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Weddings & the Workplace: Etiquette for Inviting Coworkers

Tips and tricks on inviting your coworkers (and your boss!) to attend your vow exchange.

While you're not required to invite anyone from your workplace, every situation is different. Read our suggestions for how to navigate your coworkers and your guest list!

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Photo: Susie & Will Photography

Creating your wedding guest list may not have seemed like a daunting task when you daydreamed about your wedding years ago, but now the time has come, and you’re starting to feel a little overwhelmed. You want to keep numbers at a manageable level, but you also want to be inclusive, and you have continuous nightmares about forgetting important people. It’s hard to narrow it down to a final list – and it’s made even more difficult with the added stress of whether or not to invite your coworkers and your boss. 

The first thing to keep in mind: you’re not required to invite anyone from your workplace in terms of etiquette. If you don’t feel particularly close with any of these people, there is no obligation to send them an invitation. However, chances are, friendships have formed to some degree, and you may be considering sending out a few saves the dates to your office mates. If that’s the case, here is what you should remember.

If you work with a small number of people, word will get around quickly.

As much as you may chat with Beth on the other side of the divider, there’s still a good chance she could spill the beans to the two ladies you didn’t invite to your wedding. If your office includes less than 15 people, your coworkers will likely know about your wedding, and they may discuss it. The exclusion of some may cause tension or hurt feelings, and the last thing you want is for that tension to affect your day-to-day business. In this situation – unless you have coworkers that you absolutely cannot stand – we recommend the “all or nothing” approach if you're worried about hurting someone's feelings. Send out invites to everyone in the office, or no one.

Keep your final numbers in mind.

Putting down a few extra people may not seem like a big deal in theory, but once you factor in your family, your close friends, your future spouse’s nearest and dearest, plus your coworkers’ significant others, your guest list may soon be overflowing. If your budget and venue allows for your coworkers and their sweethearts to be added comfortably into your big day, all the more reason to invite them! If not, it's often best to say you were limited by the venue if they ask.

Only you know your relationship with your boss.

Just like your coworkers, you are under no obligation to invite your boss – or bosses – to your wedding ceremony. It’s up to you whether or not you’d like to include them, based off of your personal and professional relation with them, as well as your knowledge of their temperament and sensitivity. For example, if your relationship with them is cordial, but you know they’d feel offended if they discovered they weren’t invited to your big day – especially if other coworkers are – then it might be wise to send them an invitation. For the bosses that really feel like a part of your work family, they’ve made your decision very easy already!

If not everyone is invited, don’t make your wedding an office affair.

This is perhaps the number one rule of wedding/work etiquette: do not make your planning overly evident, especially if you’re only inviting some coworkers or none at all. This includes hand-delivering invitations – it may seem convenient and less expensive, but it isn’t worth the risk. Even if you give your friends the invitations out at lunch, there’s always a chance it could fall out of their purse back at the office. Be considerate of the people around you: yes, it’s a very special time for you, but unless you work at a wedding-centered business (have you seen our stunning real weddings lately?) people aren’t going to make nuptial talk the center of their workday.

For more advice, read through tips on throwing an in-office bridal shower for your coworker, see our guide on who you should invite to your wedding – and who you shouldn’t, and find out how to tackle that tricky seating chart you’ve been putting off.