What to Do If You Only Want Some—Not All—Kids at Your Wedding

Should you be allowed to pick and choose which children can come to your wedding?
by Sophie Ross

If you’ve always dreamed of having an adults-only wedding but can’t imagine celebrating at your reception without your beloved nieces, you might feel like you’re in a pickle. Of course your sister’s children are welcome (they’re family—and probably flower girls) but do you really want dozens of other toddlers screaming and scampering about during your vows? Maybe not. And that’s okay—we’re here to help you solve this common conundrum.

Draw the line.

Yes, it’s okay to realize you only want some children: Maybe it’s the kids of immediate family members only, or even those of extended family members too. Regardless, don’t feel guilty for it. This is your wedding, and it should be exactly how you imagine it. But the most important thing is to...

Stand firm.

Whatever you do, just don’t let it get blurry. If you start allowing close friends’ children into the mix, things will get messy, and the last thing you want is for people whose children weren’t invited to take it personally. To make it easy on yourself and avoid hurt phone calls, don’t pick and choose children outside of your family.

Unfortunately, couples planning adults-only weddings usually have to prepare for a little bit of backlash, and adding a “some kids” clause into the mix will only complicate things. But no matter what kind of pressures you feel from some of your guests, don’t feel the need to back down to appease them.

Spread the word.

The first thing you’ll want to do is personally inform your family members what the game plan is. Tell them you want family kids only, and that all others should be informed up front that it’s an adults-only wedding outside of family members. You’ll never want to print “no kids allowed” in bold letters on your invitations anyway—so at that point, you’ll want to make sure that people (your family, wedding party and close friends) are using word of mouth to inform your guests that no children outside of family are allowed.

If you want to make it official and have it in wording to avoid confusion down the line, post on your wedding website (since it should have all of the details of your ceremony and reception anyway) that you’re only allowing children that are related to you.

Just make sure to word it as sensitively as possible since this is, well, a sensitive subject. In general, approach all of this extremely tactfully, even if that means calling people individually to explain the situation.

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