The Coworker Conundrum

(This is Part Two of what is apparently becoming my series on potentially awkward guest list dilemmas. Missed Part One? NBD, you didn’t miss much.)

Think about this, hive. Assuming you work a standard 40 hour week, you probably spend more waking hours with your coworkers than with anyone else in your life.

God bless the poor souls who work with me.

ANYWAY. Spending that much quality time with anyone, you get to know them pretty well. I’ve been with the same employer since graduating college, and I’ve been on my current team for two years now. I absolutely love my job, and I am fortunate enough to work for some truly wonderful people. No, none of them read Weddingbee (to my knowledge). So it made sense that I would at least consider inviting some coworkers to the wedding.

But before I go any further, let me make one thing clear.

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Sorry, guys; I felt like channeling MySpace circa 2005. (via Glitterfy)

Capisce? Actually, let’s be real, you’re not obligated to invite ANYONE to your wedding that you don’t want to invite.

That said, here was our thought process”¦

  • Do you have a good relationship with your coworkers? Because if you hate the people you work with, why would you even consider inviting them to the wedding?
  • If you left your job, would you keep in touch? See above. For me, this drew the line between friend and acquaintance. Related: have you ever interacted outside the workplace? If the answer is no, maybe your wedding isn’t the best place to start.
  • Will it be awkward? Considering I am fresh off a ridiculous Lady Gaga dance-off at our company’s holiday party last week—no, I’m not concerned about awkwardness.

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Who says accountants don’t know how to party? (personal photo, edited to protect the not-so-innocent)

  • Are you trying to brown-nose/suck up/kiss butt/get ahead? Is this something that people do? Please don’t do this. If this is your only motivation for inviting coworkers to the wedding, you’re probably a freaking joy to work with. Find other ways to impress your boss, such as actually doing your job.
  • What will be the impact on your head count? NEEDLE SCRATCH.

See, my team at work is very fragmented. I have the managers to whom I directly report, and then there are a few other managers for whom I’ll do work, but they’re not actually “my” bosses. Then, there are a few associates who work under me, but considering they’ve only been at the firm for a few months, I don’t know them all that well. And then there are the associates who, on paper, are part of my team, but we’ve never worked together and haven’t really talked all that much. Obviously, the nice thing to do would be to invite everybody, but that’s adding another thirty-something people (because everyone gets a date!) to the guest list. I know all pretensions of a small, intimate wedding have gone out the window by now, but come on”¦

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That’s A LOT of extra people. (via Tumblr)

The solution? Invite in circles. I’m inviting my managers and associates I’ve worked with since I started this role two years ago, because I’ve known them all for so long and I know them well enough to not feel awkward about it. While the new associates on my team are great, it feels weird to invite a group of people I’ve only known for four months to my wedding, which—minor detail—is a six hour drive from Boston. Part of me feels like I’m drawing the line awfully arbitrarily, but if I haven’t even known you for a year, why would you even want to schlep all the way to South Jersey for the wedding? (That’s how I’m justifying things to myself, anyway. If I could afford to host everybody, I would do it in a heartbeat. But I can only stretch the budget so far.)

So let’s say you’re inviting only a few coworkers, or none at all. How do you handle it?

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LAST ONE, I SWEAR. (via Glitterfy)

Seriously. Don’t. If the wedding doesn’t come up in conversation, no one can make you feel bad about not getting an invitation.

And if someone does bring it up, here are some handy buzzwords for you to graciously drive your point home: small, intimate, private, close, family, friends, budget. Maybe don’t use intimate, private, and close all in one sentence, unless you want HR to get involved.

All that said, the fact of the matter is that I’m getting married pretty freaking far from where I live and work. The odds of any of my coworkers taking the trouble to travel all the way to New Jersey just for the wedding are pretty low. That said, if anyone does choose to come, I’ll be incredibly flattered. To me, it was important to invite them regardless. They’ve done so much for me over the past few years, so the least I can do is invite them to have a nice dinner and an open bar on me.

Did you invite your coworkers to your wedding, hive? How did you deal with people not on the invitation list?


Mrs. Filly

Boston, MA
Wedding Date:
April 2014
Introducing Miss Weather Vane!
Gallery of the Day: December 11, 2013
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  1. Member
    ellemm005 172 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:26 am

    We’re trying to plan a wedding with just close friends and family, so coworkers aren’t on the list. But it’s not really a small wedding, so I’ve been having a hard time finding what words to use to describe it when coworkers ask. Intimate and private are perfect!

  2. mswallaby Bee
    mswallaby 2070 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:40 am

    Such good advice!!

  3. Member
    rebwana 4163 posts, Honey bee @ 7:09 am

    Great post/advice. “Would you invite them to your birthday or holiday party?” No? Then they really shouldn’t be at your wedding. And only talk about it if someone asks, and keep the conversation short. (this always works well with friends you’re not going to invite.)

  4. Member
    nadnuk 1566 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:29 am

    We’re each inviting one coworker each. My boss is really the only person I work with who I’d even consider inviting to my home. I adore his wife and we all get along well. My fiance has one person he works with who he doesn’t think is a raging idiot. So there. It was easy.

  5. Member
    wanderingbrunette 15 posts, Newbee @ 9:09 am

    Such a pain, eh? I have worked with the same people (with the exception of a few) since I started at my job 5 years ago. My co workers were going to go on my second list of invites, but my admin said “so we’re obviously invited, right?”. Sigh. She knows its not a “private or intimate” wedding, so I couldn’t tell her she was on my second list of invitees. So she, and the majority of my co workers, got bumped up to the first list. I’ve been lucky tho that my work has two offices (one about 300 kms away) and while I’m close to them, I can justify not inviting them because of the distance. Such a sensitive subject!!!

  6. mscamera Bee
    mscamera 300 posts, Helper bee @ 1:21 pm

    We only invited people from work that we have actually hung out with outside of work. No one else cared, much. No harm, no foul 🙂

  7. pyramid Bee
    Mrs. Pyramid 104 posts, Blushing bee @ 3:45 pm

    This is a tough one, and I like the policy of only inviting those you would hang out with outside of work. Especially to the bosses – do I really want my boss to see me dropping it like its hot in a wedding dress?

  8. mswaterfall Bee
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:46 pm

    We invited Mr. W’s coworkers, but nobody on my side. Great advice, though I would feel so akward only inviting certain people from work!

  9. msfilly Bee
    Mrs. Filly 85 posts, Worker bee @ 6:07 pm

    @EllEmm005: Glad it helped!

    @Mrs. Wallaby: Thanks!

    @rebwana: EXACTLY. You hit the nail right on the head, lady!

    @nadnuk: Haha, I love the raging idiot cutoff!

    @wanderingbrunette: It really is a sensitive subject! I hadn’t really planned on inviting coworkers, but then my parents were on my case about it and a couple of people expressed interest, and since I do really like my coworkers, it wasn’t the end of the world to add them to the list. The last thing I wanted to do was offend anyone, you know?

    @Mrs. Camera: Exactly – why would you even want to go to someone’s wedding that you don’t hang out with?

    @Miss Pyramid: Speaking as someone who’s boss just saw her dropping it like it’s hot at the holiday party last weekend ………………………… I literally have nothing left to embarrass myself with. 😉

    @Mrs. Waterfall: I do feel super awkward about only inviting some people! But I figure since I’m really drawing the line at people I’ve hung out with outside the office, I can justify it if anyone does say anything.

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