How to Respectfully Not Invite Children to a Wedding

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While adorable, children can create havoc in social settings. When it comes to a wedding, a place traditionally filled with dressy clothing, expensive decorations and upscale food, having children around can lead to unnecessary stress. A wedding is your day, and you should plan it in a manner that suits you, even if this means not including children. Once you decide to leave kids off the guest list, make sure you follow proper etiquette to keep from offending your adult guests.

  • Include a separate note with your wedding invitations specifying that children will not be in attendance. Many wedding invitations come with matching note cards you can use for this type of situation. When writing the note, use a polite but firm tone and include a specific age under which children are not invited.

  • Address the envelope only to the parents and any children old enough to attend. Omit the names of younger children on the envelope. Mail the invitations within a reasonable time frame. The sooner the parents know they cannot bring their children, the better chance they have of finding a suitable babysitter.

  • Inform your immediate family of your decision to exclude children and explain your reasoning. For example, you may say that your budget simply does not allow for it or that you feel children would be bored at such a formal event. Your family members can help field questions from other relatives.

  • Decide how to handle angry or disappointed guests. Some guests may not wish to come to your wedding or will question your decision. Mentally prepare a response for these guests.

  • Determine who will answer questions from your guests. Traditionally, the bride and groom handle the scheduling of their own guests. For example, your finance may field questions or concerns from his cousins, while you may speak to your aunt. Answer any questions guests have about bringing their children as concisely and politely as you can.

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