Marilyn’s Blog

Don’t want children at your wedding you say?….

Is It Appropriate to Not Invite Children?

Yes — especially if the wedding is in the evening or is very formal. “It may be more of a challenge to restrict children during a daytime or casual wedding without people feeling offended,” says Joyce Scardina Becker, a San Francisco-based wedding designer and planner who teaches wedding and event etiquette at California State University, East Bay. The no-kids rule works best when the majority of the families are local, which means parents can leave their children with familiar babysitters for the entire day or drop them off between the ceremony and reception, adds Karen Kaforey, a wedding planner in Nashville. If you’re hosting a destination wedding, it’s harder to not invite kids.

How to word it on your invitation

Let your invitation do the talking

Let your invitation do the talking, says Anna Post, author of “Emily Post’s Wedding Parties” (Collins; 2007). Let’s say you’ve chosen not to include kids younger than 5, and your friends have an 11-year-old and a 4-year-old. You’d write the friends’ names and the older child’s name on the inner envelope, indicating that the youngest isn’t invited. If you’re worried guests won’t get the message, call beforehand. Says Post, “You can say, ‘We just sent the invitations and we’re excited to have you join us, but we’ve decided not to include young children. I wanted to give you advance notice so you have time to find a sitter. I hope you can make it!’ ” Don’t grant any exceptions; that would be rude to guests who’ve abided by your wishes.