Sorry but your kids aren't invited.....
In 2016 I started seeing a shift in couples requesting kidless weddings. Now in 2018, it seems like it's not even a question anymore. Quite simply- they should stay home. I know it sounds harsh. But that seems to be the way. In 2018 I'm seeing "black tie only"....
So obviously I get this question a lot. "How do I tell my guests their kids aren't invited to the wedding?".
STEP ONE: SETTING THE STAGE
And I feel like I've kinda mastered this one in a two step process. It all starts with the method of your message. The first way I suggest, is to subconsciously hint in the RSVP by adding a line that says " We have __#__ seats reserved for you".
If you don't think your guests will get the hint- add "adult only reception" in small letters at the bottom of your main reception invitation.
STEP TWO: THE BOLD
Likely after you've used the first two initiatives- there will be no need for any additional conversation. HOWEVER! If the "bold" decide to +1 their kid on your rsvp, you have but no choice to address the issue.
If this guest is close to you, a personal call is in order. Explain that by having an adult only reception, what your really saying is that you want everyone to have a great evening laughing and dancing while having a few extra drinks without having to leave early because of their kids. What you want to communicate is that your wedding is the perfect excuse to take the night off and truly enjoy it. It's really not about you- it's about them. See how I did that ;) ;)
If the guest isn't close to you, likely it's an invite by your parents- hence they should be the ones to call on your behalf and preach your message.
I've never had any issues with the two-pronged attack ;)
I would say that most guests no longer expect to bring their kids for the whole or even part of the wedding. So Don't be shy- what used to be a faux-pas is now the norm.