While we all love the little ones, sometimes you just want everyone to be completely free to let loose and have fun on your Big Day. That said, it's not the friendliest sounding thing to just say "no kids" on your wedding invitation, so let's consider a few alternative options.
"Adults only reception"
Rather than using the word "no" and specifically excluding children, it sounds friendlier to indicate "adults only." You can place this at the bottom of your invitation where it would say "reception to follow" or indicate it on an included informational card / reception card.
"# of adults attending"
We often include a "# attending" line on a response card to help control the guest list, so one way to make it quite clear that only adults are invited is to add in the "of adults" to this line. If they still write in children, a phone call to correct the misunderstanding is completely okay.
Be clear with the addressing
If children aren't invited, they shouldn't be listed on the envelopes, whether you use inner and outer or just outer. Don't use "and family" either if children aren't invited.
For older children
Anyone over 18 should receive their own invitation. So, for example, in a home with a 5 year old child and an 18 year old child, you might address an invitation to the parents, "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith," and one to the teenager, "Mr. Robert Smith," to indicate that only adults are being invited.
Suggesting a childcare service
Another less direct method to indicate children are not to attend the reception is to suggest a childcare service on an informational card (not on the invitation, of course). You can phrase this in a nice way, something like - "enjoy a night out with friends! We recommend the following childcare service..."
Have any etiquette or wedding stationery questions? We're happy to share our expertise! Also, check out our wedding invitations - we love creating beautiful suites for brides.