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Yes or no to a child-free wedding?

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Home / Wedding Ideas / Yes or no to a child-free wedding?
Yes or no to a child-free wedding?

Yes or no to a child-free wedding?

There are so many reasons why some couples choose to have a child-free wedding. It might be to save money, due to venue size or simply that they want a more grown-up day. At Prestwold Hall, we’ve hosted some incredible adults-only weddings, as well as some fantastic weddings with kids firmly part of the fun. But how do you know what kind of day suits you as a couple? Here are some of the pros and cons of a child-free wedding, to help you make up your mind.

Little girl playing outside Prestwold Hall
Photo: Nathan Walker

The pros

No interruptions during the ceremony

Crying babies or bored pre-schoolers who insist on asking non-stop questions VERY LOUDLY probably aren’t number one on your list of most-wanted ceremony guests. Having a child-free wedding means that you and your partner have zero distractions when you’re making the biggest commitment of your life. Plus, it means all your guests can enjoy the ceremony, rather than having to make a hasty retreat with a screaming toddler.

child-free wedding ceremony at Prestwold Hall
Photo: Photos From Sophie

Less stress for parents

It can be tricky for guests with children to fully relax during the day. There’s always the worry that their child will be the one to knock over a floral display or stick a finger in the wedding cake. A child-free wedding means parents can have the day off, with no worries about trying to extract their child from under someone else’s table at the reception.

Guests can let their hair down

It can feel a little awkward to fully get into the party spirit with kids running around the dancefloor. A child-free wedding means all of your guests can relax, drink the champagne and let loose to the wedding band, without the worry of stepping on a tiny party animal.

Guests party at Prestwold Hall at a child-free wedding
Photo: Chris Bunce Photography

Frees up the numbers

Simply put, a child-free wedding gives you the space and budget to invite more of your friends and family. What’s not to love there?

The cons

Offending guests

It’s an inescapable fact that everyone will have their take on your wedding – and child-free weddings can stir up some strong opinions. While some parents will be grateful for the excuse to leave the kids at home, others will take it as a personal slight. Ultimately though, it’s your wedding day and whatever makes you happy is the most important thing.

Kids bring the fun

Little guests love a wedding and it’s impossible not to smile when you see them living their best life on the dancefloor. Children bring a sense of fun to a wedding, even if it’s by saying inappropriate things at top volume during the speeches. And you can’t deny the cuteness of watching little flower girls and page boys all dressed up for the big day as they walk down the aisle. 

Little page boy and flower girl at Prestwold Hall wedding
Photo: Aaron Russell Photography

Guests declining invites

Opting for a child-free wedding means that some of your guests are going to have to find childcare to be able to attend. As a result, you may find you have more invitations declined than if the kids were invited. Some may struggle to find someone to watch the kids for the day (or day and night if they have to travel far to your wedding), while others may not be able to afford the extra cost. Also, be prepared for no-shows – if the babysitter pulls out last minute, there’s not a lot your guests can do.

How to have a child-free wedding without offending guests

If you’ve got your heart set on a child-free wedding, there are ways you can go about it to help avoid any awkwardness in the run-up to your day.

Make it clear from the start

Communication is everything. Setting out your decision from the beginning gives parents the chance to consider their options. It also means they can get any arrangements in place to be able to attend your wedding. Consider sending a little, respectfully-worded, note in with your Save the Dates to say that you’ve made the decision to have an adults-only wedding and hope guests see it as an opportunity to come and let their hair down for the day. When thinking of the wording, always go for adults-only rather than kid-free – it sounds a lot more positive!

Be open about exceptions to the rule

If you plan on including children of close family members, make it clear. Perhaps something like a note saying ‘adults-only with the exception of the bridal party’. This way you let guests know that it’s not just their kids who aren’t invited, avoiding any confusion or hurt feelings on the day.

Children playing outside at a wedding at Prestwold Hall
Photo: Andrew Jukes

How to have a child-friendly wedding

If you do have some little guests joining you for your wedding, there are some easy ways you can make the day more enjoyable for them – and their parents! 

Make the most of outside

At Prestwold Hall we have acres of gorgeous grounds for our guests (big and small) to enjoy. Little children need the opportunity to burn off some steam, especially after sitting still for the ceremony (well, hopefully). Prestwold’s gardens provide an idyllic space to do that. Our playground is a huge hit with children, where they can climb, swing and slide to their heart’ s content.

Wooden playground at Prestwold Hall
Photo: Andrew Jukes

Kid-friendly breakout areas

Fun garden games, like Prestwold Hall’s giant Jenga, are something fun for all your guests to get involved in. You could also consider hiring a mini soft play area or ball pit for outside. Alternatively, set up a games or colouring station in the reception room to keep the kids busy during the speeches.

Giant jenga outside at a Prestwold Hall wedding
Photo: DRG Photography

Wedding favours for children

Instead of traditional wedding favours, think about putting together little gift bags for your younger guests. Pack these with things to keep them entertained during the slower parts of the day. Things like colouring books and crayons will appeal to kid of all ages.

Get them involved

You want your little guests to enjoy the day as much as anyone else, so make an effort to involve them in the most kid-friendly parts of your wedding. Give them a cone of rose petals for the confetti throw. And welcome them onto the dancefloor for some of the earlier numbers. That way they’ll leave with a big smile and happy memories of your amazing day.

Young guests throwing confetti at bride and groom outside Prestwold Hall
Photo: Kayleigh Pope

Whether you’re dreaming of an adults-only day or can’t imagine your wedding without children involved, Prestwold Hall can work with you to bring your vision to life. Use our quote builder to get an idea of how much your day will cost. Or just click here to get in touch to find out more or to arrange a viewing. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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