Sincerely: How do I break the news I’m having an adult only wedding?

If you saw this instagram post last week, you know I am asking for all your wedding related and small business questions. Today I am introducing my new SINCERELY blog series sharing my first question I received from a engaged friend of mine.

Scroll below to give it a read.


Hey Brooke,

My fiance and I are having an adult only ceremony and reception but I am struggling on how to communicate that to my friends and family and definitely don’t want children to show up and not have a seat or food for them. How do I communicate to my guests that it is an adult only ceremony?



Communicating an adult wedding is a tricky thing, especially when some people get offended that their children aren’t invited – but there is definitely a difference to having a wedding with children than without.

The first thing to understand is you will most likely offend a guest or someone will not be able to come because their child cannot attend with them. Know this is not something that is your fault – some people struggle to find day care, don’t want to leave their children or frankly do not understand the financial investment to allowing everyone to bring their children to your wedding. But everyone has their own opinions and know that this is your day.

Below are my 3 tips to communicate your adult only wedding.

1. Communicate it multiple times on your invitation.

Your invitations are going to be your number one ally for communicating an adult only wedding.

  • Address the invitation to only those who are invited. (i.e. ‘Mr. & Mrs. Johnson’ not ‘The Johnson Family’)
  • Mention an adult only ceremony AND reception on the invitation or information card, or even better on both.
  • If your RSVP card has a number of attending, make sure you fill in the correct number in the second space (i.e. ___ of 2 attending). Don’t allow them to fill in the second number themselves.
If you do recieve an invitation back that RSVP is for more people than the invitation was addressed to, call them right away and get it straightened out. Don’t wait on this because they will need time to make arrangements for their children not attending with them.
2. Let your immediate family and friends know and ask them to spread the word.

Recruit your family to help spread the word. They may have a conversation with someone that mentions their children attending or someone may even ask them if they can bring their children. The more informed your family and friends are the better they can spread the word for you.

3. Tell people in conversation.

Chances are if you’re engaged almost every conversation you have the question “how is wedding planning going?” comes up. So use this question as an opportunity to inform people of your adult soiree. It doesn’t have to be the first thing out of your mouth and super blunt, but bring it up casually like this:

“We just selected our bar menu and booked our DJ and could not be more excited! We are hoping it will be a fun night out for all the parents since we won’t be having an children. Let us know if you have a song request!”

Casually work it into the conversation and people will pick up on it and take note.

There you have it! 3 tips for communicating an adult only wedding.  Remember, your wedding planner is a great asset for you if you’re not sure to handle any situation.

Comment below with your best tips for a adult only wedding!

Photos: Allie & John Photography

Stellaluna Events

The team at Stellaluna Events are Michigan wedding planners. We believe in fulfilling experiences and creating meaningful memories. We plan and coordinate weddings throughout all of Michigan.

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