The No-Kids Wedding | How to Just Say No Without Being Rude

Weddings and kids sometimes don’t mix. This post explores why you’re allowed to take a no-kids wedding stance, and how to politely let your guest know.

Weddings bring together families, and families include kids. Having children present at your wedding is a beautiful option. But sometimes your idea of a perfect wedding could be at odds with some of the difficulties kids present. The option to have an adult-only wedding is important and whatever you decide, your choice should be respected by your guests.

Bored? Might as well let everyone know.

This baby is not happy to be at a wedding reception.

Having a no-kids wedding can seem offensive if you’re not careful how you let the news out. So, before you go off and write “NO KIDS!” on your wedding invites, you may want to take a step back and consider how many angry phone calls you may be getting in the next few weeks. I strongly suggest you come up with a few reasons why you’re hosting a no-kids wedding before you make the big announcement. This will help people understand your reasoning a little better without feeling like it’s a personal attack on little Billy Jr.

One major reason to opt for a no-kids wedding is straight up costs. Kids require a little extra attention than most guests which means you’ll be forking over extra money to provide it. For starters, when you plan your dream wedding menu, it probably doesn’t involve chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese, but if it does, more power to you! Kids won’t eat a lot of the fancier stuff you may want to serve, which means providing an entirely different menu for the youngsters. Kids also need extra attention, so a babysitter might need to be called in. You may even have to get insurance to cover any potential accidents because, let’s face it, when people start to hit the bar the kids are going to create a minefield for people to try to dodge. All of these things will add up and do you really want to spend money on a babysitter that you could spend on your honeymoon?

This toddler has been left alone on the floor. Can you say disaster waiting to happen?

This toddler has been left alone on the floor. Can you say disaster waiting to happen?

The biggest reason you might want a no-kids wedding is the children! I mean, think about the poor things as they sit through your incredibly long ceremony. When you’re a bundle of energy, sitting down for more than 30 seconds at a time feels like an eternity. You’re going to end up with children running up and down the aisles, crying or putting candy in other people’s hair. If it’s not the children that are causing the disruption it’ll be the parents trying to get control of them. This will cause a lot of unwanted distractions while you’re trying to enjoy your moment in the sun and probably won’t sound too amazing on your expensive wedding video either. Once the ceremony is over, the parents will have to lug them to the reception where they’ll spend another few hours being bored. It’s just not a win in the kids favor to have them there.

Finally, you should consider what goes on at a wedding reception. For some guests an open bar is a recipe for disaster. You’ll have adults dancing, potentially making out (it happens!) or generally causing mischief. This isn’t exactly a great example for kids and could end up being dangerous if people aren’t paying attention. Even if you don’t offer a bar to guests, there’s still a lot of behavior that isn’t G rated. For instance, the groom retrieving the bride’s garter is tradition, but a lot of parents might cringe at having to explain it later on. You may also want to note how bad it could be if a child were to wander into the crowd when it’s time for the bride to throw her bouquet. Ouch!

Shocked baby would be much more comfortable at home!

This baby is clearly not ready to witness the effects of an open bar on Great-Aunt Susan.

So, you’ve decided that you want to keep the kids out of your wedding, great. But how do you get this message across without seeming like The Grinch of wedding planners? I’m glad you asked. First of all, think about the kind of wedding you will have. If most of your guests are local and you’re having an evening wedding, it will be a lot easier for guests to find a babysitter for the night. But if you are planning a destination wedding in the afternoon, excluding kids might be more difficult. Then, make a list of people with kids and give them a quick call before you send out the invitations. It can be easier to have this conversation over the phone than via email and if you actually call them, you know they won’t show up with the whole family and tell you they didn’t know. You might get some questioning, so have your top reasons why ready. Also, make sure to keep a firm stance while you’re chatting. After all, if you say no children and then allow one or two, some of your guests may take offence.

Whether you decide to have children at your wedding or not, the important thing is that you have the wedding that you and your partner want. Having and not having children present are both equally viable options that the people in your life will understand and respect, even if it takes a little chat. Hopefully these tips will help you decide what you want and how to go about navigating the etiquette.

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