top of page

Avoiding Awkwardness: How to Host an Adult-Only Wedding

Navigating the delicate task of inviting guests to an adult-only wedding can be as tricky as choosing the perfect dress or finding the ideal venue. It's a challenge that requires finesse, tact, and a solid game plan. In this blog post, we'll delve into the dos and don'ts of inviting guests to an adult-only wedding, guiding you through the intricacies of addressing invitations while handling potential conflicts. So, buckle up and get ready to embark on a journey where we'll show you how to maintain positive relationships with family and friends while creating a memorable wedding experience for all.

Why Plan an Adult-Only Wedding?

Having an adult-only wedding allows couples to create an atmosphere that aligns with their desires and vision for the day. It offers an opportunity to curate a sophisticated and elegant environment where guests can relax and fully enjoy the celebration. By choosing an adult-only event, couples can focus on creating a memorable experience for their adult friends and family members without worrying about accommodating the needs of children.

Furthermore, an adult-only wedding can provide a much-needed break for parents. Weddings can be joyous and exciting but can also be demanding and exhausting, especially for those with young children. By hosting an adult-only affair, couples offer parents the chance to attend an event where they can unwind, socialize, and celebrate without the added responsibility of caring for their little ones. It allows parents to fully immerse themselves in the festivities and enjoy some much-deserved time off.

Additionally, an adult-only wedding can ensure a seamless flow of events and create an intimate ambiance. Without the distraction of children, guests can engage in meaningful conversations and fully immerse themselves in the celebration. It allows for uninterrupted moments of joy, tears, laughter, and heartfelt connections. By choosing to have an adult-only wedding, couples can create an atmosphere that encourages their guests to let loose, be present, and truly participate in the celebration of their love.

In the end, choosing an adult-only wedding is a personal decision that should be made with consideration for the couple's desires and the overall vision they have for their special day. By understanding the importance of an adult-only wedding and effectively communicating their reasoning, couples can navigate this topic with confidence, ensuring a celebration that reflects their style and creates lasting memories for everyone involved.


Addressing the Invitations with Tact and Clarity

When it comes to addressing the invitations for an adult-only wedding, couples should approach the task with tact and clarity. It's crucial to clearly indicate who is invited and ensure there is no confusion or ambiguity. By using specific invitation wording, addressing the envelopes properly, clarifying seats reserved and/or outlining your request specifically on a Details card, couples can effectively convey their intention for an adult-only celebration.

Invitation Wording

By including this information on the invitation in a polite and respectful manner, couples can ensure that guests are aware of the wedding's adult-only nature right from the start.

Consider using phrases such as:

  • "An intimate affair for adults only"

  • "We kindly request the company of adults only"

  • "Adult-Only Reception to Follow"

  • "21+ Reception to Follow"

Envelope Addressing

Include the names of only the invited adults on the Housing Envelope, omitting the names of children. This indicates that the invitation is intended for the adults only without explicitly stating it. For example, the envelope should be addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" instead of "The Smith Family."

RSVP Card Seat-Reserved Note

Print a specific number of how many seats you are reserving in each guests' honor on the RSVP card. For example, if the couple mailing an invitation suite to a household that has two adult parents (that ARE invited to the wedding) and two children (who are NOT invited to the wedding), on the RSVP card that gets mailed to them state: "2 Seats Have Been Reserved In Your Honor."

Details Card

Another option is to include a note or additional Details Card politely stating that the wedding is for adults-only with a personal message explaining the reasons behind the adult-only policy (emphasizing the desire for an intimate and sophisticated celebration). Utilize language that is polite, yet firm, making it clear that they have made a deliberate decision regarding the guest list.

By expressing their intentions clearly and respectfully, couples can help their guests understand that their decision is not a reflection of their love for children, but rather a way to craft a wedding experience that is unique to them. This open and honest communication can go a long way in preventing misunderstandings and hurt feelings.


Handling Potential Conflicts and Uncomfortable Situations

While it's important to convey the adult-only policy, it's equally crucial to remain understanding and compassionate towards guests who may be unable to attend due to childcare constraints. Couples can express their regret that children cannot be accommodated while demonstrating empathy for the challenges guests may face in finding childcare. This empathetic approach can help alleviate any potential tension and maintain positive relationships with friends and family who may not be able to attend.

In the event that a guest disregards the adult-only policy and brings their child to the wedding, couples should be prepared to handle the situation with tact and poise. Instead of confronting the guest directly, it may be more effective to discreetly assign a trusted wedding coordinator or family member to kindly remind the guest of the adult-only policy and offer alternatives for childcare if available. This approach puts the responsibility on someone other than the couple, minimizing any potential embarrassment or discomfort.


Maintaining Positive Relationships with Family and Friends

Approaching potential conflicts with empathy and sensitivity is key to minimizing the likelihood of drama and preserving positive relationships with guests. Understanding that some guests may have logistical or personal reasons for wanting to bring their children can help couples navigate these delicate conversations. It's important for couples to assure their loved ones that this choice is not a reflection of their feelings towards the little ones, but instead, it's about setting a specific ambiance for their special day.

Another effective strategy for maintaining positive relationships is to provide alternative childcare options for guests with children. Couples can research and recommend reputable babysitting services in the area, or even consider providing on-site childcare during the wedding. By offering these solutions, couples convey that they understand the guests' desire to attend with their children while still maintaining the desired atmosphere for their celebration.

Furthermore, couples can take proactive steps to involve guests in the wedding planning process. This could include seeking their input on other aspects of the event, such as music, menu choices, or even helping with DIY projects. By showing their loved ones that they value their opinions and want them to be a part of the wedding, couples can help alleviate any potential feelings of exclusion or resentment.


Navigating the delicate task of inviting guests to an adult-only wedding requires grace, tact, and effective communication. By understanding the pros and cons of an adult-only wedding, addressing invitations with clarity, and communicating the policy effectively, you can avoid potential conflicts and uneasy situations. As you embark on this journey, remember the wise words of Maya Angelou: "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." So, make your guests feel valued, respected, and included. Now, let's start planning the celebration of a lifetime!


bottom of page