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How to Gracefully Host an Adult-Only Wedding Ceremony


Photographer: Lauren Kinsey

As much as you adore your friend’s and family’s little ones, you want the moment you walk down the aisle to be perfect and peaceful. Of course you don’t want to offend anyone, but knowing how to let your loved ones know can be hard, so we have a couple of tips for making the process easier:

Sensitive wording of informing your guests that your event will be chid-free is the best way to make sure no one’s feelings get hurt. If you opt to have a wedding website, this is a great place to make a note that the affair will be adult-only, instead of your wedding invitations. Hint: address the envelope of the wedding invitations to the adults only {Mr. and Mrs. Jack Smith, or Mr. Jack Smith and Mrs. Janice Smith}, instead of the  entire family {Mr. and Mrs. Jack Smith and Family}. It is always better to be upfront about who is invited instead of stating who is not invited.

Most people will completely understand, but some may not. In that case, you need to stick to your choice because if you allow some people to bring their children and not others, that will really hurt people’s feelings.

Things always sound better in person or over-the-phone than through text, so don’t be afraid to call your guests who have children to chat about the decision.

We have selected a few ideas to ensure everyone has a great time:

Host an event-within-an-event

If your venue allows, rent a ballroom or space on-property to host a kid-friendly party! You could go simple with a pizza and puppet party or go all out and have a dance party with a DJ, or something in-between. As long as they are entertained and their parents have a wonderful time, all is well!

Block off a hotel room for the little ones to watch a movie and play during the ceremony

Note: This is a perfect idea if you are getting married at a hotel or within walking distance to a hotel. Some parents will not feel comfortable leaving their kids at a hotel if they are not there too.

Provide a list of babysitters for your guests to choose from

If you are having a local wedding, most of your guests with children will already have a nanny or sitter they trust, but if you are having a destination wedding, make a list of local sitters that are well-know in the area for your guests to choose from. There are many services like that allows you to request background checks on sitters. That way, you can feel secure in who you hire. Also, reach out to the local kids camps. They will be able to recommend counselors who work with kids year-round and have ties to the area, which may make your guests feel more comfortable.

Dedicate a reception table to the kiddos

If children will be attending your reception, add little touches to ensure they stay entertained like a table or corner of the room dedicated to them.

You could have a table with coloring books, jars of crayons, arts and crafts supplies, a candy bar, and/or games such as: I SPY, Yard Games, or MadLibs.

Timing Tip:

Make sure to inform your guests as early as possible in order for them to easily make plans, especially if your guests are traveling. This way, no one is rushing at the last minute to make other arrangements.

Seen some fun ideas for kids at weddings? Please share with us in the comments!

Happy Planning!

SPE Team

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