably don’t need the same supervision."

To make sure guests have all the information about your big day, we suggest setting up a wedding website - there are some you can even get for free!