How to Enforce a No-Kids Policy at Your Wedding

You want your wedding to be an unforgettable affair for all of your guests, but in the mad dash to RSVP, some of your attendees may attempt to include a few persona non grata. Even if you see children in your future, an adults-only wedding is no place for little ones. So what is a bride to do when a wedding guest checks plus two on her RSVP card? Our etiquette experts weigh in.

Deciding whether or not to invite young children to your wedding is a personal decision, and one which shouldn’t be unduly influenced by the preferences of your wedding guests. If you’ve expressly stated that your wedding is for the 21-and-up crowd whether on your invitation or save-the-date card, you’re well within your rights to kindly tell your guest that her little ones, while much adored, don’t have a place at your nuptials. However, take care to highlight that the wedding is an adult occasion designed with grown-up revelry in mind, one that you sincerely hope she will attend. If your guest feels that she and her children have been singled out, she may feel slighted.

See More: Kids’ Corner: How To Entertain Your Tiniest Wedding Guests

In addition, explain to the guest that you have not included a designated childcare professional in your wedding plans. Be prepared to give your friend the names of several babysitters or caregivers in the area if she does not have one already. While it is too late to transform your wedding into a kid-friendly celebration, your guest should have adequate time to secure a baby-sitter for her children and will appreciate your offer to help find a solution to her conundrum.

However, if other guests are facing the same conundrum (and your budget allows it), you may want to consider throwing together a “kids reception”, or a separate room where the children of your wedding guests can eat, mingle, and play under supervision while their parents enjoy themselves at the adult reception.


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