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No Children SignIf you’ve kept your ear to the ground for wedding planning chit-chat, you might already be aware of the controversy about childfree nuptials. Those who want “no kidding around” at their celebrations do so for a few key reasons. However, some view these “no children” requests as selfish. Who’s right? There’s no clear answer, only more opinions piling up on either side. If you’re thinking about making your own special day childfree, you’ll need to follow some important tips.

Reasons for Childfree Celebrations

For some couples, opting for a “no kids” wedding is an easy decision. Some cite safety concerns, such as one bride described by a February 2016 Madame Noire post. Worried about excessive alcohol consumption by her guests and a lack of protective railing around an outdoor pond at her venue, she and her spouse-to-be opted for a kid-free affair. However, she lamented on Reddit that several of her in-laws angrily threatened to skip her celebration. Meanwhile, others are cost-conscious, already dealing with large guest lists even before factoring in children. Finally, concerns about excessive noise, property damage and undisciplined little ones also top the list of reasons for an adults-only bash.

Debates About “Adults Only” Weddings

As the Madame Noir write-up illustrates, deciding not to include children might cause an uproar with your guests. In a May 2017 Metro op-ed piece, contributor Rebecca Reid pointed out that a “no children” rule could inconvenience parents of newborns, particularly those who can’t arrange for childcare. She also blames the usual problems involving children at weddings, such as noise and misbehavior, on their parents. Finally, she emphasized that weddings may not inherently be kid-friendly events, but they’re celebrations that typically involve multiple generations in a family. For many children, they can contain enjoyable moments and learning experiences for later in life.

On the other hand, a childfree affair can provide some attendees with a much-needed break from their little ones. Woman Getting Married’s advice columnist Lindsay Goldenberg Jones mentioned that tired kids can erupt into meltdowns from exhaustion, boredom or overstimulation. Moreover, parents may not be able to relax and socialize due to the need to keep an eye on their tiny charges. Finally, she opines that extremely young children may be ill-equipped to function at events that are more adult in nature, such as very formal dinner receptions. 

Planning Tips for No-Kid Nuptials

If you decide that the little ones in your social circle are better off at home, you’ll need to make your intentions known far in advance. Nevertheless, The Knot provides some useful hints to reduce the chances of offending your invitees. Contributors Ivy Jacobson and Irina Grechko advise against printing “Adults Only” on the invitations. Instead, be exact in how you address the envelopes. Writing out each adult’s name specifically should indicate that they are the only ones invited, and you can drive the message home by including the same names on the RSVP cards inside. If you have a wedding website, you should also post a tactful explanation and present possible childcare alternatives. In addition, be prepared to gently explain to guests with kids that your wedding is childfree, and do not back down from your decision. 

To Kid or Not to Kid?

Ultimately, the decision to hold a childfree wedding is your own. If you go this route, you’ll need to diplomatically communicate your intentions in your invitations and stand unwaveringly by your decision. Additionally, you’ll need to be ready to graciously handle guests who assume they’ll be able to bring their kids. You might not be able to completely avoid hurt feelings, but it’s helpful to take a sensitive yet firm approach with your invitees.


Category: Wedding Planning Ceremonies

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