How To Have A Kid-Free Wedding Without Pissing People Off

Let’s face it, kids are a lot of work. They need a lot of attention, they’re picky eaters, they make a mess and they don’t sit still for very long. In wedding speak, this means that kids generally make terrible guests. Adult guests won’t throw a tantrum while you’re exchanging vows or grab a bite of the cake with their hands before its been cut (unless they’ve been overserved during cocktail hour), but kids? Hell yeah, they’ll do all of the above, and then some.

You’re not a complete bitch if you don’t want kids at your wedding, but it’s not as easy as stamping “don’t bring your kids, k?” on the envelope. While you might not be able to avoid pissing some people off with your decision, you can at least make every effort to go about it the right way. Here’s how to ensure nobody under the age of 12 shows up at your wedding, without being a total bridezilla:

Be Particular About How You Address The Envelopes

Being as specific as you can about who’s invited on the envelope is a critical part of having a kid-free wedding. When you address it to “The Johnson Family,” you’re inviting everyone. However, if you specifically write “Mr. and Mrs. Johnson”, that makes things a little more clear. You can even go one step further for those of your guests that are a little dense, and specifically name the adults invited on the inner envelope (ex: Julie and Jim Johnson). Hopefully, by the time they’re looking at the actual invitation, it’s clear that their two-year-old twins are NOT invited. One can dream right? In the instance that it doesn’t work out that smoothly, there are a few other **major** hints you can drop. 

Put a Note on Your Website

It’s kind of a no-no to write “adults only” on your wedding invitation (who made these rules anyway?), but feel free to put it on your website. I wouldn’t replace the engagement photo on the homepage with a notice saying “LEAVE YOUR KIDS AT HOME OR ELSE,” but you can totally make it clear in a way that’s polite but firm, like noting it on the FAQ page or adding it in the details section.

Hire a Babysitter

Parenting is hard. Finding a babysitter is even harder. If you have friends or family members with little ones traveling across the country, it might be hard to find someone to watch their kids for a few days. You don’t want your guests to simply not come because they have kids (or maybe you do, who knows), so helping them find a babysitter nearby would be the best of both worlds: they can bring their kids, but they won’t be at your wedding. Again, the website is a good place to note that. You can also reach out to people who have kids and let them know this service will be provided. They’ll probably be glad to have a night away!

Designate a Messenger

Not everyone visits the wedding website, so make sure your close friends and family are spreading the word. Let your mom, bridesmaids, wedding planner, cake baker, mailman etc. know that you’re having an adults-only wedding. By telling enough people, word will hopefully get back to invited guests with kids. You’ll have enough other sh*t to worry about, so this is a job that’s more than acceptable to delegate.

Pick a Rule and Stick to It

Having a kid-free wedding has to be a sweeping rule. You can’t allow your sister’s kid to be on the dance floor while you’re telling your cousin she has to leave her kids at home. If you invite one child, you have to invite them all. People are very sensitive about their kids and the last thing you want is having to deal with wedding day drama that revolves around a four-year-old. People can call you a bitch, but at least they can’t call you a hypocrite.

Having an adults-only wedding is definitely possible if you follow our advice. And hey, if all else fails, just hire security :). 

Images: Guillaume de Germain / Unsplash; Giphy (3)

Sarah Title
Sarah Title
Sarah Title is a self-proclaimed Bravo-holic living in Arlington, VA. She's written about weddings for the last six years and has developed a strong distaste for DIY decor and flower crowns. She also spent two years as a bridal stylist and, no, Say Yes to the Dress isn't far off from some of the brides she's dealt with.