(Closed) Is it ok to host our own celebratory happy hour (aka wedding shower) at work?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
6394 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

I think that sounds great! If I recieved that, I would think that you wanted to celebrate with us, but I wouldn’t think you were expecting a gift (though I might get you a small one). Sounds perfect!

Post # 4
11752 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think it can be pulled off tastefully and your e-mail wording sounds like a great start!  I’m not sure about telling everyone they aren’t invited – I think they would have figured that out by now.  I think it’s really nice of you to host a little party for them though.  

Post # 5
2106 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

If I got an invitation like that, I would assume I was invited. Then, when I showed up, I’d be even more let down. The best way to go about this is to see these people in small groups and leave them out of wedding talk entirely. If I knew that I wasn’t invited to the wedding, “Hey I’ll buy you a drink in celebration of the wedding you’re not invited to!” would suck. 

You don’t invite people to wedding events if they aren’t invited to the wedding. The only exceptin is if someone else, of their own accord, throws you a shower. 

It’s never nice to bring to someone’s attention the party they aren’t invited to- especially if some people were already surprised and hurt. 

Post # 6
1361 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Honestly, I would just let it go.  There’s no obligation to invite people from work and I think inviting them out to happy hour as a consolation prize is a little insulting. 

Post # 8
2705 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@MrsBroccoli:  I’m with you.  OP, it’s very nice that you want to celebrate with everyone, but I wouldn’t do this.  Pointing out that they aren’t invited is kinda rude.  People understand budgets and guest list limitations.  You don’t have to do something to make them feel included.

I also don’t care for the email.  The part about being excited for your intimate wedding on a small yacht but still wanting to celebrate with everyone just rubs me the wrong way.  As PP said, it kind of makes the happy hour seem like a cosolation prize – which is insulting.

Post # 9
10565 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

I think it’s great to celebrate with your coworkers.   I would consider doing it after the wedding though, to celebrate actually being married (rather than celebrating an uncoming wedding people aren’t invited to).  If I were invited to one before though, I would in no way be offended!

Having the word shower in the title might throw some people off By The Way.  My immediate thought was NO – Don’t do that!!!

Post # 10
1093 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

In my work situation, this would be totally fine and well received. People around here would be quite happy to allow someone else to buy them a drink!

Like @MrsWBS: said, they know by now that they’re not invited, so I would leave out the “intimate wedding on a small yacht” part. That’s honestly the only part of that message I found weird.

Also, I would avoid at all cost referring to this as a wedding shower. Just stick to happy hour. Like @MrsBroccoli: said, only people invited to the wedding should get invited to the shower.

ETA: @AB Bride:  Great idea on waiting until after the wedding!

Post # 11
9955 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Lol, Etiquette Snob here…

Hosting an Engagement Celebration (hey join us for drinks) with FRIENDS that you fully intend to invite to your Wedding / Reception is one thing…

Doing something similar with those you have NO INTENTION of inviting is downright cruel (and certainly looks Gift-Grabby)

Although to be fair, I totally get WHY you might want to have such a get-together… to share the good news / vibes – have everyone see your Fiance (their past co-worker) while he is in town – See the 2 of you together (admit it we love to show off our love in the Engagement period) – AND also make up for the fact that you can’t have them all at the “intimate” Wedding etc.

BUT as much as it is tempting… I would not do it

And I certainly wouldn’t INITIATE any explanation of WHY your office pals aren’t coming to the Wedding… other than get the word out there that it is a small family wedding (it sounds though like you’ve already done that)

If someone should be so BOLD as to ask “Hey, I haven’t got my Wedding Invite yet”… then be gentle, and reiterate “Sorry, we are truly only having an intimate family celebration”

On the otherhand, if someone from the Office get you a gift… be very very gracious.  Make sure you get that Thank You Note out promptly !!

And if you should be so lucky, that the Office gets together to throw you a mini-shower, or any other sort of celebration (some work places do, even though they are aware they aren’t invited)… again be EXTREMELY GRACIOUS !!

Hope this helps,

EDIT TO ADD – Someone mentioned a post-wedding get-together with the gang from work… again I wouldn’t do this either.  Once more that look of sloppy leftovers (and gift grabby).  The EXCEPTION here is if your Office does throw a pre-wedding event for you (where gifts might have been given) … in which case after you are back you might want to get a conference room one lunch hour, order in some eats, and show some Wedding pics (not a ton of pics, but some… a nice assortment of stuff… Getting Ready – Family – Ceremony – Reception – and maybe some Honeymoon pics too.  All very tasteful.  And nothing that would take longer than 15 or 20 minutes to view).  Lol, of course such an event would be most popular with the women in the office, but that’s ok.


Post # 12
3569 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I think it’s  nice gesture but seems kind of awkward, and if you do it it should be done only after work out of business hours.


Post # 14
2725 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Don’t do it, gal. 


Post # 15
46258 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think that no matter what your intent, it will be perceived as a gift grab whether it is held before or after the wedding.

It is simply inappropriate to point out (in a concrete way) to people that they are not invited to your wedding.

If you want to thank them for their support, wait until the next time the departments participate in some sort of social gathering, whether it is separately or together, and buy your colleagues a drink then.

Post # 16
5405 posts
Bee Keeper

I think it would be fine as long as you don’t call it a shower (which you have said you wouldn’t), don’t expet gifts, and don’t act like it’s an apology for not inviting them. It’s not like you singled out some coworders to invite and ignored others. I think people will understand that it’s not financially feasible. I would still like an occasion to celbrate with coworkers I considered friends.

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