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7 Dos And Don’ts Of Having An Adults-Only Wedding

You’re making the cards for your wedding when the hard part comes up: the kids. Should you invite them or not? That’s the question. You don’t want to bother anyone but can’t stand the thought of a baby crying during your perfectly planned wedding vows. Young kids can be hard to predict. When you’re not used to them, they can be hard to control and very loud. Also, don’t feel bad if you’d rather not have kids at your wedding. Today is a big day for you. You should be in charge. Heres our 7 Dos And Don’ts Of Having An Adults-Only Wedding.

Adults-only wedding advice

Absolutely, you can! It’s a common concern many couples share. If you’re leaning towards an adults-only wedding, communicate openly with your partner, set clear boundaries on invitations, and stay consistent with your guest list. Be prepared for potential concerns from guests, offer alternatives like childcare services, and emphasize the celebration’s joyous aspects. Respect guests’ choices if they opt not to attend. Ultimately, it’s your special day, and by approaching it thoughtfully, you can navigate an adults-only wedding with grace.

7 Dos And Don'ts Of Having An Adults-Only Wedding

Do: Clearly State Your Adults-Only Policy On Invitations

Communicating an adults-only policy for your wedding can be delicate, requiring tact and clarity to ensure your guests understand your wishes without feeling offended. The key to successfully conveying this message is how you phrase your invitations and manage your RSVPs. One refined strategy is to use polite and firm language such as “We kindly request that our wedding be an adults-only affair” or “Due to the intimate nature of our celebration, we are unable to accommodate children.”

Additionally, consider creating a separate RSVP card specifically for guests to indicate their attendance and any dietary restrictions, where you can reiterate the adults-only policy discreetly. Providing clear information on your wedding website can also help reinforce the message and alleviate any potential confusion. These thoughtful approaches will help you navigate the sensitive topic with grace while ensuring a smooth process for you and your guests.

Addressing The Invitations

The most straightforward way to indicate an adults-only wedding is through the way you address your invitations. By listing only the names of the invited adults on the outer and inner envelopes, guests should understand that the invitation extends only to those named. For example:

  • Outer Envelope: Mr. and Mrs. Michael Sullivan
  • Inner Envelope: Mike and Annie

This method subtly communicates that children are not included without explicitly stating so.

RSVP Card Wording

The RSVP card offers another opportunity to clarify who is invited. Tailoring the response card to reflect the number of adult guests expected from each invite can reinforce the adults-only policy. Here are two examples:

Option 1:

  • We can’t wait to celebrate with you!
  • Please respond by November 1, 2018
  • ______ Adults will attend
  • ______ Sorry to miss it!

Option 2:

  • Please respond by November 1, 2018
  • We have reserved two spots for you.
  • ______ Will attend
  • ______ Sorry to miss it!

These RSVP formats make it clear that the invitation is intended for a specific number of adult guests.

Gentle Reminders

Consider adding a polite note to your invitation or wedding website if space or budget constraints necessitate an adults-only policy. Phrases like “Even though we love your kids, we’re sorry to say that we cannot accommodate them at the place because of limited space.” or “Due to limited venue space, adults only please” offer a respectful explanation for your decision.

Creative And Kind Messaging

If you’re looking for a more creative way to communicate your adults-only policy, consider these gentle yet clear messages:

  • “We love your kids but thought you might like a night off. Adults only, please!”
  • “To allow all guests to relax and enjoy themselves, we have made our special day adults only. We thank you for your understanding.”

These messages convey your policy in a friendly manner, emphasising the opportunity for parents to enjoy a night of relaxation and celebration.

Including A Custom Card

For absolute clarity, you can include a custom card within your invitation suite that specifically addresses the adults-only policy. 

Do: Be Prepared To Explain Your Decision

Despite clear communication, some guests may inquire about bringing their children. In these instances, being prepared with a thoughtful explanation can help ease any potential disappointment.

You can cite reasons such as venue restrictions, budget constraints, or the desire for an evening where adults can relax and enjoy themselves without worrying about childcare. Emphasising the benefits of an adults-only celebration, such as a night off for parents, can also help guests see the positive side of your decision.

The Benefits Of Writing Your Wedding Readings

Crafting your wedding readings is a deeply personal way to express the unique bond and journey you share with your partner. It’s an opportunity to tell your story, share your dreams, and articulate the love that defines your relationship.

The Case For Onsite Childcare

Offering onsite childcare at your wedding can be a game-changer for guests who might struggle to attend. This thoughtful gesture lets parents enjoy their special day without worrying about their children’s care. 

It’s an especially appealing option for out-of-town guests or those needing access to reliable babysitting services. Providing a safe and engaging environment for children ensures their parents can fully participate in the festivities, from the ceremony to the reception.

Communicating The Option

Your wedding invites or website must make it clear that babysitting services are available. This information helps guests plan accordingly and alleviates concerns about attending an adult-only event. You can phrase this offer in a way that highlights the benefits for guests, such as the opportunity for parents to enjoy a worry-free evening of celebration.

Selecting The Right Childcare Provider

Choosing a reputable childcare provider is essential for ensuring the safety and enjoyment of the children. Look for services specialising in event childcare, with experienced, background-checked staff trained in first aid and CPR.

Consider the children’s ages and interests when discussing activities and entertainment options with the provider. A good childcare service will offer a range of activities to keep children engaged and happy throughout the event.

Selecting The Right Childcare Provider

Choosing a reputable childcare provider is essential for ensuring the safety and enjoyment of the children. Look for services specialising in event childcare, with experienced, background-checked staff trained in first aid and CPR.

Consider the children’s ages and interests when discussing activities and entertainment options with the provider. A good childcare service will offer a range of activities to keep children engaged and happy throughout the event.

Setting Up A Kid-Friendly Space

Designate a specific area at your venue for the childcare service, ideally close enough for parents to check in but separate from the main festivities to maintain the adults-only atmosphere. Ensure the space has age-appropriate toys and games and possibly even a quiet area for naps or downtime. Providing meals and snacks for the children can also be a thoughtful touch, making the experience enjoyable for them.

Lasting Memories

Personalised wedding readings become a cherished part of your love story. They can be revisited on anniversaries, shared with future generations, or reflected upon as a reminder of the love and commitment that marked the beginning of your married life. The words you write for your wedding day can continue to inspire and comfort you throughout your journey together.

Do: Be Prepared For Some Guests To Decline

Understanding Guest Declines

Despite your best efforts to communicate your adults-only policy, be prepared for some guests to decline your invitation. The reasons can vary from childcare issues to personal beliefs about family inclusion at weddings. It’s important to approach these declines with empathy and understanding, recognising that not everyone can accommodate your request.

Providing A Reasonable Explanation

If guests inquire about your adults-only policy, having a thoughtful explanation ready can help alleviate any potential disappointment. Common reasons for opting for an adults-only wedding include venue restrictions, budget constraints, and the desire for a certain atmosphere. Explaining your decision based on factors like these can help guests understand your perspective and respect your wishes.

Embracing Flexibility And Understanding

Ultimately, flexibility and understanding are the keys to navigating an adults-only wedding policy. While this is your special day, it also involves your loved ones. By communicating your wishes, providing reasonable explanations, and showing empathy towards your guests’ situations, you can maintain harmony and ensure that those who can attend will be there to celebrate your love and commitment.

7 Dos And Don'ts Of Having An Adults-Only Wedding

Don’t Ignore The Potential For Hurt Feelings

Opting for an adult-only wedding is a decision that can significantly shape the atmosphere of your special day. While it allows for a certain type of celebration, it’s crucial not to overlook the potential for hurt feelings among guests wishing to share the occasion with their entire family. 

Recognise The Emotional Implications

The decision to host an adults-only wedding isn’t merely logistical; it touches upon your guests’ emotional and familial dynamics. For many, weddings are family milestones, moments of joy and unity meant to be experienced together. 

Parents may envision these occasions as opportunities for their children to partake in the joy, witness love in its ceremonial form, and learn about their family traditions and values. Thus, the exclusion of children can sometimes be perceived not just as a preference but as a barrier to experiencing a full family moment.

Providing A Reasonable Explanation

When questions or requests for exceptions arise, and they likely will, offering context can be key to maintaining harmony. You might share that your venue has space or safety constraints that make it unsuitable for younger guests, or you’re curating an evening of events catering more to adult sensibilities and interactions. Some couples also choose adult-only weddings to manage their budget more effectively, as each additional guest contributes to the overall cost regardless of age.

Navigating Responses With Grace

In these moments, navigating the situation with grace and empathy is vital, reaffirming your decision while acknowledging their feelings. Remember, your wedding day reflects your preferences and values as a couple, and it’s okay to make choices that align with your vision for the day.

Don’t: Make Exceptions For Certain Children

The Importance Of Consistency

Maintaining a consistent adults-only policy is crucial for several reasons. It helps to avoid any perception of favouritism or unfair treatment among your guests. When exceptions are made for some children and not others, it can lead to confusion and potentially hurt feelings, as guests may wonder why their children were not afforded the same consideration. A uniform policy ensures that all guests are treated equally and that your wedding day unfolds as you’ve envisioned, with the atmosphere and dynamics you desire.

Handling Inquiries And Pushback

Despite clear communication, some guests may inquire about making exceptions for their children or express disappointment with your decision. In these instances, responding with empathy while reiterating your policy is important.

A reasonable explanation, such as limited space or a desire for a certain atmosphere, can help guests understand your perspective. It’s also helpful to offer solutions, such as suggesting local babysitting services, to show that you’ve considered their needs.


When planning an adult wedding, consider the impact on your guests, especially if you’re opting for an adults-only celebration. To ensure smooth proceedings, clearly state this policy on invitations and RSVPs, listing only the names of adult invitees. Strengthen the adults-only rule by indicating the expected number of adult guests on RSVP cards. Polite notes on invitations or wedding websites can explain the policy, focusing on the opportunity for parents to enjoy a night off.

Providing information about childcare options can ease concerns for guests with children. Choose a reputable childcare provider with trained staff and provide toys, games, and snacks for the children’s enjoyment. Be understanding if guests decline childcare services and offer alternative solutions, such as lists of babysitters or group childcare arrangements. Clearly communicate your reasoning for the adults-only policy and offer assistance to guests who may face challenges, ensuring everyone can celebrate your love and commitment without complications.

For your wedding entertainment needs, look no further than Melbourne Entertainment Company! With a diverse range of options including DJs, Singers and live bands, we guarantee an unforgettable experience for you and your guests. Trust us to curate a celebration that reflects your unique love story and leaves a lasting impression on everyone in attendance!

Content Summary

7 Dos And Don’ts Of Having An Adults-Only Wedding
  • Deciding on an adults-only wedding is a common dilemma for couples seeking a specific atmosphere for their big day.
  • It’s possible to plan an adults-only wedding without guilt, respecting both the couple’s wishes and the guests’ understanding.
Do: Clearly State Your Adults-Only Policy On Invitations
  • Clear communication of your adults-only policy on invitations is crucial to setting expectations and avoiding misunderstandings.
  • Addressing invitations specifically to the adults invited is a subtle yet effective way to indicate the event’s adults-only nature.
  • Using RSVP cards to confirm the number of adult guests attending reinforces the adults-only policy without direct mention.
  • Polite notes on invitations or wedding websites can provide a respectful explanation for the adults-only decision due to space or budget constraints.
  • Creative messaging can also convey the adults-only policy in a friendly manner, highlighting the opportunity for a night off for parents.
Do: Provide A Reasonable Explanation If Asked
  • Including a custom card within your invitation suite can address the adults-only policy explicitly, ensuring clarity.
  • If asked, providing a reasonable explanation for the adults-only choice shows respect for your guests’ understanding and feelings.
Do: Consider Offering Childcare Solutions
  • Offering assistance with finding childcare options demonstrates consideration for your guests’ needs and can ease any potential disappointment.
  • Remaining firm but kind in your adults-only decision helps maintain the desired wedding atmosphere while empathising with guests.
  • Considering onsite childcare solutions can accommodate guests with children, ensuring everyone can enjoy the celebration.
  • Communicating the availability of childcare clearly on invitations or wedding websites helps guests plan and appreciate the thoughtful gesture.
  • Choosing the right childcare provider ensures a safe and enjoyable experience for children, allowing adults to fully engage in the festivities.
  • Designating a kid-friendly space at the venue separates the childcare area from the main event while keeping children entertained and comfortable.
Do: Be Prepared For Some Guests To Decline
  • Making childcare optional respects parents’ preferences and comfort levels, offering flexibility for those who may wish to arrange their own care.
  • Being prepared for some guests to decline the invitation due to the adults-only policy is an understanding and empathetic approach.
Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute To Inform Your Guests
  • Transparently communicating your adults-only policy from the start minimises confusion and sets clear expectations.
  • Providing a rational and compassionate explanation for your choice can mitigate any potential disappointment among guests.
Don’t Ignore The Potential For Hurt Feelings
  • Offering alternatives or suggestions for childcare acknowledges your guests’ situations and facilitates their attendance.
  • Flexibility and understanding are key when dealing with responses to your adults-only wedding, maintaining positive relationships with your guests.
  • Avoiding last-minute notifications about your adults-only policy ensures guests have adequate time to make arrangements.
  • Early and clear communication through wedding invitations indicates the adults-only nature of the event respectfully.
  • Offering solutions for childcare difficulties shows empathy and consideration for your guests’ needs, making it easier for them to attend.
  • Handling pushback with grace and maintaining your stance with kindness ensures your wishes are respected while keeping good relations with guests.
  • Acknowledging the potential for hurt feelings is important, and clear communication helps manage expectations and reduce disappointment.
Don’t: Make Exceptions For Certain Children
  • Consistency in applying your adults-only policy avoids perceptions of unfairness and ensures all guests are treated equally.
  • Effectively communicating your policy through invitation wording and additional notes prevents confusion and reinforces your decision.
  • Responding to inquiries with empathy and reiterating your policy helps guests understand your reasons and shows you value their presence.
  • Making exceptions for certain children can lead to misunderstandings and should be avoided to maintain fairness and consistency.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Communicate That My Wedding Is Adult-Only Without Offending Anyone?

Be clear and gentle in your communication. You can state your preference on the invitation by including a polite note, “We have chosen to keep our special day adults-only. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.” You can also address the invitations specifically to the adults in the household. If anyone has questions or concerns, be ready to explain your decision respectfully and clearly.

What Should I Do If A Guest Asks To Bring Their Children Despite The Adults-Only Request?

Handle the situation with empathy but firmness. Politely reiterate that your wedding is an adults-only event and that the decision was made after careful consideration. Offer to help them find a local babysitter if the wedding is in your local area, or suggest they contact other guests to coordinate childcare. This shows an understanding of their situation while maintaining your boundaries.

    Is Making Exceptions For Certain Children, Like Those In The Wedding Party, Acceptable?

    Yes, it’s your wedding, and you can make exceptions for certain children, such as those at the wedding party. However, be aware that this may raise questions from other guests. If you decide to make exceptions, be prepared to explain your reasoning diplomatically and emphasize the special role those children have in your ceremony.

    How Can I Ensure That Guests Without Children Feel Welcome And Included?

    Ensure your wedding is an enjoyable experience for all guests, including those without children. Consider incorporating elements that all adult guests can enjoy, such as a cocktail hour, a dance floor, or a photo booth. Providing detailed information about the event, such as the dress code, expected weather, and planned activities, can also help guests feel more prepared and excited about attending.

    What Logistical Considerations Should I Keep In Mind When Planning An Adults-Only Wedding?

    When planning an adults-only wedding, consider the timing and location of your event. Evening or late-night weddings tend to be more adult-centric. Additionally, the choice of venue can impact the adults-only atmosphere; for example, a winery or an elegant estate might appeal more to an adult audience. Finally, ensure your entertainment, menu, and overall ambience cater to an adult demographic to create a cohesive and enjoyable experience for all your guests.

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