Adults Only: How to tell your guests

Some couples choose to have an adult only wedding and the reasons vary. Perhaps they are having a videographer for the ceremony and want to be sure their vows are not interfered with a crying child. Maybe they know they have rowdy friends and feel it wouldn't be appropriate to have children. Maybe they are just trying to cut down the guest list, etc. No matter what the reason, your guests should kindly respect your wishes. After all it is a great reason to get a babysitter and make a night of it! The tricky part is how do you get the point across while being polite, but very clear? The best option is your rsvp cards.

A Courteous Hint: List names on the RSVP envelope

Use your RSVP envelope that comes with your invitations to list the names of those you are inviting. If the Smith family has 3 children, but you are only inviting the two adults just simply put Mr. and Mrs. Robert and Kathy Smith on the RSVP envelope. That is a very courteous and subtle way to let them know that little Sally, Bill, and Ruth are not invited.

Clear and Concise: Add the word "adult"

If you want to be a bit more obvious feel free to add the word “adult” on your RSVP card. For example, this is the format of a standard RSVP card:

M __________________________

_____ accepts with pleasure

_____ declines with regret 

Simply using the word “adult” is a clear, but kind way to let guests know your wishes for an adult only wedding.

M __________________________

_____ adults accept with pleasure

_____ adults decline with regret

Straight Forward: Reserved seats

I wanted to title this section "super obvious", but I decided to be a bit more graceful than that. Honestly, this is a pretty clear way to let people know who you are inviting. You literally reserve a certain number of seats for them. You can do so on the RSVP card:

M __________________________

____of __2_ accept with pleasure

____of __2_ regretfully decline 

You would actually put the number of people you are inviting on the RSVP card and they would state how many of those seats they would like reserved for those attending. It doesn’t state anywhere that children are not invited, but makes it clear that you are only inquiring attendance for two people and not the family of 5. This is also a great option if you will be inviting some children like your niece and nephew, but don’t want to account for your 3rd cousin’s son.

Even if you are crystal clear...

Remember that no matter how clear you think you are on your invitations someone is bound to miss the memo. Acknowledge their RSVP and contact them to clear up the miscommunication while letting them know that you would enjoy their presence at the wedding. Feel free to say something like the following:

Robert and Kathy,

Thank you so much for your RSVP! I noticed that you RSVP’d for little Sally, Bill, and Ruth. (Your fiancé’s name) and I unfortunately are not able to accommodate the children due to the venue maximum attendance (even if that isn’t the actual reason, it works). We thank you for understanding and hope that you both can still join us to celebrate our special day.

Letting your guests know your wishes without feeling rude or offensive can sometimes be a tricky balance. You can't please everyone and remember that is ok. I hope this little tid-bit helps you find a clear and polite way to make your wishes known.

Until next time...happy planning!

-XOXO, Tamara  

Cover Photo by: 2nd Truth Photography