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How to Signal

How to Signal "No Children" at Your Wedding

We're not having children at our wedding. How do we get the word out?

Do not print "no children" or "adults only" on an invitation. The way an invitation is addressed, whether on the inner or outer envelope, indicates exactly who is invited, and, by omission, who is not invited to the wedding.  If the envelope is addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. Hayward," then Mr. and Mrs. Hayward should not assume that their children are included. If the envelope is addressed to "The Hayward Family" or "Mr. and Mrs. Hayward, Sarah and Elliott Hayward" then it can be assumed that all mentioned are invited. In addition to this, you can talk to close friends and relatives and ask them to help spread the word about your preference to keep the event to adults.

I want to have an adults-only wedding, but my sister-in-law is insisting on bringing my three young nephews. What should I tell her?

If you are truly set on an adults-only wedding, don't let your sister-in-law bully you into including her sons. The decision whether to include children should be made by you and your fiancé-and no one has the right to insist upon bringing uninvited children to a wedding. Make no exceptions, though. And be realistic. Many couples these days have kid-free weddings, but find that some friends and family members are therefore unable to attend. If your sister-in-law has to travel from another state to attend your wedding, she may not be able to leave her kids at home. If this is the case, you could offer to help with baby-sitting arrangements. Or you might decide to set aside a "children's room" at the reception that is staffed with baby-sitters and filled with games and toys. Whatever your final plans, tell your sister-in-law you hope she understands your decision and will be able to attend.