(Closed) Is it ok to invite work colleagues but not their partners?

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
592 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I would go to a wedding of a co-worker without my Fiance if they were inviting other people from work without their partners. I can attend functions just fine without my partner. However if some of the spouses/partners were invited and mine wasn’t then I would probably not go. 

Post # 19
1833 posts
Buzzing bee

We’ll have to agree to disagree.  I feel quite strongly that if you can’t invite the couple as a social unit then the coworker isn’t invited.

When we are wedding planning with our girls we set the budget, make the guest list with appropriate +1’s and then we plan a wedding that  can accomodate everyone.  We’ve never had to think about leaving partners out that way.

Post # 20
2496 posts
Buzzing bee

Agree that it’s unacceptable to invite a coworker without extending an invite to her spouse, Fiance, or cohabitating SO.

Post # 21
3571 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

If I got invited to a wedding and my husband wasn’t invited, there’d be no way that I’d go unless he was physically out of the country. I’ve gone to weddings sans Darling Husband a few times for various reasons, but not inviting him? Beyond rude in my opinion. Why would I want to celebrate your marriage when you won’t recognize and honour mine?

Post # 22
259 posts
Helper bee

I;m actually going to disagree with the majority here.

I’d be shocked if a co-worker invited me AND SO. It shouldn’t be expected and I don’t think it’s rude in the slightest.

Post # 23
39 posts
  • Wedding: September 2014

If they are all friendly with each other, I dont think you need to invite partners. Unless the couples know each other outside of work, it could even make things awkward having partners that didnt know anyone else.

Post # 24
648 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@cuddlz88:  I wish I could avoid inviting people I’ve never met too (most of SO’s extended family, lol), but alas I can’t and must spend thousands feeding strangers. So I feel your pain. That being said, I think the standard etiquette is that committed couples (married/engaged/common law) are a social unit and should be invited together.

Post # 25
1877 posts
Buzzing bee

@cuddlz88:  If said colleagues are friends with each other and can be seated together, then I think it’s fine. 

Post # 26
648 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@cuddlz88:  “Plus one of my work friends is single so if anything it would be awkward for her coming alone and everyone else bringing their partner…”

That’s called being single. One of my co-workers is single and the rest of us aren’t and we constantly are made to feel like we have to exclude our SOs just because she’s single. It’s ridiculous. Does she expect people to be alone just because she is? Sorry, mini rant, hehe.

Post # 28
964 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I think it’s alright if you’re inviting a few of them then they’ll be able to socialise with each other, maybe if you’re just inviting one who doesn’t know anyone it would be an issue. personally, I wouldn’t mind going to a wedding without my SO, they don’t know him so why should he be invited? that’s my thoughts on the matter though I know others don’t agree but when it’ll time for my wedding then i’ll be doing that I imagine. 

Post # 29
6290 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

In the UK, this is common.

I’m inviting about 8 colleagues, all women who know each other really well. Their partners, whom I’ve never met, aren’t invited, and even if I invited them, they wouldn’t come. Inviting them would actually put my colleagues in an awkward position as they’d rather come ‘solo’ and have a fun night out with their friends.

But, this is from a British perspective. If etiquette dictated that I had to invite colleague’s spouses/it wasn’t the norm not to, then I’d be inviting them.

Post # 30
9332 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

even if i haven’t met all of my FI’s friends and family, everyone who is in a committed relationship or married is getting invited with their partner.  on the invitiation, i am naming the specific people. 

Post # 31
1344 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

Of course. Whether you’ve met them or not isn’t really a factor- they’re a social unit, they BOTH get an invite, or neither of them do. It is true that a lot of Australia’s etiquette rules are not as strict as in parts of the US, but this one certainly applies.


We like one of our coworkers, but his gf (who we also work with) we really, really don’t like. So we did not invite either of them. It would not be appropriate to invite one half of a social unit. It’s considered disrespectful to the relationship.

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