Deciding to have an adult only wedding or wedding reception can be a sensitive topic, and for some couples there are advantages and disadvantages to each choice. Whether the decision not to have children at your wedding ceremony and/or reception is made based on budgetary reasons or simply a personal preference, either choice is perfectly acceptable. The trick is how you communicate this to family and friends, and how you deal with some of the consequences!
A great place to start is by talking to your immediate family members and wedding party first. By letting bridesmaids, groomsmen and immediate family in on your choice for an adult only wedding, it allows them to spread the word in a thoughtful and informal way to all of your guests. They can also help you weigh out the pros and cons to this decision. Once you’ve made a decision to stick with an adult only wedding, the next step to informing your guests will be on your invitations. While printing the phrase “No Kids Allowed” on your invitations is generally frowned upon, less negative alternatives include the wording “Adults Only” or “Adult Only Ceremony & Reception”. You can also specify the names of the people that are invited to the wedding for example, “Mr. & Mrs. Jack Smith” as opposed to “The Smith Family”. Another option is notifying the guests on their invitation that a certain number of places have been reserved for them at the wedding.
Once you have decided, be sure to stick with your decision. Consistency is a key element when making sure that all of your guests gracefully accept your decision not to invite children to your wedding. Don’t feel upset because you made some exceptions for certain guests who may have their child as the flower girl or ring bearer. If your adult only wedding stirs up too many concerns with a large number of your guests, look into helping arrange a babysitter or two that can care for many of the children during the wedding. Offering a possible solution for your guests might allow you to maintain the adult only wedding that you wished for. It is our experience, that sometimes couples have been disappointed by several friends opting out of attending their wedding because they wanted to bring their children and don’t want to hire a babysitter for 8 – 10 hours while they take off and attend your wedding. This can be one negative side to choosing an adult only wedding.
No matter what your decision is about inviting or not inviting children to your wedding, be sure to think it through. Your vision of an adult only wedding might include you and your fiancé as the stars of the day with an elegant seamless transition between each element of the day, without distractions. Kids can be messy, they can be demanding and they can cry right during the middle of your wedding vows. However, they have also been known to be the creators of some of the cutest moments at weddings, and lets face it weddings really are about family, young and old alike!