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How to word your invitation's for a child free wedding...

How to politely decline children at your wedding uk
^ North Mymms

When Steve and I got engaged one of the first things we thought was that we needed entertainment for our friends children or a creche during the day. As we added up the guest list we found that inviting all the kids added nearly a third onto our guest list, it almost doubled our catering cost and also many of our friends would have to leave early to put their children to bed.

The more we spoke to our guests the more they responded 'Oh no! We won't bring the kids.. we want a night off!' and I guess in that sense we were lucky as we didn't feel much pressure to invite their children, but for many couples the pressure to invite whole families to your day can be very stressful and it can still be a very controversial topic.

Below I share a few ways of dealing with a child-free wedding and ways of wording your invitations so you can explain your situation and desire for an adult-only wedding day, without coming across rude.


Be clear. It is really important to be clear from the beginning of your planning journey so guests know the parameters from the get go. If guests know what to expect they are less likely to question details later into the invitation process. When sending save the dates name only the parents so the cogs are already in motion.

Be consistent. Make it one rule for ALL. The only exception here are close / direct family and/or god children etc.. Make sure guests know that these are the only children who will be attending so they don't feel offended when they turn up on the day and see children there.

Young families. As a mother of 2 young children myself and having attended weddings both with and without my children I understand both sides of the story. I must admit personally I was able to relax more at the weddings where I had left the children with grandparents! But this is not always possible for families so you mustn't be offended if friends decline your invitation due to their children not being invited. Logistics can be very hard managing a young family and you cannot make the decision for them.

Babies. Breastfeeding mothers may need to bring their young babies and this should be acceptable. Babies tend to sleep alot and are easy to manage as they don't run around! We took a transportable moses basket to a wedding when my daughter was very young and as the evening got later she simply slept in that next to our seats. We even managed a dance!


Some venues may have an adult-only policy. This gives you the perfect excuse and is out of your hands therefore giving a no option response. Check with your venue before you book incase this will affect your day.

If you are opting for a destination wedding remember that it will be more difficult for parents to travel and may feel uncomfortable leaving their children for long periods with friends / family. They also might not feel comfortable leaving their children with babysitters in a foreign country so if you want all your guests to attend it wont be so easy to have a child free event.

How to decline children at your wedding uk
^ Soho Farmhouse wedding. Photography by Claudia Rose Carter


A - Short and sweet wording for an adult only wedding.

" Due to numbers we are keeping our wedding day child free. We will however happily accommodate breastfeeding babies."

B - Out of your control.

" Although we love them dearly due to restrictions beyond our control, we cannot accommodate children for our wedding day. We hope you understand and take this opportunity for a date night."

C - Only direct family invited to our wedding.

" Please be understanding that we can only accommodate children of immediate family for our wedding day. We hope you can still join us to celebrate."

D - Make it fun.

" Little ones are so much fun, but maybe today is not the one, to allow a drink (or 2 or 3), and celebrate the night with revelry, we ask that today you come alone and leave the little ones at home."

Fun wedding invitation wording
^ Fun wedding invitation wording


AVOID sounding patronising by implying they would like a night away from their children.

" We thought you would like a night off."

AVOID sounding rude - you don't want to offend your guests.

" Our wedding day will be child free as we want to enjoy the day."

AVOID being unclear.

" Some children will be at our wedding but this is an adult only day."


Remember this is YOUR day. If you feel more comfortable having an adult only day then that is the only decision that needs to be made.

If you need any help with your invite wording your wedding stationer will have lots of examples and will be able to support you with however you want to word it.



" The views and statements written in this blog are my own and mine alone. They are based on my 10 years experience in the wedding industry working on hundreds of weddings with a huge range of wedding budgets, from 12 guests to over 200. The comments will not be relevant to every wedding ever planned. If you require specific costs or have any questions regarding your own wedding stationery please either get in touch using my contact form"

Over and out lovely people... see you next time.

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