We have heard this question pop up so many times when we secure weddings at an adult only venue or clients deciding for whatever personal reasons to host an adult only wedding. Adult-only weddings are more often than not the couple is referencing the actual reception itself. If you have decided on adults -only, do not take exceptions and be clear right away and make sure to include it in your wedding website. You can also opt in addition to your invitation and website to spread the word by asking your bridal party and family to help spread the word. Be prepared to have difficult conversations and you can say why it is adults-only. Maybe it is budget constraints, or the venue is adult-centric or has limited space.
If you are worried that guests with kids will be offended, here are classy ways to say "Sorry, adult-only."
The immediate way to allude to an adult-only wedding is in your invitation. Addressing the envelope properly will get your point across. It is etiquette for the guest to understand that the only people listed on the envelope are invited.
Outer Envelope: Mr. and Mrs. Michael Smith
Inner Envelope: Mike and Sandy
You may also mention on your reception card "intimate ceremony"
if you want to be extra clear, here are some wordings to use.
"Dearest friends and family, our wedding reception is for adults only. We thank you for respecting this request and look forward to celebrating with you."
Simple & Sweet:
"Join us for an adult reception at six o'clock"
" Please celebrate with us at an adults-only reception immediately following the ceremony"
"We love your kids but thought you might like a night off. Adults only please."
"Adult (18 and older) reception to follow."
"While we adore your children, our venue space is limited, adults only please."
"Regrettably our chosen venue is unable to accommodate children. Professional babysitting will be provided at the ___."
Family Nieces and Nephews Only:
"Children of immediate family only please."
"Respectfully, an adult occassion."
You are hosting the most memorable event in your lives that is adult-driven and while you do not want to offend any of your guest, there is a classy way to communicate that your event is an adult-only wedding.
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Cheers and happy planning!
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