How to say no kids at wedding: best man giving a speech

Wedding planning involves making lots of big and small decisions — one of which is whether you want to invite children to your wedding or not. If you’re hoping for an adults-only celebration, finding the right way to share that message can feel difficult, even for the most confident of couples. 

In this guide, we’ll share how to say no kids at the wedding in a polite yet firm way. We’ll go over how to approach the issue, along with some of our favorite wording ideas for different scenarios. 

Your Guide on How to Say No Kids at a Wedding

You’ve decided to host an adults-only gathering, but how do you share that information with your close friends and family members? Here’s our best advice on how to break the news to your guest list, so that everyone gets the right message. 

Use Wording That Makes Your Situation Clear

Words can leave a lot to interpretation, which is why it’s important to use the right ones. To make things obvious, opt for wording like “No Children” or “18+ Only.” If children are welcome to come to the venue but will be hosted by a babysitting service or nursery elsewhere in the building, make this known on the invites. 

This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with some of your no kids wedding invitation wording — just clearly state your situation. You can pair a simple and succinct “Adults-Only Event” on the front of your invites with a few lines on the reverse about how excited you are to relax and unwind. If there’s limited space, always use the most direct phrasing. 

How to Address Your Save the Dates and Wedding Invites 

How to say no kids at wedding: Seaside Invitation

Design: LNZart

One area that can create confusion at child-free weddings is the way that your save the dates and wedding invitations are worded. Tradition dictates that only those named on the invites are actually official guests to the wedding, so make sure you specifically name your intended guests on your paper or digital invitations

If you’re set on an adults-only event, avoid phrases like “To All of You” or “To [Name] and Family.” This can create an expectation that everyone’s invited, even if your invite wording later goes on to explain that under-18s aren’t invited. 

Share the Message Across Multiple Mediums

It might feel like it’s enough to share this information on your save the dates and wedding invites only, but it’s easy for people to overlook the details if they only see them once or twice. To avoid any confusion, reinforce your message across all the places people will hear about your wedding. 

Add a note about your adults-only occasion on your save the dates and invites, and again on your wedding website and follow-up messages to chase those RSVPs. Highlight it on your RSVP cards or response cards too, with wording like “Only Adults Invited,” “Adults Only,” or “Sorry, No Children.”

With our online wedding invitations it’s easy to customize your wording so you can write exactly what you want. Plus, you can share extra information like what your plans are for a nursery (if there is one) with our details panel — so there’s no confusion over who’s invited and what the plan is.

Display Confidence and Compassion

For many people, a wedding being adults only means they might not be able to attend — especially if it’s a destination wedding. It can be challenging to find child care, especially if a babysitter or family member isn’t around to step in and help. Keep this in mind as you create your wording, and again when people inevitably try to ask you for an exception.

Stand firm and stay true to your feelings. Explain the reasons behind your decision if you like, or simply state that it’s an adults-only event. Balance standing your ground with understanding the difficult decision your guest might have to make — then it will be much easier for both parties to respect each other’s wishes, needs, and circumstances. 

No Kids Wedding Invitation Wording Ideas

Bride talking to the groom

If you’re wondering exactly how to say no kids at the wedding, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the most thoughtful, creative, and polite ways to get your message across. 

When You Want to Be Direct

While many couples choose to go into detail about why they’re hosting a child-free wedding, you don’t have to. If you favor a more direct approach, keep it clear with a handful of words that need no other explanation.

Here are the best no kids wedding invitation wording ideas if you want to be short and simple with your message:

  • Adults only
  • No children allowed
  • 18+ only, please
  • Named guests only
  • Sorry, no children
  • Our wedding is adults only

When the Space or Budget Is Restricted

Weddings are expensive, and one of the best ways to stay within your wedding budget is to reduce your guest list. If you need to make a change to save funds or fit in your dream venue, an easy way to do this is to switch to an adults-only celebration. 

Here’s how to say no kids at the wedding if the reason is that you’re limited by budget, space, or both:

  • We’d love to invite everyone to celebrate our special day, but there simply isn’t room. For this reason, we’ve decided to host an adults-only celebration. 
  • Saving for a house is expensive! Because of this, we’re keeping our guest list short and sweet — adults only, please. 
  • Our wedding will be adults only so that we can have our dream wedding venue. Know that we love [child’s name] dearly, and we’re excited to see them again soon! 
  • We’d invite the world if we could, but it’s simply not an option. Please note our event is adults only
  • Our numbers are restricted, so it’s with sadness that we cannot invite [child’s name] to the ceremony and reception. They are welcome to join you at the hotel though, where a babysitting service will take care of them during the festivities. 

When Your Venue Is Adults Only

Some venues have a policy where no children are allowed, and there are no exceptions. Maybe there are licensing restrictions, maybe the venue isn’t suitable for children, or it’s simply their personal policy to host kid-free weddings and events. 

Here’s some of the best no kids wedding invitation wording if you simply can’t invite children due to your venue’s policies: 

  • Unfortunately, due to venue restrictions, we won’t be able to invite children to the wedding. 
  • We wish we could have invited [child’s name] to celebrate with us on the day, but the venue sadly isn’t suitable for children. 
  • The nature of our chosen venue means it’s not appropriate for those under 18. Adults are welcome, but no children, please. 
  • We know how important child safety is, which is why we share the same views as our venue that this isn’t the place for children. Because of this, our wedding day will be adults only
  • Due to policies outside our control, our wedding reception venue is 18+ only. Please note this means children regrettably won’t be able to attend our ceremony or reception. 

When Some Children Are Invited but Others Aren’t

Newly married couple kissing

Even at a child-free wedding, there might be a few under-18s in attendance. Most guests will understand that they’re likely to be children of immediate family members, close friends, or the wedding party — or babies that cannot be left. However, there is the possibility that others may not be aware that it’s your niece or nephew, and will wonder if the policy wasn’t applied fairly. 

Here’s how to say no kids at the wedding when the reality is that some children will be there on the day: 

  • Although we’re hosting an adults-only event due to limited space, you may still see some children at our celebration. Our ceremony wouldn’t be complete without our ring bearer and flower girl, who’ll be invited to stay for the reception celebration as a thank you. 
  • Please note our celebration is for adults only, except newborns and infants. 
  • While we’d have loved to have a big celebration on our wedding day, our limited budget means we can only invite children from our immediate family. We’re excited to plan a separate get-together soon so that all the families can play together! 
  • Adults only, please. An exception is made for newborns and babies (under 12 months) — we understand that being separated from their beloved caregiver at this age isn’t an option.
  • Due to space restraints, we’ve only been able to extend invites to the children of our immediate family and wedding party. We hope you can understand. 

When Only Part of Your Event Is Adults Only

It’s your special day, so you might decide to host an adults-only ceremony followed by a family-friendly reception — or the other way around. If children are invited to part of the event, you’ll want to make it extra clear to your wedding guests which moments these are. 

Here’s some no kids wedding invitation wording inspiration for when only one section of your big day is adults only

  • We’d love to see [child’s name] at our ceremony, but please note that the reception is adults only
  • All children will be looked after in the nursery during the ceremony but are welcome to join us in the main hall to eat, dance, and have fun at the reception! 
  • So that we can all relax and let our hair down, our evening wedding reception will be adults only. Please feel free to make use of our babysitting service from [time] onwards.
  • Our ceremony will take place at [time]. After this, please join us for an adult reception from [time]. 
  • While our wedding ceremony is for adults and children of close family members only, our wedding reception is open to all. We’d be so excited to welcome [child’s name] to celebrate with us from [time] onwards. Until then, we’re providing a wonderful babysitting service in [venue room name]. 

When It’s Simply Your Preference

Some couples may be restricted by budget or venue policies, but you don’t need an external reason to host a child-free wedding. Maybe you want to feel free to be loud or host a sophisticated celebration that isn’t appropriate for kids. Or you might simply want to keep things adults only.

Here’s how to say no kids at the wedding when there’s no other reason, it’s just your preference on how you want your wedding day to be: 

  • We’ve made the choice to have an adults-only wedding. We’re excited to see you there! 
  • So that we can have the big day we’ve always dreamed of, we’re making it an adults-only event. 
  • We have some really exciting things planned for our wedding reception. With this in mind, we’ve decided to say no children at the wedding, please. 
  • To focus on our vows and soak up every moment, we’re hosting a child-free wedding
  • We’ve decided to host a child-free wedding. We understand this won’t work for everyone, so please know that we respect your RSVP decision either way! 

Communicate Clearly With These No Kids Wedding Invitation Wording Tips

The decision to host an adults-only wedding might be outside your control or it might be just the thing you’ve always dreamed of. No matter the reason, it’s an important decision to communicate to your guests. Use these “how to say no kids at the wedding” tips above to help you craft the perfect message to share with your guest list

From the beginning, make it clear on your save the dates and wedding invitations that your celebration is for adults only. Use our customization features to share wording that fits with your personality and plans, so you can get your message across clearly and simply. That way, there’ll be no confusion or stress over how to say no kids at the wedding.