Post # 1
For all you Bees out there who are/were in graduate school at the time of the wedding: how did you decide which professors to invite? Did you invite any? Are there expectations in academia about things like this?
I already invited my advisor, and I am planning to for sure invite one other professor on my dissertation committee who has been something of a mentor to me. There are 2-3 others that I’m kind of on the fence about. I have a third committee member that I see much more rarely – but I wonder if she would be offended if I invited the other two and not her?
There are also a couple of other professors that I’ve worked with as a graduate assistant that I am also going back and forth on. They have also been role models for me, in a way. Most, but not all, of these professors are in the same department.
Another question: I know my advisor’s wife, and we are also inviting his son. I know that some of the other profs have spouses and kids, but I don’t know all of their names. Some I’ve met personally, some of them I haven’t. If anyone has recommendations on whether we should invite them “and guest,” etc., that would be appreciated, too.
If anyone has any wisdom on where to draw these lines, I’d appreciate it! Thanks.
Post # 3
I’m only inviting my advisor and the 4 other graduate students/postdocs that work with my advisor (I work with them daily and we are friends). Granted, my wedding will be 4 months after I graduate and move away, but I still don’t think You have to invite people you aren’t really friendly with.
Post # 4
I didn’t invite my advisor or anyone from my lab. My advisor is ridiculously professional and I’ve never had any even remotely personal conversation with him. He didn’t even know when I got engaged. Because there’s not any personal relationship, I thought inviting him would be awkward. So basically, my perspective is that you should invite people that your close with and that’s it.
ETA: Since another poster mentioned it, my wedding was in a different city 4 hours away.
Post # 5
If we were having a proper wedding in the city I’m a grad student in, I think I would have felt like I had to invite my advisor, even though it would have been a super weird colliding of my worlds. As it is, we’re having an intimate wedding in the town my SO goes to school, and we won’t be inviting his advisor and her husband.
I kind of think that you invite two of your committee members, you might want to consider inviting the third if you have the space – it seems like it might otherwise provoke some awkwardness. I wouldn’t necessarily feel like it would be necessary to invite other profs you know within the same department though. If you’re inviting the spouse and child of one, I think you should extend the same courtesy to the others as well.
Post # 6
@kittyface: Oh, yeah – location makes a difference. Fiance and I met here where I’m going to grad school, it’s roughly halfway between each of our hometowns, and it’s a much more interesting destination than either hometown for anyone who has to travel … so we decided to make it “equal-opportunity abuse” and make both families travel here for the wedding. Which is great – but it means that I do have to think about inviting professors!
Post # 7
I didn’t – we had a quite small wedding, and neither of us had a particularly warm or comfortable relationship with our advisors/committee members.
I think if I were planning now, I would invite my advisor – since finishing my diss, my relationship with her is much easier!
I would definitely invite the spouses of the faculty members you’re inviting. You could probably find out their names from the department admin. If not, just ask – I’m sure they’ll be tickled that you want to invite them.
Post # 8
Oh, and to answer your other question – I would draw lines by relationship. For instance, inviting your committee members only, or committee members plus those you worked for, or every prof you’ve worked at all closely with.
Post # 9
I’m not inviting any professors because I’m not close with them. I am inviting my internship supervisor from 2 summers ago. We were really close that summer and she was very much a mentor a peer for me. We still keep in touch even though I’m several states away now. I’m not sure she’ll come because our wedding is literally on the other side of the country, but if she does I’ll be happy to have her there.
Post # 10
Our wedding was 6 hrs away. I invited my advisor and her husband — while she wasn’t able to come, she sent a gift because she’s classy like that. 🙂 I didn’t invite the rest of my committee (I’m not close to one and the other is very meh about marriage). My husband didn’t invite any of his profs, but that doesn’t seem to be unusual in his department.
For comparison: one good friend invited his advisor to the wedding — it was about three hours away, and the advisor didn’t go. Another friend got married here and invited her whole committee. They came, and her advisor tore up the dance floor (the pictures are amazing!)
I would say that if you invite 2/3 of your committee, invite the last committee member. Whatever you’re paying per head is worth not offending anyone — and if you aren’t close, maybe it won’t be a problem anyway! And yes, definitely invite their spouses/families. I’m not sure what your departmental culture is like, but the dept secretary might be able to help you with their names.
Post # 11
I’m not inviting any of them. If you’re particularly close to any of them, I would, but I wouldn’t include them just because they’re on your committee.
Post # 12
I’ve only been in my program for a year so, although I have a great relationship with my advisor and with people on my exam committee, I don’t feel like we’re close enough for me to invite them. I definitely thought about it, but the wedding is going to be very small and mostly family (it’s in the city where I am a student, but nowhere near either of our families) and so I think it would feel a bit weird.
I think if I was at the stage that you are (finishing your dissertation?), then I would probably invite my advisor, at least.
Post # 13
Whoa. You have a verrrry different relationship with your department than me! For one, I get along with my advisor and respect her, but she’s very hands-off professional, and that’s the kind of culture of my department in general. I’ve been over to a couple of professor’s houses for dinner, but in a strictly business-type way (I’m a PhD in the humanities).
I mean, you know your advisors better than anyone so only you know where to draw the line. But I personally think that in ANY professional capacity–graduate school included–professors should not be offended to be left out of their students’ personal/social affairs. Their primary role in your life is professional before it is personal and I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of professors understand that fact. So I wouldn’t worry about causing offense. And also just remember–if they decline, don’t take it personally. They might be trying to save you (and themselves) from seeing each other dancing the funky chicken!
Post # 14
@KCKnd2: I’m not engaged yet, but I admit I’ve pondered this question!! I think I’d lean towards inviting the whole committee, and hoping that the ones I’m not close with (3-4 out of 5) don’t attend! But the wedding would be here in town, so I’d feel badly not to extend the invitation (or to extend it to some but not others – it’s a pretty close-knit department, and I’m sure folks would find out!)
Post # 15
I’m not inviting my advisor, simply because she’s a horrible human being and has made my life miserable for the past four years. My fiance, however, is planning on inviting his (who is a great guy and has been really supportive of both of us).
Post # 16
I think it is only appropriate to invite those people if you routinely hang out with them outside of an academic context.