What If People Show Up at Our Child-Free Wedding With Kids?

kids at wedding
Photo by Maine Tinker Photography

Q: I’ve sent out wedding invitations (like you said) addressed JUST to the parents so they know kids are not invited. I’ve also told those closest to me with kids how sorry I am that we cannot invite their little ones, and have asked my mom and FH to do the same. But what if people STILL bring their kids to the wedding?! Can we do anything if they show up?- Christina

A: Eek. That would be pretty crazy if somebody knew you didn’t want kids at your wedding yet they still brought them along. But it’s not unheard of, actually. Which is why you need to double or triple remind guests who have children (especially the ones you think would invite kids even if they weren’t 100% sure they could) that you are unfortunately not allowed to invite children to the wedding. Even if you have to blame the venue or insurance policy, you can make up whatever excuse you see first. It’s your wedding after all!

I would first send out an e-mail to all guests with kids (or have your mom, aunt, or relative do it if it’s mostly on your side of the family), then call to make sure they got the e-mail. You have to make it crystal clear (in the nicest way possible) that while you would love to have kids at the wedding, you will not be able to invite them. I would also offer that if there’s anything you can do (such as help them find a babysitter) you would love to help them in whatever way possible.

If by some chance they show up at the wedding regardless, I’ll be honest…you’re in a bit of a pickle. While you could have your venue coordinator or wedding planner inform the guest that their children will not be allowed in, do you really want to start a potential scene? What you could do is instead instruct your planner or coordinator to have them wait outside during the ceremony, since that’s the one part of the wedding that children, especially very young ones, can potentially disrupt. Other than that, I would say just roll with it. Once you say your “I Do’s” hopefully you’ll be so blissfully happy you won’t care about that inconsiderate guest one bit.

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  1. says: Harriet Argent

    Just bribe one of your male relatives to act as a bouncer and turn away anyone not on the list of invited guests. My cousin did this for my wedding due to a clueless relation who ignored all attempts to drum it in to her that kids were not invited to the wedding. She tried to make a scene but in the end quietly slunk away. Failing that you can hire security to man the door. You wouldn’t allow someone to come in with a group of uninvited adults so why is it different for uninvited children?