Wedding RSVP Wording For Limited Guests (Polite Ways!)

Last Updated on December 27, 2021 by Guillermina

Today, we’re going to be looking at wedding RSVP wording for limited guests, and polite ways to do this when addressing your wedding invitations. For whatever reason you decide that you want a limited number of guests – you’ll still likely have people asking if they can bring someone with them. However, there are polite ways to address this on the invites to avoid any awkward conversations! It may feel uncomfortable, but remember that it’s your wedding and your decision!

Why Have A Smaller Guest Count?

There’s a range of reasons why you may want a smaller wedding. Here are some of the most common reasons.

  • Budget. Allowing guests to bring a plus one of their child(ren) can add a hefty sum to the bill of your wedding, so usually monetary restrictions are the main reason for a smaller wedding.
  • Seating/Venue Size. The chosen venue may simply not have the space for guests to bring plus ones, or child(ren). Especially weddings that are particularly intimate and don’t have much seating.
  • No Children. Lots of couples choose to have no children at their wedding. It gives parents a chance to relax and makes for a more peaceful wedding day.
  • Personal Choice. Some couples just want an intimate wedding. Although I had a bigger reception, my ceremony was very small, intimate and I only had my nearest and dearest. This was my personal choice, and it worked out perfectly for me.

Invitation Wording For No Extra Guests

Wedding invitation wording can be a minefield for many reasons, but we’re here to make it as easy as possible. There may feel like no polite way to say no to extra guests – but there is!

 invitation wording for no extra guests

Here are a few generic ways to point out that there are no extra guests:

We have reserved (number) seats for your presence. And leave a space below for the wedding guest to respond as to how many of those spaces will be needed. The problem with this can be that guests may think it’s an open invitation to add guests – so be sure to add something like this at the end of the invite:

  1. Our wedding will be an intimate one and we cannot accommodate guests not included in this invitation.
  2. We politely request only those included in the invitation can be accommodated. You will be seated with people you know and we hope to have a bigger celebration after the wedding.
  3. Our strict budget means that we can not accommodate extra guests at our wedding, but you will be seated with other guests you know and love.
  4. The size of our venue means that we have to keep guests to a minimum, so we are only able to accommodate guests that are named on this invite.
  5. We would love to accommodate all of your friends and family, but we would like a small, intimate ceremony. We hope to have a bigger celebration in the future.

No Children

If you’re planning to have a child-free wedding, and have parents in attendance that will expect their children to be invited too, here’s a few ways to address this on the invite. It’s best to be upbeat and positive, rather than focusing on the point that children are not permitted. For example:

“We know how much you love being a parent, but we thought you might like the night off to enjoy our wedding. Our special day will be adults only so they’ll be no need to worry about little eyes and little ears.”

 polite way to say no to extra guests

Limited Number Of Children

You may want to limit the children at your wedding and be unsure on wording. For example, you may have flower girls and page boys but request that no other children are present at your wedding. Here are a few polite ways to inform guests of this:

  1. Due to guest restrictions, we can only accommodate the children of immediate family on our wedding day. We hope to have a celebration after the wedding – with all the children!
  2. Due to the size of our venue, the only children we are able to accommodate are those in the wedding party. We hope you understand.
  3. Beyond our flower girls and page boys, we are unable to accommodate any other children on our special day.

When you are limiting children or having a child-free wedding, it’s important to give guests as much notice as possible to find childcare – so be sure to send invites out with plenty of time to spare. Some couples even arrange childcare for their guests if they’re hosting an adults-only wedding – but that will take off a large chunk of your budget!

Personalize The Invitations

If you’re still concerned, another foolproof way to ensure there are no extra guests is to personalize the invites with each named guest. Usually, there’s a blank space for the guests’ names but you can fill out the space with only the guests you would like to invite. If some guests are permitted a plus one, you can write “& Guest” to make it abundantly clear.

If you’re searching for the perfect wedding stationery for your invites, The Wedding Blogger has a great Wedding Stationery post which will make designing your invites (and the wording) as easy as possible.


I hope this article has helped with wedding RSVP wording for limited guests. It can feel uncomfortable but please remember that it’s your wedding and you’re entitled to keep it to the size that you want. For my own ceremony, only 30 guests were in attendance. But the evening was a much bigger celebration! I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Did you decide on a more intimate ceremony? Or a child-free wedding? If so, how did you word your invitations? Please feel free to leave any answers in the comments below. You may be helping out future brides and grooms with their own wedding invitation wording. Sharing is caring!

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