Post # 1
My fiance and I are having conflicting opinions on the issue of inviting co-workers. We both want an intimate wedding with close family and friends and really want to spoil those people who we love with a fun, best-food-and-drinks-you-have-ever-had celebration. Also, it is somewhat of a destination wedding (in North Carolina and we live in Chicago) so I know all invitees will not attend.
Here’s the scoop: He used to be close with some coworkers, and because of his job, he travels at least 8 weekends during the fall, so he would spend more time with them. Because of their behavior(cheating on their wives, acting like college frat boys, etc.) he has since (happily and willingly) separated himself from them. He still works closely with them and again, because of the kind of work he does, it is necessary for them to have a good work relationship.
When we got engaged they all started asking "when and where?" assuming they would be invited. Now as we are looking at the guest list, he says that he has to invite them as well as some other people he works with (some of whom we have never spent a minute with outside of work functions and never plan to!). He justifies inviting all these work people with "if I invite him and him, I have to invite these others or else they will feel left out/bad". I don’t think that grown people who just work with someone should expect to be invited to a wedding. The "him and him" he is inviting from work are IN the wedding and our close friends!
I just recently started a new job and am not dealing with the same situation so I want to be sensitive to his thoughts. I also do not want these random people, whom we will probably never talk to again in a few years when we move, coming to our wedding! There are people we would both like to invite that we will not be able to if all these co-workers get invited. I’m a fun girl but don’t think a "beer bong" in an appropriate thing to have at a reception (oh yes, they have suggested it!)
Post # 3
The coworkers is always going to be a difficult situation. I myself felt like if I had to invite some I had to invite others and decided just not to invite anyone. It may hurt some of their feelings a bit but you never know what will happen with jobs and if you will really stay in touch. Most people have told me that you should only invite coworkers who you talk to outside of work and will still be talking to in 5 years. You could ask him to make a rule of thumb like that.
Post # 4
He shouldn’t invite them because he feels he has to. If he doesn’t want them there, then you could easily have him tell them that because you guys are keeping it small, you made the decision to not invite any work friends (except for the two groomsmen, of course). I know plenty of people who have done that and that blanket statement will do a better job at sparing those who don’t get invited from feeling hurt and save you guys from having to invite them. Good luck!
Post # 5
Little Bear, I hear ya! I truly only want people who are an important part of our lives there, and I am of the school of thought that people realize you can’t invite everyone to your wedding and they *should* respect that and wish you luck on your big day. Fiance and Future Mother-In-Law seem to agree with your own Fiance — if you invite X you have to invite Y, and if you invite Y you have to invite Z, and so on. Sigh.
I begrudgingly agreed to a post-wedding reception in FI’s hometown so we could cut down the guest list at the main event, but still include the other 50 or so people they felt obligated to invite (but at a fraction of the pp price ). Is the after-wedding gathering an option for you? It would give the work friends a chance to celebrate your marriage (whether they’re doing it for you guys or for themselves…), but without having to invite them to the big event…
Post # 6
Perhaps from a co-worker’s perspective…just because they ask about the wedding doesn’t necessarily mean they assume they are invited. Sometimes, it’s just nice to ask and may be more cordial than you think. Maybe they won’t be as offended as you think if they’re not invited…I dunno…just playing devil’s advocate here.
Post # 7
sigh, i have no advice. i know how this situation sucks! i would be happy to invite my FI’s coworkers, but mine…not so much…but have no choice to invite them since the rest of my life i will see these people even when i am done w/ this job.
Post # 8
Thanks ladies! All of your suggestions are helpful. I think I just may show him this! 🙂
We are planning on having a post-wedding open house at my parent’s house so I am hoping, if we do end up inviting some co-workers, they will come to that instead! haha!
Post # 9
There is no reason he can’t just blatantly lie to these guys. All he has to say is "It’s family only." If they do not socialize outside of work then they won’t know the difference.
Post # 10
We didn’t invite any coworkers. There were definitely a few at my job I would have liked to see there, but when you add in their SO’s, thats a whole table! and then there was everyone else I work with, and it seemed rude to pick and choose a few, especially when they all went in on a gift for me. So I told anyone who asked that it was only family (which it actually was, excluding 5 of my friends since high school and their so’s) and they were all totally fine with that. No matter what, there is always somewhere you have to draw the line. It seems strange to have a small intimate wedding and then having coworkers, if you ask me.
Post # 11
We invited all the physicians/PAs at DF’s job, its a small department and he has been there for a long time- he felt strongly that he wanted to invite them
I work in a much bigger dept and I am only inviting a few people who I consider to be friends beyond work, people I would keep in touch with if I weren’t at that job anymore. I think it depends on the individual persons preferences and situation.
Post # 12
We invited only coworkers with whom we have a relationship outside work – meaning that we are not only coworkers but friends, and would expect to remain friends even if we never worked together again.
We had all kinds of coworkers ask about the wedding plans – when and where – and I don’t believe that most of them ever expected to be invited. It’s just showing interest – like asking somebody where they are going for their summer vacation, or for their honeymoon. Certainly you don’t expect to be invited when you ask that!! I did have one coworker ask if he and his wife were invited. I just told him that while we would love to have them there, we were really limited as to budget and space, and so could only invite family and a limited number of close friends. He wasn’t offended at all, and immediately said that he completely understood.
You’re right that the problem is that if you invite a few work friends, you end up feeling like you have to invite them all. That is the best argument for not inviting them at all. After all, eating lunch with people, or even spending the kind of time with them that you do on travel, doesn’t automatically make them your friends outside of work. Believe it or not, most of your work friends understand the difference. I don’t think that your FI’s relationship with his work friends will be somehow damaged if you don’t invite them. I don’t see that any of our coworkers were offended in any way to not receive an invitation.
And seriously – that whole "used to be close" thing comes up in every guest list, as far as I can tell. The fact that you were best friends with someone in grade school, or their roommate in college, doesn’t mean you need to invite them. When you say that your Fiance "used to be close" to these guys, what you are really saying is that he’s not close to them anymore. Therefore, co-workers or not, you shouldn’t feel any need to invite them.