Whether you’re having a beach or waterfall wedding in Hawaii or tying the knot onboard a boat or any other venue, many couples choose not to invite children – but how do you accomplish a child-free wedding without stepping on any toes? As Hawaii destination wedding professionals, we have a few ideas we think you’ll appreciate.

What you want to avoid. Never put “adults only” on wedding invitations! Kids are a sensitive subject, understandably. You don’t want to hurt friends’ and family members’ feelings by putting “adults only” on invitations, however you can take a more subtle approach by having your co-workers, friends, and family spread the word that you’re planning an adults-only affair so that those who intend to come to your wedding and reception will have ample time to get a babysitter.

Make sure you address the wedding invitation to only those who are invited. Some guests naturally assume the entire family is invited to the wedding – and putting “adults only” on the invitation may be insulting, or hurt feelings of close friends or family members. Address invitations to exactly those who are invited, and include their names on the response cards. Include only the names of those invited on the “will” or “will not attend” check boxes. In approaching your invitations this way, you make it clear who is invited so all your invitees have to do is check the box.

Don’t include “special” children in the wedding ceremony if kids are included in your wedding party. You may be including a small child who is a ring-bearer or who will scatter flowers down the isle, but this doesn’t mean you have to include children at the ceremony. What you really want to avoid is inviting certain close friends’ or family members’ children, as this won’t appear fair to others who attend your wedding. It will look as though you’re partial to certain people’s children.

Expect some unhappy feedback. Some family members won’t be happy that you haven’t included nieces, nephews, or young cousins to attend, however it IS your wedding. Stand firm on your decision to have an adults-only wedding, and don’t back down. You can explain to those who may be offended that children aren’t invited due to budget limits, or for any reason you choose.

Your wedding is YOUR special day, one that should be exactly as you prefer. Some may be offended, but most will not. Hopefully the suggestions above will help you enjoy an adults-only Hawaii wedding that is just as you envisioned, a day you and your spouse will remember fondly for the rest of your lives.