Community & Advice

Etiquette Guide To… Children at Weddings

It is completely up to you whether or not you invite children to your wedding, and you should not feel obligated to invite anyone you don’t think would enjoy your big day.

However, we know that it’s often difficult to say ‘no children’ without feeling or sounding rude! Instead, here’s a few ways to politely let your guests know without being too vague:

  • “Unfortunately, as much as we’d love to invite all of our friends’ children, we can only accommodate a few close family children. We hope that you will understand this decision and we very much hope you will still be able to join us on our special day.”
  • “Due to the limited capacity of our venue, we are only able to extend an invitation to adult guests.”
  • “To give all our guests the opportunity to let their hair down and have a good time without having to worry about little eyes and ears we politely request no children.”
  • “Kids are welcome at the ceremony, however, to allow all of our guests to enjoy an evening of relaxation, we respectfully advise that the reception is for adults only.”
  • “Our venue is unsuitable for little ones, so unfortunately our wedding and reception will be adults-only.”

Addressing invitations directly to specific guest names is another discrete way of letting parents know that children are not invited to attend your wedding. Adding a simple ‘This invitation is extended to adults only’ or ‘Adults only’ at the bottom of your correspondence is a clear directive from the start that allows parents the opportunity to assess their situation before formally RSVPing.


If you are worried that finding child care might be a problem for some guests, we advise seeking advice from your venue (we guarantee you won’t be the first couple to enquire about this!). Many larger venues offer a kids club or childminding service, but if not they should be able to suggest local registered babysitting services whose details you can share with guests. Alternatively, Sitters Babysitting helps link parents with local approved fully-vetted child carers across the UK.

If you are inviting children..

If you are including kids in your guestlist there are a few things we recommend including in your planning to make the day as easy as possible for yourselves and the parents:

  1. If you are unsure about small children’s requirements make sure you explicitly ask parents about their children’s needs. For example, If a highchair is needed, keep a tally and make sure to let your venue know in advance to ensure there are enough available on the day.
  2. Ask your venue about baby-changing facilities and if there is anywhere suitable for downtime or naps. Letting parents know about the facilities available, as well as a schedule of the day, will help them plan in advance so they don’t miss the important moments.
  3. Putting together ‘goodie bags’ for smaller children to include things like colouring and small toys will help keep kids entertained during the more adult parts of your day without parents having to lug along their whole toy box. Kids garden games not only keep kids entertained for a while but may help them burn off any extra energy.
  4. Consider using an external company to keep kids entertained throughout the day. Companies like Sweetheart Nannies and The Little Top offer mobile creches or extra pairs of hands to keep kids busy and out of mischief.

Whatever you decide for your big day, communication is key! Being clear about who is invited from the start will manage expectations and give parents plenty of time to plan alternatives- or plan their little ones’ wedding outfits!