Not inviting kids to your wedding may sound like a taboo, but it's actually something that is perfectly acceptable these days. If you have made the decision to have an adults only wedding and reception, you may be struggling with how to tell your friends and family members to leave the little ones at home. Not everyone is going to be happy with your decision, but that's okay. It is your decision to make, so it should be respected.
The first thing to consider before telling guests that your wedding is only for the grownups is whether you truly want your entire wedding to be a no kid zone, or if you want to limit the no kid rule to the reception. Some couples have opted for letting kids sit in on the ceremony, but asking their parents to find a sitter for the reception. If this is the direction you'd like to go, include a message on the invitation or enclosure card stating, "Ceremony with Adults Only reception to follow." If you know finding childcare for the reception will become an issue for some of your guests, think about hiring a childcare provider for them in a nearby location.
A wedding that is kid-free from start to finish can be a great opportunity for your friends and family to have a date night, that just so happens to also be your wedding. If you decide to go this route, you can address the invitations a couple of different ways that will let guests know to leave the kids at home. You can add it to the bottom of the invitation, though some feel like this isn't proper, and also takes up valuable space. You can address the invitation specifically to just the couple, but some may still feel that kids will be okay because they are used to receiving invites as a family unit. You can also make your RSVP cards very specific and only allow two choices. If none of these sounds appealing, call these couples and let them know that you love the little ones, but you want this to be an adults-only affair.
You will most likely have some push-back from people on this issue, but stick to your guns and try to help them see it in a positive way. Whether it's budget issues or just a personal preference, you have a valid reason for not wanting kids at your wedding. Some people have approached it with an, "If they ask, their kids can come," approach, while others made the tough decision to let the people they invited stay home if it was really that big of a problem for them.