How to Tactfully Say You’re Having an Adults-Only Wedding

Photo by  Pasternack + Co.

We know how tricky it can be to figure out who’s in and who’s out on the guest list, but it can get especially hard when it comes to younger guests. Plenty of couples decide to have a child-free wedding, whether it’s because of the numbers or the nature of the event. If you fall into that category, we’re here to help. We’ve complied our most tactful ways to say, “sorry, no kids!” 

DO: keep it as short as possible.
DON’T: over-explain.

If you must explain a bit more, put the information on a secondary card such as a “details” card or the “reception” card.

Denote on the invitation:

  • “An adults-only reception to follow”

  • “Adult reception to follow”

  • “An adult-only affair”

  • “An adult celebration”

  • “An adult affair”

  • “Our celebration is an adult-only affair”

  • “Our special day is an adult-only affair”

Denote on the reception card:

  • “Join us for an adult reception at six o’clock in the evening.”

  • “We adore your children, however this is an adult only affair.”

  • “Celebrate with us at an adults-only reception immediately following the ceremony.” 

  • “We love your kids but thought you might like a night off. Adults only reception to follow the ceremony.” 

  • “Thank you for understanding that this is an adult-only celebration.”

  • “Guests over sixteen are welcome to celebrate with us.”

  • “We welcome guests over sixteen to celebrate with us.”

  • “An adult reception will follow. Infants welcome.”

Something to consider: 

If your venue has the space, consider offering childcare in a separate room at the ceremony and/or reception. Most caterers will provide children’s meals that are much cheaper (and more appealing to kids anyway!) than the regular plates, and there are many professional babysitters that would be willing to provide their services. The extra cost will be well worth it for families with kids, as well as children in the wedding party. This option both serves parents by relieving the stress of finding a babysitter and allows for a peaceful evening to celebrate your special day. When wording this, we suggest:

  • “Adult only reception to follow. On-site childcare [will be] provided.”

  • “Guests over eighteen are welcome to join us for the reception. Complimentary childcare will be provided on-site.”

Annette FurioComment