I was perusing through some wedding forums again, when I saw a bride talking about how she felt like the bad guy because she didn’t want any kids 10 and under allowed at her wedding. Her mother-in-law was mad at her, and her sister, who was pregnant, was asking if she would be able to bring her newborn to the wedding.
The bride seemed to have a pretty bad attitude about this, stating that her sister “just didn’t get it”. A lot of the response comments were that you cannot set an age limit at 10 because this will tear families apart, possibly leaving 1 kid at a sitter and 1 able to go.
While I don’t think that the bride in the post handled the “no kids” situation very well, I still believe that there is some merit behind not wanting kids at your wedding if you feel really strongly about it.
But how can you ask this request of your guests without seeming rude?
What should the age cutoff be for my wedding?
The common consensus on the forum was that 10 was such an arbitrary age that didn’t really delegate an elevated level of maturity, and that the bride was wrong for picking an age that didn’t have much reasoning behind it.
That being said, what would a good age cut-off be if you don’t want kids at your wedding?
I would think that if you are basing your decision on wanting to have a mature, adults only wedding with no childhood shenanigans, then 18 would be a fair cut-off.
If you don’t want under-aged people to have the possibility of obtaining alcohol, or even being in an atmosphere with alcohol, then your cut-off age should be 21.
If you are only inviting United States Presidents or people who could run, then the cut-off should 35.
Other than that, there isn’t really much deviation that is fair and easy to explain.
What if people refuse to come?
It is going to happen.
Odds are that if you are setting an age limit for your wedding, some people are going to get mad and refuse to come. Other people may not be angry, but just can’t find or afford a baby sitter to watch the kids, and so have no other option than to stay home. You have to expect this.
There will also be people who will tell you that your idea is stupid, that you have to reconsider, or make an exception just for them. The truth is, that it is your wedding and it should be the way that you want it to be. Knowing that, you still have to be able to accept the consequences of angering people or having less people in attendance than you may have expected. Weigh the costs of making people mad against the benefit of having the adults only or legal drinking age wedding that you want.
Above all, don’t let people push you or guilt you into making a decision that you don’t want to make.
If you are wondering how to walk the fine line of wording your invitation to express your wishes, check out the section on wording your invitation below.
What about newborns at my wedding?
Newborns may be the exception to your rules.
Newborns are fragile (though not as fragile as some may think; nurses throw them around right after they are born like they are made of steel), and are in need of extra caring from their mothers and fathers.
This is especially true if the newborn is breastfeeding. They will need their mother every 2 hours for their feeding. While it is true that the mother can leave a supply of milk behind, some may not choose to do so.
You must also think about the logistics of having someone else watch a newborn. Someone who possibly has no experience, or no recent experience, watching a newborn will be required to watch this new life and be responsible for them while their worried parents are off trying to have fun while all they are really thinking about is how their new baby is doing. This couple is likely to have little to no fun at your wedding, and will likely leave the festivities early.
The bride in the forum post had a sister who was having a baby right before the wedding, and she refused to let her sister bring the child to the wedding, seemingly thinking her sister was being unfair for even thinking she would allow it.
Would you want your sister to miss your wedding just because she has a newborn baby?
Again, this is only a question that you can answer, and a list of pros and cons that you must weigh in order to make the best decision.
How do I word my wedding invitations to include adults only?
If you are sticking to your decision to have an adults only wedding, you may be wondering how to word the invitation to specify that this is your wish. It is a fine line to walk. If worded incorrectly you may come of rude.
- Don’t be vague about it. Being vague and doing something like addressing the invite to only the adults, or writing “invite for 2” is just asking for adults to bring kids. Some people see kids coming as a requirement and when other parents see the kids of other people there, all hell will break loose.
- Be direct. Write out on the invitation “Adults-only wedding ceremony” or “Adults-only reception”. Be as specific as possible as to when kids are and are not allowed, if at all.
- List a reason why. People may think you are being rude if you don’t explain the reasoning. If you want to have adults only so you can allow others to have an evening free of kids, then write that. If you want to have alcohol and don’t want kids around alcohol or people who are drinking, then write that!
- Blame it on someone else. Some venues may not allow children. Some venues may be fine with you just telling people they don’t allow children to get you off the hook. I would ask before implementing that last one, but some may be open to letting you say that.
If you want more advice on how to word your invitation for your no kids wedding, check out this article in Modern Wedding. They lay out some good advice and wording choices for you to include on your invites.
Know your reasoning, and stick to it!
Whatever path you choose to take, and whatever wording you choose to use, make sure you stick with your decision all the way through. Caving and allowing certain people to bring their kids but not others will create some angry and resentful guests at your wedding. The idea is to have a good time, and being open and honest and sticking to your decision will allow fairness for everyone and leave no resentment.
Are you planning an adults-only wedding? We would love to hear about how you are handling the situation, and how people are reacting to your “no kids” rule! Providing your insight will also help others who are wondering how to deal with this situation as well!