I've been asked this a lot recently - "How do I communicate politely to my guests that we don't want children coming?"
First of all - don't feel guilty. This is the route more and more couples are taking for many reasons. Whether it be the numbers climbing above your budget, so guests don't have keep tabs on what their children are up to, or that your wedding just isn't fit for little ones.
Have a Chat
Have a chat to close friends and loved ones about your wedding plans. If you think there's someone in particular who you feel won't take this news lightly, discuss with them (in person!) how you're feeling and what your plans are. While not everyone may be happy, you'll find the majority of people will respect your wishes.
It's super important that you give notice about your adults-only affair early on. Don't wait until a week before the wedding to let people know - as it will create added stress for those who now have to make other arrangements. We suggest mentioning that it's a child-free event on a details card, or wedding website when your invitations go out. This means everyone knows what to expect early on.
When you send out your invites, it's important to address every member of the family you're inviting on the envelope. It's best to be specific - you could write " The Clarks" - meaning "Stephanie and Freddy", but they bring along their children too. We suggest writing everyone's names you want to come to the wedding e.g. Stephanie and Freddy Clark.
Wording the Details
There are several ways you can go about wording that your event is adults-only. Here are some of our favourites.
"To give all our guests the opportunity to celebrate without having to worry about little eyes and ears, we politely request no children at the reception. This excludes infants."
"Although we love your little ones, this is an adult-only affair. Book a babysitter and get ready to party!"
“We respectfully request no children under 16 at the reception.”
“Due to limited venue space, our wedding is an adults-only event.”
“To allow all wedding guests, including parents, a night of relaxation and uninhibited revelry, we respectfully ask that no children attend the reception.”
“We hope you will understand our decision to make the wedding children-free, and take the opportunity to let your hair down and celebrate in style!”
“Due to necessity rather than choice, it is children of immediate family only. We hope you understand and enjoy your night off!”
It's your wedding...and it's your choice. Ultimately you can't please everyone and someone may be annoyed about your decision. But don't change what you want to please others -celebrate the way you want to.