PRO: Your entire family will be there to celebrate with you, kids and all! It’s the perfect family photo op.
CON: There is a chance a baby could start screaming in the middle of your ceremony.
PRO: Kids doing silly things actually adds great value and nostalgia to a ceremony.
CON: The kids might cause parents to lose focus during your ceremony and leave the dance floor early.
PRO: Your wedding can feel more light and whimsical.
PRO: Some parents will stay out later knowing they don’t need to put their kids to bed.
CON: Parents will need to hire a babysitter.
PRO: You can have adult themes and not worry about kids there to spoil it.
CON: You might get some angry parents or people that ask to bring their child anyways. Or worse, people who don’t ask and just show up with their kids.
PRO: Your wedding can feel more romantic and peaceful.
How To Say It On An Invitation
The best part about including children in your wedding, if you decide to, is that you don’t have to worry about how to phrase it on an invitation. In fact, you just need to address each invite to the whole family (e.g. The Roberts Family). Easy peasy!
Furthermore, you could invite a small selection of children from family members this way. Just address each invitation to friends with children you’d rather not have there with the adult names only. Most people should get the hint. Especially if you have their specific names on the RSVP card/online form.
On the other hand, having an adults-only wedding creates a bit of confusion and is somewhat messy when it comes to communicating it to your guests. Here are some examples of what you should and should not say if you choose to include it on your invitation:
We respectfully ask to share our special day only with guests aged 14 and up, thank you.
We would love if our day can be celebrated by those who are age 12 and older, please contact us with any questions, thank you.
Due to restrictions at our venue, children under the age of 16 are not able to attend. We apologize for any inconvenience.
(use this one only if you have limited seating or the venue has other strict policies children might interfere with)
Do Not Say This
Please leave your children at home for our special day, thank you.
No children please.
Children are welcome at the ceremony but the reception is an adults-only affair.
(this is not fair to the kids and a hassle for the parents… invite kids or don’t but not to just part of the wedding)
It’s also a great option to have the phrase about “no kids allowed” on your wedding website rather than on your printed wedding invitations. People looking for more details about who is invited will go there to RSVP anyways, so put it somewhere close to that RSVP button.
Another way to specify you’d rather not have children attend is to put the specific names of each guest invited and the number of people in the family invited on the RSVP card or the online RSVP form.
Finally, you might consider addressing your invites to the adults only instead of the full families, and then spreading the “no kids” rule by word-of-mouth.
Any of these options works great just as long as you avoid using “adults only” or “no kids” and understand there may be some questions for you.