I Don't Want Kids At My Wedding. What Do I Do?
You've decided that you want a kid-free event for your special day but don't know how to tread the murky waters of telling friends and family. It can get awkward telling your sister that you want her to be your maid of honor but you don't want her kiddos there - but it's your day! You get to decide the guest list- whether that is 200 people, 50, kids, no kids, or just you and your fiancé!
So if you don't want kids there, we have some helpful tips to get the point across without hurting feelings and hopefully making it clear so you don't have any surprise RSVPs the day of!
1. Put it on your wedding website
It is so important to have a wedding website with a great FAQ section. This can tell your guests everything from what to wear, how to get there, what to do in the area, and answer the age-old question - can I bring my kids? Here is what I wrote for my FAQ sheet:
Are kids welcome? We love your children but this is your chance to have a night off- we are having a kids free event.
2. When sending invitations, write specific names
One way to make it clear to guests that don't bother reading the website is writing out "Clint & Debbie McDonald" rather than "The McDonald Family". This gives you an out when they try to RSVP for more people. "I'm sorry, but we're only inviting those whose names are on the invitation at this time." (Pro-tip: this helps a lot with random plus ones as well!)
3. "Blame" the venue
On tours, we always try to make it clear to our couple that we want everyone to have a fun, safe time at your wedding. With that being said, we have a pretty strict policy on kids being unsupervised. We have a pond right next to the reception space, a fire pit, tall stairs in the bridal suite and groom's cottage, and plenty of poison ivy in the woods outside of the bounds of the party. Problems a plenty for little ones (and big ones if they've had one too many, come to think of it). These are great reasons to tell your guests when they ask why they can't bring their children if you don't want to tell them you just don't want them there. Just say it's a liability thing!
4. Strategize accordingly by having resources ready
If you have a guest determined to work around every reason you've given them, we suggest you take a firm stance and say something like this, "We would love for you to be there but we can't make exceptions for our no-kids rule. If you need help finding a sitter, we have the number for a local company that does babysitting in this area." By having this information ready, it shows you mean business about your plans.
5. Have a compromise in place for key family members
If you want your niece there as a flower girl but don't want her there all day, it's as simple as hiring a babysitter to bring her for the ceremony and take her home! We have that happen all the time. That's what I did at my wedding! My flower girl and ring bearer were great family friends, very well behaved, and loveable kids but I knew they wouldn't have fun on my chilly October evening after the ceremony so we had their grandma come and get them after the ceremony! It was perfect because it meant Mom and Dad could relax and I got some super cute photos of them - plus the kids weren't miserable all night with nothing to do!
It can be daunting facing your family members that insist on having their children present, but if you want a kid-free event, you deserve it!
We hope these tips make things a bit easier on you and happy wedding planning!