- Avoid a terse "No Children!" on the invites. Better options include putting "Adult-Only Ceremony and Reception" on your invitations, or stating on your RSVP cards that it will be an adult reception. To reemphasize the point, say "We've reserved __seats in your honor," indicating only the adults in the number.
- Briefly explaining your reasoning may help guests understand your request. "As no daycare is available at the wedding, we ask that parents make other arrangements for their children," or "To cut down on costs, we are having an adult-only reception," or "Because of the late hour, we ask that no children be brought to the reception."
- One way to allow parents to enjoy your event is to provide babysitting. Mention in the invitation that children must be taken to the daycare provided as the wedding and/or reception is adult-only. Set up a room where the wedding is being held or the home of a family member or friend near the location as a nursery/childcare area. Hire a professional sitter or recruit some family members to watch the children for several hours.
- To avoid any miscommunication, clearly state what you mean by "children." Some parents may assume that older kids are all right, while you may want no one under legal drinking age in attendance. Some couples may be fine with children over the age of 12 or 13 who don't need round-the-clock supervision. Be sure to specify the age limit in your invitations. Also, clearly state whether children cannot attend only the reception or both the wedding and the reception.
- Inevitably, some people will assume that, despite your request, bringing their kids will be OK. Thus, it never hurts to give a friendly reminder. A week or two before the big day, call or e-mail all guests who have RSVP'd and who are parents to tactfully remind that you're having a no-children wedding and to offer the babysitting services other parents are using if you're not providing childcare yourself. Be firm to ensure that everyone plans to respect your wishes on your wedding day.
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