Wedding Service

Want a childless marriage? How to avoid offending friends and family

Nicholas Murphy

While some weddings are aimed at guests who have children, some couples may choose to have an adults-only celebration.

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The problem is, how do you tell your guests without offending them? Presumably your closest friends can bring their offspring with them, especially if the bride and groom are having a young wedding party, but Lisa Forde, etiquette expert and founder of a wedding stationery company heart tree, said HELLO! how to politely tell people that children are not invited.

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Adults Only Weddings

“At the end of the day, it’s your day and your choice,” Lisa explained. To reassure brides-to-be that it doesn’t have to be an awkward or scary issue, she added, “Some parents may even be grateful for a night where they can let loose!”

Save the date cards and invitations are where you need to make your plans very clear to avoid any issues closer to the wedding date.

“It’s always a tricky conversation to have, but being honest from the start is always the best way to go. I would also try to give as much notice as possible so they can look into childcare options. , maybe when you give the Save the Dates, just give them a call to let them know,” Lisa said.

No child wedding insert, £23.79, Etsy


If you’re wondering exactly how to phrase it, she provided a suggestion. “When you send out your more formal invitations, be sure to phrase it in a nice way – something simple like, ‘While we love your children, our wedding is an adults-only occasion, so we ask that no child does not attend.” “

Alternatively, if you plan to invite young guests, whether your own children or your flowergirls and page boys, Lisa said it’s important to make it clear that they are the exception to the rule.

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“You need to be careful that none of your guests feel like only their children have been left out. Perhaps you can add a note on your invitations that says, ‘No children except the bridal party nuptial.””

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, intimate wedding ceremonies with limited guest lists have become more popular than ever, especially when combined with the cost of living crisis.

While removing children from the guest list can save a few pennies, kids are actually much more affordable than adult attendees.

Couples can have young wedding parties, but request that other children not attend their wedding

“It’s usually about 50% less than an adult when you look at the cost of things like food,” the etiquette expert explained, adding, “Of course kids won’t drink alcohol and soft drinks are much cheaper, so there are savings there and you can usually get cheaper wedding favors for the child guests.”

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However, child-friendly weddings may require additional entertainment, refreshments, or perhaps even nativity scenes that offer adults a little break from parenting duties.

Child-friendly weddings

“If you’ve chosen to have a child-friendly marriage, you need to think about actually making it child-friendly, for yours, the children, and the parents!” Lisa continued.

When it comes to the ceremony, one of the biggest issues to address are toilet breaks (which tend to happen at the most inconvenient times!) and general areas where parents can take fidgety kids.

Lisa said couples can ask their vicar or registrar to make an announcement at the start of the service telling parents where they can go in those scenarios.

“During the reception, maybe consider having a children’s table, or a children’s corner, where there are activities and games for them. If it is an outdoor venue, a bouncy castle will be always a treat and maybe an ice cream stand,” she concluded.

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