I can remember talking to one of my friends from college, senior year, about how life would be after graduating, and she said outright that she could never be friends with her coworkers, because professional lives are one thing, personal lives are another. They could never coexist. Upon hearing that, my mouth fell open, and I had no words. How could anyone handle the stress of adulting everyday without a crew to champion each other?
If you haven’t guessed already, I’m a hugeee proponent of making friends with people at work. You are in the trenches with these guys day in and day out, you deal with the same pressures, you celebrate the same big wins, like it or not, you pretty much spend the majority of your lives together. So, along the way, it would stand to reason that you’d share snippets and full-on summaries of your OOO life with them. And a wedding is one of those BFDs that would probs get talked about. Issues with in-laws, complaints about how much it all costs, excitement over all the pre-wedding events, why wouldn’t these things come up at the office?
But when it comes down to deciding whether or not these workmates get an invite to the wedding, it can cause some anxiety. Are these individuals on par with your friends IRL? Should you extend an invitation to your supervisors, because #goodemployee101?
We chatted amongst ourselves (swapping stories about what each of us did for our own weddings) and asked current brides-to-be what they were planning on doing with their own coworkers: here’s what everyone had to say:
***Note, no one said that they ever regretted not inviting their coworkers to the wedding, so there’s that….
Photo Credit: Andrew Neel on Unsplash
“I’m sooo far from getting engaged, but when I do get married, I’ll only plan to invite people I have a relationship with outside of work. Having them at the wedding can’t be the first time we hang out beyond our cubicles. That’s just weird.” ~ Caitlyn
“I only invited coworkers I liked. Whoops! And asked them to try not to talk so openly about it in the office, because I wasn’t able to invite everyone. A lot of my coworkers were awesome friends and some, I really couldn’t stand. So, that’s where I drew the line.” ~ Erin
“Honestly, I didn’t even have a plan. I guess, because we were limited with the amount of people we could have, I only invited my bosses. I felt like it was necessary, too, because I work at a wedding site…" ~ Olivia
“I work in PR, and at the time of my wedding, my fashion+beauty division was really big, so I decided only to invite my immediate team (the girls I worked with on all the same clients). I included my direct supervisor and our group lead, as well, out of courtesy. They seemed to have a lot of fun, and they gifted us with some hefty checks, sooo I have no regrets!” ~ Michelle
“When I was getting married, a handful of other girls in the office were brides, too. That made it so much easier to talk all things ‘I Do,’ because we all had our own respective office posses, and knew that among all of us, the company would be well-represented at our affairs. While we weren’t invited to each other’s weddings, we could trade stories and laugh about our unique set of stressors, without feeling bad about our guest lists.” ~ Molly
“I invited my closest friends at work to the wedding, because I hang out with them outside of the hospital. They’re coming to my bachelorette, we text each other almost every day, and we give each other unsolicited advice about our personal lives all the time. So, they’re not just coworkers, they’re, like, actual friends. I asked my boss, too, because she helped get me my job, it would only be right to extend an invite!” ~ Sara
Photo Credit: @bkoof
If we can reduce it down to just a few tips to help you out, here goes:
Don’t feel pressured into doing anything you don’t want to do. It’s your day, you get to do it your way. So, if obligation is the only reason you’re giving for inviting someone: a boss or colleague, just don’t do it. Save the invite for someone else, and move on. That being said, if your boss is more than just a boss: your mentor, for instance, then you should probs go ahead and add their name to your list. They’re one of those people you’ll likely want to keep on your good side for the long haul. Career counsel, networking potential, all that important stuff.
Make rules for yourself and stick to them. Maybe you’ll only extend invites to the people on YOUR team, not anyone else (including those you might liaise with or attend brainstorms beside). Or resolving to just invite the boss who does your reviews and actually manages you, rather than having to invite the entire exec team. Sometimes you either have to go all in or all out, picking and choosing people without clear-cut criteria to consider against is just a way to make people upset. They’ll understand if you’re just trying to keep the wedding ‘small and intimate,’ so you’re not inviting work people. They won’t if they realize you invited one or two of the people you always eat lunch with, but not them.
Gauge your office culture and temper your wedding talk if you need to. A lot of modern workplaces nurture a company culture that celebrates birthdays, promotions, upcoming weddings, soon-to-be-welcomed babies, etc. If you’re part of one, then you might have an office bridal shower or engagement party - where you can talk about your wedding and embrace your inner bride without having to feel sorry for it. People will understand if they’re not invited, especially if they can eat cake regardless. If you won’t be inviting many people at all to the wedding itself, then try to limit how much you talk about it at work, and instead organize an outing for you and your colleagues to go out and celebrate your going off the market.
Be wary of sending out save the dates. You never know how long you’ll be at your current job, by the time your wedding comes around, you might be working somewhere else. You might be fired, your favorite colleague might up and leave to company. Who knows! So, to be safe, don’t just send out STDs right away. You don’t even have to send one out - and can just wait for formal invites - if you’re still hesitant about whether you’ll want to invite X, Y, and Z to the party. Just make sure you’re not making a mistake with your save-the-dates.
Compare colleagues to your ‘real-life’ friends. Think about colleagues the same way you do with friends that you’re considering inviting to the wedding. Have they met your future spouse? Have you spent a day/night out together in the last 6 months? If they weren’t at your wedding, would it bother you?
Understand that inviting your supervisor can have some perks. Not evennnn saying that inviting your boss to the wedding will give you the promotion you’ve been wanting, sight unseen. BUT, it couldn’t hurt to extend an invite to the powers that be, if you’re looking for a LITTLE leniency when it comes to planning your wedding at work. If you’re late for work the morning you need to pick your wedding dress up from the salon, they’ll probs forgive you. Need an extra few days before/after the honeymoon, sure, if it means they can have the night out with an open bar 😉.