Truly Engaged: Adults-Only Wedding Wording

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I’m getting married! Now what? Truly Engaged is a new blog series written by Rachel, our *newly engaged* staff writer. As she wades her way through the wedding planning process, she’ll be sharing some of the emotions, inspiration, and insight she uncovers along the way

Kid at wedding

 

How do you tell guests that their kids are NOT invited to your wedding?

This no-kid conundrum seemed to be the stickiest wording situation Tim and I came across while making our wedding invitations. I read articles and browsed forums on adult-only weddings, each with their own tips for tackling this tricky subject. However, after reading them I realized something: We aren’t having an adults- only wedding. . . we’re having an “adults-mostly” wedding!

Our exceptions to the no-kids rule:

  • Children under 1 year (nursing infants)
  • All nieces/nephews/cousins (regardless of age)
For us, the exceptions were based on both chronological age and familial hierarchy (e.g., our siblings can bring children, but our cousins and friends cannot). The “kid cutoff” was a tough decision to make, but it was a decision grounded in both practical and personal reasons.

So how do you find the right wording for an “adults mostly” (but not adults-only) wedding?

This word puzzle was perplexing—even for a writer! We knew that we wanted the Invitation wording to be the following:

Courteous
We thought it might sound a little cold or exclusive to write “adults only” directly on the Invitation or RSVP Card (and besides, it wouldn’t apply to our “mostly adults” situation). We wanted to find wording that would be polite, inclusive, and friendly.

Clear
In addition to being courteous, we also wanted to be clear about who is invited (and therefore who is NOT invited). While some wording sounded too blunt, we also felt other wording sounded too subtle. Could we find the sweet spot for this sticky wording situation?

Flexible
To complicate matters, the wording also needed to be flexible in order to accommodate invitees whose children ARE invited to the wedding. We couldn’t use a blanket statement such as “adults only”. We needed to come up with wording that was flexible enough to fit our “adults-mostly” wedding.

 

Wording Ideas for an “Adults-Only” Wedding:

#1: Putting “Adults” on the RSVP Response Line

M_____________________

_____ Adults accepting
_____ Adults declining

 

#2: Putting” Adults” at the Bottom of the Invitation

Adult reception to follow

 

#3: Setting a Limit to Number of Seat Reservations

We have reserved _____ seats in your honor

___ of ___ Attending
___ of ___ Declining

 

Wording Solution for Our “Adults-Mostly” Wedding

Ultimately, our wording solution was this:

  • writing the names of invited guests on the outer envelope
  • emphasizing who was invited on the RSVP Card by writing their names under the subheading “Invited Guests”

RSVP Card for Invitation

 

Although not perfect, the wording satisfied our goal of sounding polite, yet clear–while still allowing for exceptions to the no-kids rule. So how successful was this? Well, we’re still figuring that out! :)

If any RSVP Cards come back with the names of uninvited children, my mom (moms are the best!) helped come up with a general plan of how to approach the guest:

  • Acknowledge their response
  • Address the miscommunication
  • Express desire for their attendance
Example:

Hi Jane,

Thank you for the RSVP! We noticed that you added little Jack to your response. In order to keep the seating capacity below the maximum for our venue, we unfortunately are not able to invite Jack to our wedding. We apologize for the miscommunication! We hope you will still be able to join us on our wedding day. We’d love to have you there!

 

Did you have an “adults-mostly” wedding? I’d love to hear how you handled the wording for your Invitations and RSVP Cards!

 

Rachel for MagnetStreet Weddings

 

 

 

Comments
  • Julie on August 3, 2012 @ 11:45 am

    I agree this was the hardest part of the wedding. We had a very large wedding 320 seated. We ended up putting on the RSVP card number of adults attending. We also did an enclosure card that said, Please join us for an adult recpetion at six o’clock. That way it was in two places. Good Luck.

  • [...] 31, 2012 | Categories Ceremony + Reception + Wedding Planning I’m getting married! Now what? Truly Engaged is a new blog series written by Rachel, our *newly engaged* staff writer. As she wades her way [...]

  • Kristi Hagen on June 18, 2013 @ 1:52 pm

    Thanks for the post. I am having an adult only wedding and reception and I was surprised by how tricky it can be. I used the wording for the RSVP cards I posted above just now and about to send the proof back to the printer so thanks for that as well :)

  • […] a guest responds anyway, adding their child’s name to the response card, Magnet Street Invitations came up with a pretty clever response: Hi Jane, Thank you for the RSVP! We noticed that you added […]

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