Invitation Etiquette for a No-Children Wedding

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The reasons why you want to limit your wedding guest list may be long and varied, but you don't need a special excuse to have a "grownups-only" wedding. Still, to avoid hurting your guests' feelings, word your invitation so they'll know to make arrangements with the babysitter before they come.

Honesty Is Best

On your invitation, use wording like, "We kindly request the presence of adults only at our wedding," or, "Due to planned activities, our guest list is limited to adults only." You might mention considerations like cost control or the time of the event as specific reasons kids shouldn't attend your wedding. For example, if you're having a nighttime wedding with a reception where alcohol will be served, parents may appreciate knowing in advance to leave their kids at home.

Talk to Guests Personally

Some parents take their kids with them everywhere they go, and they might not get the hint from a too-carefully worded invitation. So, ensure that your RSVP card includes a space for your invited guests to note the number of attendees. Call guests who include more than one or two in their parties. Be pleasant, but matter-of-fact, in your tone when reminding them that your wedding is for adults-only, writes Adriana Velez on the website, "The Stir." Even if your friends don't approve of your adults-only wedding, they'll appreciate your honesty.