How to Say No Kids in the Wedding Invitation

If you’re in need of some tips on how to say no kids on a wedding invitation, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find out more.

By Amanda Mitchell

married couple poses after wedding
Photo by Bri Johnson Photography

Whether you're keeping the wedding guest count small or your venue has an adult-only policy, figuring out how to say no kids at weddings can be emotionally taxing, awkward, and anxiety-inducing.

Zola’s First Look Report reveals that 35% of couples are requesting their guests get a sitter for their wedding day if possible. An additional 21% are saying no to kids at the wedding altogether. And this is with a majority of couples’ guest lists including 100+ guests. If you don’t want to have kids at your wedding, it can be hard to navigate the situation with finesse.

Parents can take their children's lack of inclusion personally, and sometimes, the circumstances don't work out in your favor. But remember: It's your big day, which means you're in charge of who you want in attendance.

To help quell your anxiety, here’s everything you need to know about approaching the situation. We’ve included scripts to use for every scenario and advice on how to enforce your adult-only wedding rules. Ready to buckle up and let everyone know you want to go kid-free? Here’s how.

How to say no kids at a wedding: 5 scenarios

There’s nothing wrong with wanting an adult-only event, but not everyone understands that. Plus, the last thing you want to do is create ambiguity or hurt feelings. We’ve pulled together the best adult-only wedding wording for all kinds of circumstances.

1. When space or budget is limited

Maybe you’d love to invite kids to your wedding, but outside circumstances don’t allow it.

  • Our sincerest apologies, but due to space and safety concerns, we are unable to accommodate children at our wedding.
  • We would love to have your children at our wedding, but due to cost, we are only allowing children of close family members to attend.
  • We have reserved two seats in your honor. To keep the atmosphere intimate and elegant, we ask that you leave your little ones at home.

2. When the venue is adults-only

It’s out of your hands: the venue says no kids, so your wedding has to be kid-free.

  • We are looking forward to having our guests relax and enjoy an evening of celebration—our wedding will be an adult-only occasion. We politely request no children at this private, intimate event.
  • Leave the littles at home this evening. We adore them, but we’re looking forward to celebrating our marriage without little ears and eyes around.
  • Our wedding will be an evening affair with an open bar and loud music. For the comfort and safety of all guests, we kindly request no children under 18.

3. When part of the wedding is adult-only

Perhaps you’re open to children at the ceremony, but you want the reception to be for adults only—or vice versa.

  • We’re looking forward to celebrating our wedding with your children at the ceremony and cocktail hour, but request the reception be reserved for adults only.
  • We are extending a formal invitation to celebrate our marriage with your children at the reception, but only children in the bridal party should be in attendance at the ceremony.
  • Our wedding day is fast approaching, and we can’t wait to see you. We want to let you know that our ceremony will be kid-friendly, and the reception will be adult-only.

4. When some kids are invited

It can seem a little awkward to play favorites. These phrases will help your friends and family members understand your decision.

  • As much as we love and adore all of the children in our lives, we are only able to invite a few close family members’ children.
  • We can’t wait to welcome you to your wedding. Please note the event is child-free, with the exception of children in the wedding party.
  • We respectfully request no children other than immediate family.

5. When it’s just your personal preference

No is a full sentence, and you don’t need to give an in-depth explanation. Stick to what you believe.

  • We sincerely regret that we are unable to accommodate children.
  • Have a date night! Get a babysitter, leave the kids at home, and get into a lot of trouble with us for an evening.
  • This is an adult event that includes anyone over the age of 21.
Wedding Invitation Ideas

Tips on how to say no kids at weddings

You’ve got the scripts, you’ve prepped your adult-only wedding invitation, and now it’s time actually to enforce it. While saying “adults only, please” should be enough, it isn’t always.

1. Don’t blindside anyone

It's important to note that you should rip off the bandage as soon as possible. This will allow parents to coordinate childcare and babysitting ahead of the event.

2. Mention it on your website

If you're worried the parents might not understand the RSVP card or the invite, your wedding website is the best location for that information.

3. Word your invitations carefully

If you're not into having "The Chat," one way to first notify guests of your child-free wedding is via your save the dates and wedding invitations. Address the invites only to those who are invited. The envelope and the RSVP card should only have the names of the parents, not the children. Don't make any other mention of it on the invite itself—"adults only" can feel more aggressive than necessary.

4. Communicate before assumptions are made

As we said before, it's important to make sure you communicate that you are having a child-free wedding with anyone who assumes their children are on the guest list. People may not look at websites, and family members may get offended on behalf of others. Just stay firm and honest and remind them you're not trying to hurt their feelings.

5. Don't pick and choose

Feel free to include children in the wedding party. They can attend the ceremony and not the reception or be around for the entire day, but don't let some guests bring their children and not others. That's a sure way to offend someone.

Having a child-free wedding is a personal decision that can bring a lot of emotional anxiety, but it's your day, and you can celebrate with who you want—family and friends, young and old. Now that you’ve got the guestlist sorted keep prepping your wedding with Zola. Want to have kids on your big day? Zola has advice on including kids, too.

Up next for you

zola wedding website

11 Dos and Don'ts for Your Wedding Website


Your wedding website provides your wedding guests with all the necessary info about your wedding. Here's exactly what to include and what to skip on your wedding website.

rustic wedding invitations

12 Rustic Wedding Invitations Ideas to Inspire You


Rustic weddings make the natural feel new again. Whether you’re opting for hand-drawn florals or festival prints, here are some ideas for rustic wedding invitations.

Unique Wedding Invitations

21 Unique Wedding Invitation Ideas


We have scoured the web for the most unique wedding invitations on the stationery scene, and we’re sharing them here.

 Shop Save the Dates, Invites, and More in One Place

Find even more wedding ideas, inspo, tips, and tricks

We’ve got wedding planning advice on everything from save the dates to wedding cakes.