(Closed) Inviting Co-Workers/bosses… how to avoid offending them?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
4056 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’m a teacher too so I understand. 

Myrule was only people I hang out with outside of school. That means no boss. I’ve also heard of people who based it on if the person has been to your house or not. 

Post # 4
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

i’m not a teacher so  i don’t know how it would differ. but i read , and have always been told, that if you invite any coworkers, you have to invite your direct supervisor. i don’t like mine knowing i drink either lol. but she is the cheif medical officer of the entire hospital, so i’m sure she understands that her prescnese was requested out of ettiquette. i’m hoping she will only stay through dinner etc and then leave since she isn’t much of a drinker either..eek

Post # 5
1724 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

I think you’re right to be concerned about who to invite – word gets around, and the last way you want to spend your return from your wedding is getting the stink-eye from those not invited. You say you’re friends with some of them – how many people are we talking? The more ‘true friends’ you want to invite, the more likely it is that word will get around that others were not invited.

It may not be a bad idea to ask the friends you eventually intend to invite to keep their invitation on the down-low because you couldn’t afford to invite everyone (whether or not that’s the truth). If others ask you about it, start explaining that it’s a small wedding, you have space constraints, whatever makes you look like a figure to be pitied. The goal kind of is martyr-ish here – you want to come off as though it’s a bit out of your control. If only things were different, you could invite everyone!

You don’t have to invite your boss. As long as you keep your interactions with everyone positive and stick to the story with everyone (including your friends), you reduce the risk of unnecessarily hurting feelings. I’d avoid talking about the wedding and engagement as much as possible – otherwise, it’s just a reminder to everyone that it’s coming up, and they’ll be itching to know if they’re in or out.



Post # 6
1357 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I work at a very small start-up company, so it was rough navigating how to not invite coworkers. Everyone knows everyone at my work and we work very closely together, but we just couldn’t afford to host everyone there.

I just didn’t talk about my wedding at all with any of my coworkers, even those I wanted to invite, and if they brought it up, I used the opportunity to emphasize what a small wedding we were having, how we wish we could invite everyone we loved, but it just wasn’t in the cards.

I did want to invite a few coworkers, though, as these were the people I spend time with regularly outside of work and enjoy their company as friends. So I took the time to mention to them (outside work) that I wish I could invite everyone from work, but I couldn’t afford to. I said I just couldn’t imagine my wedding without them (the invited people) there, so they would be receiving an invitation, but I asked them to keep it on the downlow. Technically this is considered a faux pas, but it did work out well for me.

Food for thought: everyone shared photos after the wedding, so if any of the invited coworkers are friends with uninvited coworkers, they will find out. I knew it was a possibility the uninvited people would figure out some people in the office attended, but I didn’t think it would offend since people know who I am friends with outside work and who I don’t really see after 5pm. If there’s a possibility for hurt feelings, you might want to go all-or-nothing for coworker invites.

Hope this helps!

Post # 7
1060 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I had a nosy co-worker who flat out asked who from the office I planned to invite. I told her due to budget, Fiance and I could only invite those that we socialized with outside of the office (which was true). I think that is a fair explanation, and other than that comment I kept things hush hush in the office and told the 2 invited to keep it on the DL

Post # 8
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

My mom is a teacher and she did invite a few co-workers to my wedding – but only the ones who she is friends with outside of work (which is why it was okay with me, they were over at our house quite a bit when I was a kid so I know them all fairly well), and she gave them a heads up that they were being invited but to please kinda keep in on the DL and not discuss it at work since she couldn’t invite everyone.

Post # 9
188 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Love this post!!!

I’m a teacher too, my mom mother is a teacher in the same school as me AND I went to the school as a child so needless to say we know each know EVERYONE for my whole life! It is so difficult, because I can’t afford to invite everyone. I only sent out Save-The-Date Cards to family and close friends, but decided not to send any out to anyone from work to avoid any hurt feelings. I don’t plan on sending out invitations out til 3 months before the wedding (July, summer vacation lol) so I figured spare people’s feelings til invites go out! I obviously have to invite my Principal and 2 AP’s so they were a given, but they are not necessarilly attending. I put people on the list that I am good friends with outside of work with and have been for years. Then I asked my mom out of her friends from work who she would want. As of now I have about 20 people from work on the list that are definites, but there are certain people I might want to include and will do so when invitations come around. It’s not an easy decision and I’m sure certain people will expect to be invited, but there’s only so many people you can do before you have 300 people plus a guest on the list lol The bad thing is that we have a very close knit school, it’s like a big dysfunctional family haha I feel your pain. I was told by certain close friends who before they knew they’re invited, that they would understand if they weren’t because of how expensive it is. I figured that the people who love you and are happy for you, will understand. Those that don’t aren’t true friends to begin with! My fiance works for NYPD Narcotics Division so he’s only inviting his teammates (12) and his Captain, Sargeant and Lieutenant. He’s not too friendly with most people at work, so he’s lucky haha Good luck!!!

Post # 10
100 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I totally understand! I work in a daycare/preschool so I am always around my boss and coworkers. I still haven’t decided about inviting them or not. Good luck though!

Post # 11
3267 posts
Sugar bee

Invite people with whom you have an actual relationship. 

Assuming they are also polite people, they will know not to discuss an event in front of people who are not invited.  That extends to you as well.  Make sure you aren’t discussing your wedding with non-invited people.  If they ask, you can answer but keep it short and sweet and then bean dip them.



Post # 12
1341 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Invite the people you are actually close with. The ones you hang out with in a social setting.

Post # 13
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

In the UK, there is a very simple answer to this problem.

– Any co-workers whom you are close to and who you are friends with come for the whole day.

– Any people whom you are friendly with, but whom are not actually your friends (in practise, this usually means co-workers, but it can also include people like your local priest, or your parents’ friends) are invited only to your ceremony and your after party and buffet, but not to your main meal.

This is absolutely the normal practise here.

Post # 14
428 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I have a similar problem. I work in a department store, and I really love the people that I work with. We have a great sense of teamwork and everyone is always willing to help each other out when scheduling issues arise or when certain tasks have to be completed. My immediate supervisor, my sales manager, is also really wonderful and we’re quite friendly at work.

There are also a few co-workers I sort of consider second mothers since I worked with them for so long, but who have quit/retired. We’ve gone to lunch a few times since they have more free time, and I definitely plan on inviting them.

I would love to be able to invite them all to the wedding, but not only would that be an extra 10 people on the guest list (nearly 20, if I gave them +1s for their SOs) but because we’re a department, SOMEONE will have to work that day and I don’t want three or four of them to feel bad because they can’t make it.

My solution is to only invite my small group of co-workers I’ve lunched with and, out of fairness, no one else. It has been a tough decision, but the one that I think will be best.



Post # 15
118 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013


I’m running into the same problem.  I have worked in many different departments throughout my job and have become friendly with a lot of co-workers.  However, we are trying to keep our wedding guest list between 75-100 people.  I have decided only to invite one co-worker.  We are friends outside of work and she actually introduced my fiancé and I.  She’s also going to be our officient.  I have asked her not to let anyone else at work know that she will be invited to avoid hurt feelings.  As much as I’d like to invite a lot of them, there just isn’t room in the budget.  As far as my boss goes, she has told me that her birthday is on the same day as my wedding and she is going out of town to celebrate so I got off the hook on that one. 

Post # 16
553 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@aliciab21:  I work in a moderately sized medical office and will be inviting the administrative assistants in my area, and only my area. We are in a seperate office space than our counterparts, and we are all tight. I’m also inviting 3 nurses from the group, but not all of the nurses I work with. Here are my thoughts about it, and how I went through this process: There have already been a couple of weddings in the office and not everyone was invited. Nobody was offended whatsoever. I was not invited to them because I am not close like that with them…I was even excited when one of them brought in her pictures from her wedding so those of us who didn’t go could enjoy them. Even though our wedding days are so very important to us and our immediate families, a lot of people really don’t care that much. I mean, they’re glad if they’re invited and all, but they just really don’t care that much. If someone is sort of like “oh, well, dang I would have liked to have gone…” I assure you they will get over it pretty quickly, and if they don’t then that’s their problem. I don’t talk about it with those who are not invited unless I’m asked.

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