Adults Only Policy: How to Lay Down the Rules Politely
Oct 25, 2018 | By: Kiss the Planner, Inc.
NO KIDS POLICY
One of the questions I get more than anything is “how do I let my guests know that they can’t bring their kids?” Adult only weddings seem to be a dilemma for many and here are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, it’s your wedding and you get to decide what is best for you. Secondly, your friends and family mean a lot to you and their feelings should be recognized. What I’m saying is that there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about informing them and hopefully these guidelines will be helpful.
Show your appreciation.
When speaking with them, remember to put yourself in their shoes. Start by letting your guests know how honored you are to have them at your wedding. Find the right words to show your appreciation that they are taking time out of their busy lives and allocating funds specifically to be with you.
A simple and clear statement to let them know.
Next, should they ask you, you can simply state the fact that this is an adult only wedding. That’s all you need to say. Nothing more. Explaining what it is not, and why it is not, really just opens yourself up to possibly saying the wrong thing, and not only is it not worth running the risk, it isn’t even necessary. It’s perfectly ok to create the wedding that is best for you, their host. Communicate this also without explanation on the wedding website so they have plenty of time to make alternate arrangements for the kids. Then, when it is time to send the invitations out you merely address the invitation to “Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So”. If the kids were invited it would read “and Family” but by not adding that, you have properly indicated that the kids are not invited and it is an adult only wedding. In the case where kids may be invited to the ceremony but not the reception, an acceptable way would be to write “Adult Reception to Follow” instead of “Reception to Follow.”
Be ready for rebuttals.
If someone still doesn’t get the message, make sure you handle it with the utmost respect. If they RSVP that they are bring the kiddies, remember that if they were important enough to invite to your wedding then they are important enough for you to protect the relationship. Try something like this. “I’m sorry if the information we provided wasn’t clear. It is our wish to have this be an adult only wedding celebration and we hope you can still make it. Shall I put you down as ‘yes’ for two adults?”
Offer alternatives to be helpful.
While you don’t have to set up babysitting services or research if there is a kid’s club at the hotel or if cribs are available for the guest rooms, it certainly is the right thing to do. Let your guest know that although it is an adult only wedding, you have thought about their needs and have these solutions to offer them.
Consider that having a few cuties join the party could work out well.
You certainly don’t have to change your mind but consider the idea that may not be half bad to have kids at a wedding. After all, that could be you someday facing the same dilemma. I personally have witnessed countless sweet moments from kids that were invited to the celebration. Think it over and ask the parents to be honest with you. Explain your concerns and see what they say. Parents will rarely steer you in the wrong direction, knowing they would never want to be the cause for your unhappiness.
If you are open to the idea, here’s a few ideas that can make the little tykes far more manageable. Having a few age-appropriate games at each child's place setting during the reception can keep most little hands and minds busy. Consider goodies bags placed at their seats to include items such as snacks, puzzles, coloring and activity books, finger-puppets, bubbles, or anything that is not messy but entertaining. The dollar stores are loaded with things that can keep most children happy for hours so it won’t break the bank. Alternatively, you can hire professional sitters to keep kids occupied with activities such a dress up box of costumes, board games or a device in which to show a movie. So while the parents are partying the night away at the adult only wedding, the kids are also enjoying themselves.
Having taken all that into account, bear in mind that it's your choice! Regardless of what you decide, let the wedding be a joy for you and those that came to help you celebrate. Kids or no kids, it’s going to be special.