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17 Jun 2022 | By Heather Apse

Deciding Between an Adults-only Versus Kid-friendly Wedding

Whether to have an adult-only wedding or a kid-friendly wedding can be a difficult decision. Whether you have children yourself, nieces or nephews, or your guests have kids, it is an aspect of your wedding to carefully consider. There are many great reasons to include kids while there are just as many positives in choosing to make your wedding for grownups only.

Ultimately, how you define your day is up to you. We cover the ins and outs of making the decision and some tips to avoid excess contention and stress. 

cheers at wedding

Top Reasons to Have an Adult-Only Wedding

An adult-only wedding has just grownup guests attend. There are various reasons why you might consider forgoing little ones including:

It helps to lower your expenses. 

Fewer guests at your wedding mean less money spent. Your guest count is a factor in the venue space you opt to book. If you exclude children, you may be able to book a less-expensive space. In addition, your food cost is reduced should you have fewer guests. Often when trying to reduce a wedding guest list, couples consider excluding kids.

Kids can be disruptive. 

Even the most well-behaved child can have an unpredictable bad moment. Babies may cry at inopportune times and young children may get into mischief. No matter what vibe you are trying to create in your wedding, casual or formal, children can disrupt the overall atmosphere.

Your venue has restrictions.

If you have your heart set on having your wedding at a specific venue, their space or restrictions may prevent you from having kids attend. Maybe they don’t have the space or maybe they don’t allow children. Some venues are just not conducive or safe for kids. For example, if you hold your reception at a fine art gallery or a destination wedding at an adult-only resort.

People don’t have to leave early.

The timing of your ceremony and reception are considerations for whether or not you include kids. If you are having a later wedding,  kids' bedtime may prompt parents to leave early. 

You are having a formal, evening wedding. 

Depending on the style and timing of your wedding, it is more fitting for you that you have your event be for a more mature group of guests.

Is It Really Ok to Have a Wedding Without Any Children?

Regardless of what you end up deciding for your wedding guest list, you cannot please everyone. There will be people who may be upset or still request that their child attends your wedding. Once you have made your choice, do not deviate and make exceptions.


kissing wedding couple

Guidance on Having an Adult-only Wedding

If you choose to throw an adult wedding, make sure you are clear to your guests so that there is no confusion. 

  • Carefully address your invitation envelopes to specify exactly who is invited

  • Follow etiquette and refrain from printing "Adults Only" on the invitations

  • Have your immediate family, wedding party members, and friends spread the word to guests

  • Include mention of it on your wedding website

  • If anyone assumes their kids are invited, reach out personally with a phone call

  • Stand your ground and don't make exceptions

  • Provide your guests ample time to arrange childcare

  • Recommend local babysitting options on your website

flower girl

Why Opt To Have a Kid-Friendly Wedding

Kids bring pure joy and happiness to your wedding day. 

The innocence and “in-the-moment” happiness of children is undeniable. Many couples desire to bring that joy into their special day.

Parents will most likely appreciate the inclusive invitation. 

While some moms and dads will hire childcare regardless of the invite, the guests that cannot get a sitter will appreciate being able to attend the wedding along with their children.

Children love weddings.

For the most part, kids love to attend weddings. The experience creates a positive impression on them about love, marriage, and commitment. Plus there are lots of fun things like music and cake!

It’s a chance to be creative.

If you’re looking for another outlet to let out your creativity, having children come to your wedding will provide the opportunity. Think about special food, favors, and suitable activities for your young guests.

Kids are free-spirited and fun.  

Children of all ages are certain to provide a general cheerful atmosphere for your big day. Their free spirit allows them to get out on the dance floor and encourage other guests to join them.


kids at wedding

Tips on Including Children at Your Wedding

If you opt to have a kid-friendly wedding, here is some guidance to make your day positive for all.

  • Hold your wedding at a kid-friendly venue
  • Have a morning, afternoon, or early evening wedding
  • Serve kid-friendly foods
  • Have special favors 
  • Designate a person to help take care of the kids on site
  • Consider having a separate space for play or rest
  • Think about a kid's table as part of your seating chart
  • Keep them busy with activities
  • Give children that are close to you special jobs for the day
  • If a child is in the wedding party, choose comfortable attire, have them practice, and have backup plans 
  • Discuss with your photographer and videographer ways to capture great kid moment

Meet in the Middle 

Another consideration is to mix it up a bit. Perhaps you want to have a flower girl and ring bearer at your ceremony but you’d prefer to have them skip the reception. Or maybe you really would like to have an uninterrupted ceremony where there are no children. But then you welcome kids to the party. You could hire a professional childcare service to watch the kiddos in a nearby room. Plan special, age-appropriate activities like crafts and games, and plan meals that they will enjoy.

Ready to Take the Next Step in Planning your Wedding?

Now that you know there is no right or wrong decision on whether to have an adults-only versus kid-friendly wedding, you’ll be able to make a confident determination as to what to do for your big day. Whether you are looking for a cocktail lounge or a kid-friendly venue, check out EventUp and use their filters to pinpoint the right wedding space for you.


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