It can be done. I’m a successful childfree wedding haver and survived to tell the tale. I’ve been married for almost three years and have given advice on how to hold a childfree wedding before to a few curious friends. Now as wedding season approaches I’ve decided to pass along some advice on how to successfully pull this off.
Just going to start out getting real, people will most likely tell you are you being selfish for banning children from your wedding.
It’s hard for me to see the other side of this argument as I am anti-kid at fancy events and pretty much anti-kid in general.
Be prepared to defend your decision and deal with some general pissy attitudes about the whole thing.
if you are lucky (like me) you will be surrounded with supportive and understanding people who get it.
Weddings bring out the worst in people. Not just in your friends and family but also in you, dear bride/groom. Yes, you might just bring out the worst in yourself when making guest lists and picking out the flowers.
I wouldn’t say deciding to have a childfree wedding brought out the worst in me, but rather the best. To all of those who are planning weddings, remember it is your day. No one else’s. If someone tries to make your wedding about them, you don’t need them in your life or at your wedding (if you can help it).
No one would say you were selfish for having kids, so why would anyone care about who you invite to your wedding?
BECAUSE PEOPLE WILL TAKE ANY OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE SOMETHING ABOUT THEM IF THEY ARE TYPE OF PERSON TO DO SO.
This is especially true when it comes to kids. Weddings are not the place to show off your babies. That’s what Facebook is for.
These selfish opportunity takes often include over-obsessed parents who are looking forward to forcing their kid into a frilly dress or tiny suit which THEY WILL ABSOLUTELY HATE!
Which brings me to one of the reasons why I chose to have a childfree wedding: kids aren’t going to have fun.
While I’m sure some of them would and could have fun, I don’t know any kids that would want to go to a wedding. Especially a very adult one. Like I said, your wedding is YOURS and isn’t about entertaining someone else’s children.
I’m not the biggest kid fan and wanted to have an adult party with adult conversations and booze sans screaming rugrats. Kids are entertaining in small doses and I can appreciate the darnedest things they say. I think we can agree a wedding and reception is not the ideal location for a kid.
Another reason I went sans-children is to give the grown-ups a much-deserved and needed break.
Look, I’m childfree and happy about it (sometimes my extremely spoiled dog is worse than a human baby).
I understand being a parent is hard. Like really freakin’ hard. And exhausting. And a bunch of other tiring and money-sucking things. I admire parents and their dedication to being responsible for another human life, but come on, they need a break.
I had no verbal complaints about banning children from our wedding. I actually got the total opposite. People loved it! If there was someone who wasn’t so happy about it, I didn’t know because they didn’t tell me. Whoever you are (if you are even a person), I’m grateful to you for staying quiet and not adding another item on my to-do list of wedding madness.
The parents I knew told me and my mom they loved having a night away from the kids. Not only was it a night away from the kids but they had specific instructions NOT to bring their kids.
By doing this, it prevented them from having to worry about whether or not they could, or should bring their kids. This allowed for parents to make arrangements ahead of time instead of having to shove little Billy or little Susan into aforementioned frilly dresses and tiny suits at the last minute. Or, prevents them from coming all together and parents not getting a well-deserved night away with free booze.
Here comes the part where I tell you want to do.
One of the biggest questions I bet you have is “how do I not hurt feelings?”
Well, there is no correct answer to that question. Like I said, some parents will be grateful and others will consider it a slap in the face for not including their children. If this is something you really want to do, you can’t let others get in your way. IT’S YOUR DAY!
Wording is everything when you decide to have a childfree wedding. You have to be firm with guests and lay down the law on the invite.
For example, our wedding invite was worded with the following:
“Please make other arrangements for your children. Adults only.”
See how easy?
The next step is properly formatting and wording the RSVP cards and invitations.
On the RVSP card only include a spot for up to two names. Note: if you have invited an entire family including adult children or teenagers, you should leave plenty of room for more than two names if more than just a couple are attending together.
The same goes for the invites. Only write the names of the adults unless you are inviting a whole family with adult children/teens and then you would put “The Smith Family” on the invite envelope. Another note: DO NOT PUT THE FAMILY IF THERE IS CHILDREN YOU DON’T WANT TO COME. Etiquette implies if you put “The Smith Family” the whole fam damily will show up, including children. If you want to invite a couple and not their kid, simply word the invitation “John and Ann Smith”.
Now, here is when it gets tricky. Honestly, this is something I didn’t have to deal with so I’m not sure how exactly to answer this: what if someone responds with a child on the RSVP even though you clearly said no children?
Or, worst case scenario someone brings a child to the wedding anyway.
Sh*t just got real.
This is the part where the worst might come out in you.
Scenario #1: get in touch with said person and tell them the wedding is childfree and they are not to bring their child. If they get offended with you, screw ’em. You don’t need people in your life like that.
Scenario #2: this one is tricky. You have every right to be pissed at this person for being disrespectful to your wishes. However, don’t let it ruin your day. This person is a jagweed and their baby is probably ugly.
Don’t let people walk all over you. There’s nothing wrong with standing up for what you want for your wedding.
While requesting a childfree wedding is easy, dealing with the fallout (if any) won’t be.
Remember, it’s YOUR DAY.