So you're thinking about throwing a party with no kids, huh? YAS! Listen, I have two kids and I love more than anything in this world, but I also really understand how you want to have a full on adult party without the wild card nature of tiny humans running around.
Photo by Here Today Photography
Here's how you do it.
First of all you have to decide what a "kid" is. Is it anyone under 21? Is it anyone under 12? Have that discussion first if you have a lot of different aged guests on your list so you can provide clarification. It may be helpful to tell folks what you mean if you are not wanting their high school aged kid. Does it also mean tiny babies are not allowed, even if they are not walking or eating table food? In my opinion if you are going to ask no kids be invited, keeping it to under 18 or under 21 is the easiest way to go about it.
Secondly figure out how you are going to communicate to everyone that this is your policy. You want to make sure you are getting the information out early, and also in a respectful way. That way you are not surprising folks who may be traveling and would have left babies in the care of someone at home, or would have sent their regrets had they know kidlets were not invited sooner.
Photo by KSA Photography
I recommend putting the info on your website pretty obviously, as well as your RSVP card if you use them. If you do an online RSVP, make sure those families are only allowed to reply for parental units and not given the ability to sneak in the numbers for their kids. They may RSVP for 4 and not realize kids aren't invited too late.
Here's some sample language to play with: While we love you and your family we are requesting this be an adult only event. So please leave the under 18 members of your family at home and let us treat you to a night of dinner and dancing under the stars. For babysitter recommendations please reach out to our wedding coordination team.
If traveling folks need assistance in finding a sitter, you can always hire an event nanny and have kids all convene in one hotel room to hang out for the evening, or provide suggestions for childcare for kids! People may be resistant at first, but giving parents a kidless night is a certain type of gift that those who are willing to go for it will truly be thankful for!
Photo by Alyssa Jul Photography
Lastly, and this is the hard one: COMMIT. When you say no kids you have to truly mean it. It doesn't mean no kids except my nieces or your cousin's baby. It has to mean everyone. If you want to have small people for your ceremony that is one thing, but they will need to have another plan for the reception. The biggest mistake you can make in asking for folks not to bring their kids, is to only let SOME people bring their kids. If someone comes and they have made all sorts of arrangements for their family and sees that other folks were permitted to bring their kids that's a real bummerrrrr.
So you can do this! BUT you gotta make the same rules for everyone and be prepared for a few folks to be bummed out at first! Remember, through it all, you need to do what's right for you!