Category Archives: adults only wedding

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Adults-Only Wedding? 6 Essential Wedding Planning Tips and Ideas

Milwaukee couples, we know that planning an adults-only wedding can be very simple—and very hard. There are so many pros and cons of a wedding sans kids, and so many questions from potential guests. On one hand, an adults-only wedding can be a great party with your friends and family without any worry about kids. Plus, an adults-only wedding is an easy way to trim your wedding guest list when you want to hold a smaller wedding or your budget is tight. An adults-only wedding also lends itself to more formal wedding themes and ideas. On the flip side, an adults-only wedding can be offensive to some—especially friends or family members who might be upset that they have to hire a babysitter.

There’s a lot to consider. When an adults-only wedding is right for you, it’s full speed ahead with wedding planning—and these tips for a wonderfully grown-up wedding ceremony and reception.  

Choose your invitation wording carefully.

One of the trickiest parts of planning an adults-only wedding is making it clear that only adults are invited. Couples should never use the terms “no kids,” which is considered a major faux pas, on their invitations. Instead, use some of these adults-only wedding invite phrases when you finalize invite wording.

Have an answer ready for questions about your adults-only wedding.

The decision to hold an adults-only wedding is going to come with questions from guests. You can answer these questions on your wedding website (use this guide for creating a complete wedding website) or social media site. When you get questions, be direct and clear about your wishes. It’s also a good idea to reach out to friends and family affected by your decision. While you may have some good conversations, don’t be offended if some guests choose not to attend the wedding.

Don’t make exceptions to your adults only rule.

When you decide to hold adults-only wedding, you have to stick to it. Don’t make exceptions for some guests and not others, which can stir up hard feelings. (It is normal to allow children in the wedding party to attend the wedding reception.) If you want to accommodate the parents on your guest list, you can provide a room with experienced babysitters near the wedding.

Always tour your wedding venue before signing on the bottom line.

This wedding planning tip is for any couple, but couples hosting an adults-only wedding should add a few more items to their wedding venue tour checklist. First of all, if you are hosting a special sampling bar, it’s important to look for a wonderful cocktail area. Secondly, if you are providing a room with childcare, make sure to look for an adequate space.

Consider adding an ale or wine sampling bar.

There are so many options for wedding entertainment, but a favorite for adults-only wedding is an ale or wine sampling bar. This adults-only wedding idea is also a great way to bring a local flavor to your wedding (check out these other ideas for adding a local flavor to your wedding), because you can offer drinks from local wineries or breweries. For a special twist, you can also offer a cocktail with a custom recipe.

Don’t be afraid to ask for wedding planning assistance.

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by wedding planning! If you need help navigating through planning a wedding sans kids, look for a local wedding planner or a wedding venue with experienced event planners that can help you pull it all together. It can be incredibly helpful a wedding planner who knows local wedding vendors that can make your vision of an adults-only wedding a reality.

Should you host an adults-only wedding?

wedding venue with centerpiece lights and guests at wedding receptionHosting an adults-only wedding is a new trend among couples, and one that comes with a lot of opinions (a LOT of opinions!). A bride recently wrote about her views and experience planning a hosting a wedding sans kids. One guest recently voiced her opinion that an adults-only wedding was a selfish idea.

So is an adults-only wedding right for you? You can come to an answer by asking yourself these questions:

  • What kind of wedding do we want (a big party with lots of adults-only beverages, a late evening affair, or a family celebration)?
  • What time do we want to hold our reception? (A later reception may be more appropriate for adults-only.)
  • Do our friends and family have a lot of kids?
  • Are we having kids in our wedding party? (You can still host an adults-only reception, but may need to address the presence of kids at some point.)
  • Does our budget allow for kids? (Depending on your budget, you can cut the guest list with an adults-only list or have an adults-only reception by providing babysitting in a kid zone away from the reception.)
  • Is our venue a kid-friendly venue? Do they allow kids? (Don’t be afraid to ask the venue staff when you first contact them.)

If you do decide that an adults-only wedding is right for you, use these tips for successful wedding planning and an awesome reception.

Decide where you want to draw the line. Be firm about who is considered a kid and who is not. Don’t “un-invite” one teen while inviting another. Try to be as consistent as possible, and don’t be afraid to tell your guests how decisions were made.

Be clear about your expectations. If you want an adults-only wedding reception, be clear with guests. Address the envelopes accordingly (no “plus family”) and put the names of only the guests invited on the response card (Mr. & Mrs. John Doe). Add a line to your wedding invitations and website that is clear about your no kids policy. A simple “Please join us for an adults-only wedding reception” will do. If a limited budget is involved, a clearly worded “We have limited seating available; therefore our dinner and reception is an adult affair” should provide a clear explanation. (More ideas for adults-only invitation wording can be found here.)

Know that it’s okay to contact some parents. If you have a close friend or a guest you know is going to have questions, it’s all right to reach out to them. Don’t feel you have to give you a huge explanation for your decision; however, it’s better to answer questions upfront and offer any assistance to guests (i.e. babysitter numbers, answer questions about your wedding “kid zone).

Expect some negative feedback. Don’t be surprised if there is some less-than-thrilled feedback from guests. When confronted, be clear with your intentions and, though tempting, don’t make exceptions. You are going to cause far more drama and get more unpleasantness when allowing some guests to bring kids while others are not. Instead, offer to connect parents with responsible babysitters or, when the budget allows, offer to assist with the financial cost of child care.