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Unlike you and your dear partner, work and weddings are an ill-fated match. Workplace etiquette and wedding etiquette are both complicated enough to navigate on their own, but when you the two overlap, things can get super messy. Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable. There will inevitably be conversations at work about your engagement and subsequently, wedding plans. There will be coworkers you absolutely want to invite, and there will be coworkers you definitely don’t want to invite. Deciding how to handle having coworkers at your wedding is a bit of a puzzle, but it’s one that can be solved.
If you’re inviting some coworkers to your wedding and not others, you’ve probably considered the fact there may be some hurt feelings circulating the office. People get sensitive around weddings, but you can be sensitive to them by keeping details about your invite quiet. So, maybe don’t shout “Did you get that nautically themed save-the-date I sent you?” across the break room.
To mitigate the risk of any coworkers shouting, “I’m so excited for your nautical wedding in July!” across the break room towards you, give the people on your team you do invite a heads up on the situation. Let them know that while you wish you could invite everyone on your team, you were unable to do so. Ask your coworkers if they wouldn’t mind keeping your wedding details on the down-low. It feels sneaky, but it’s actually pretty polite.
That said, you should assume that your coworkers are mature adults who understand that weddings are the most expensive parties of them all, and it’s simply not possible to invite everyone to them. If, however, you do enter into a difficult conversation with your coworker who wasn’t invited, keep things cool and calm. Let them know you so wish that you could’ve invited them (even if you don’t).
And at the end of the day, it’s also good to remember that if your career is important to you, keeping your workplace a healthy place is a good move. Do you work at a large, formal firm? Invite your boss. No matter how you feel about them. Because an extra $175 a plate is minimal when you’re thinking about future bonuses, promotions, and recommendations. This is both kind and strategic, and worth it in the long run.
If you truly want to carry on and keep things calm at work as you plan for your wedding, be generous with your invites. Do you work at a small startup with four people? If you invite one, you should invite them all. Is there a group of you who hangs out pretty regularly for Wednesday happy hour? Again, think about those prized Wednesday five dollar margaritas and how awkward they might become if you only invite your closest work friend. And at the end of the day, you can decide to keep your wedding completely separate from work, because hey, it’s your big day and you get to call the shots.
If you stick to manners, kindness, and compassion, you should have no problems navigating the “To invite your coworkers or not to invite your coworkers?” question. Cheers!
Written by: Kimmy Foskett