“Should I Invite The Office to My Wedding?”

I’m getting married next summer and we’re getting ready to start handing out the Save the Dates. My concern is whom among my co-workers I should invite. I work in a small office shared by two partnering professional associations. At my company, there are 6 full-time staff (myself included). The other company who shares our office has three staff, “Rachel,” “Monica,” and “Phoebe,” who are all part-time.

Between the two separate companies, we are all friendly in the office. Phoebe started here maybe two or three years ago (I’ve been working here for 4 years), and we’re close in age. She and I sometimes go to lunch together and have hung out outside of work once. She’s been really helpful with wedding planning tips, recommending local caterers and offering an ear when I want to ask for advice or vent frustrations and that kind of thing.

Monica is new – she’s been working at the office just a few months – and I’ve barely spoken to her. I couldn’t even tell you her last name. It’s nothing against her, we’ve just never had that chance to really talk. Rachel is the boss of the other two and she started around the same time as Phoebe. I know her reasonably well, sometimes all the ladies in our office will go to lunch together in the summer. We haven’t had one of these lunches since Monica started, however, and probably won’t again until around the time of the wedding.

So which of these three ladies should I be inviting? I will definitely be inviting my five coworkers at my own company, there’s no question there. Despite sharing an office, our two organizations are very distinct and I have much more of a professional relationship with my own team. If I just invite my “true” coworkers but none of the other three, I doubt Monica or Rachel would feel snubbed. But Phoebe might. And besides, I want to invite Phoebe, but haven’t decided about Monica and Rachel.

If I invite Phoebe but not the other two, I think Rachel might feel snubbed. And if I invite everyone but Monica, it just seems rude to invite the whole office except one person. The simple solution would just be to invite everyone, but then I’m inviting four extra people (Monica, Rachel, and their potential dates) all for the sake of being able to invite Phoebe, who – to further complicate things – probably wouldn’t even be able to make it. Phoebe told me not long after we booked our date that some friends of hers from out of town are getting married the same day as me, and I’m not sure if which wedding she’d choose to attend.

This isn’t a question of finances. I am extremely fortunate in that my parents are paying for the wedding, and they’ve made it clear that they have no problems with anyone I want to include in the list. My fiancé is also supportive of whatever I decide. (For the record, he is inviting his whole office, but he’s planning on building a career there in a way I’m just not envisioning at my job – I’m not sure how much longer I’ll even be working here, or even in this industry.)

Basically, my question is this: is it worse to invite everyone and risk creating unnecessary feelings of obligations on the part of your coworkers (and maybe also appearing a little show-offy, like “oh look at me and my huge wedding,” because I don’t want people to think I’m just inviting casual acquaintances left and right for no reason) or is it worse to pick and choose certain coworkers, risking some people feeling snubbed?

And a side question – if I just bring one Save the Date to hang in the kitchen at the office, rather than handing them out individually to people to take home, does that imply I’m inviting the whole office? Or in my office’s case, would it only imply I’m inviting “my” team? — Saving the Date, Losing my Sanity

Good God, I’m glad my wedding-planning days are long, long behind me. To you and anyone else who is feeling anxious about which co-workers to invite to your wedding and who’s going to feel snubbed and who’s going to feel pressured to go out of obligation, this is my advice: invite the people you feel closest to and don’t worry about the rest. I promise you that some co-worker whose last name you don’t even know will NOT be upset to miss out on your wedding. You’ll be doing her a favor saving her the drama of coming up with an excuse to miss it.

Specifically, you should invite Phoebe if you want to — but only if you want to (and it sounds like you do). If you’re on the fence about Rachel and it’s partly dependent on whether Phoebe comes to your wedding, why don’t you ask Phoebe’s advice and whether she thinks she’d be able to make your wedding anyway? If she’s already been giving you wedding tips and providing a listening ear, it won’t be at all out-of-place for you to say, “Hey, I have a question. I want to invite you to my wedding but I understand you may have a different wedding to go to that same day and I don’t want you to feel pressured to come to mine. I simply want you to know I appreciate your friendship. If you can make it, great, and if you can’t, I totally understand. But I was hoping you might have some advice on whether I should invite everyone in the office. I wouldn’t want certain people feeling snubbed that I’m inviting you and maybe not including them.” Phoebe will have a sense of what your office culture is like and can confirm for you probably better than I whether people will give a flying you-know-what if they don’t score an invite to your wedding.

And, no, do not hang up a save-the-date card in your office, ESPECIALLY if you don’t plan to invite everyone.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.


  1. WWS, definitely mention it casually to Phoebe to see what she says, you might be needlessly worrying (if she cant make it to your wedding).

    And I LOVE the choices of alias(es) hahaha

    1. ITA. LW, you sound like you are being thoughtful and considerate in your planning, it’s nice to see. Have fun with the planning, and I hope you have a lovely wedding. Don’t forget to take time to enjoy it =)

  2. kerrycontrary says:

    My head is spinning after reading this letter. I am not looking forward to wedding planning one day because people spend hours stressing over these little teeny things. I also feel no obligation to invite coworkers, ever. But that’s because I have a cold, cold, heart.

    1. I must have a cold heart as well, I´ll never get why people feel obliged to invite coworkers (that aren´t friends), neighbours, parents friends, etc. Everybody should just invite the people they want sharing “their day”. If someone gets offended screw ´em.

      1. I only invited 2 co-workers to my wedding (and I work for a small company). My rule as to who got invited was “If I would’t feel comfortable just dropping by your house to say hi if I was in the neighborhood, you don’t get invited”

        I wanted to know and like everyone who was at my wedding, so in 20 years when I’m looking at pictures I don’t think “Who was that person and why were they at my wedding?!”

      2. I don’t get that either. Who cares if Tommy from accounting is pissed that you didn’t invite him? But isn’t it also supposedly good form to get your boss a Christmas/holiday gift? I don’t understand that. I never got any of my bosses anything for the holidays. So maybe I shouldn’t be commenting on this (especially since I could only make it halfway through the letter) … :p

    2. My head is spinning, too. This site has really got me leaning towards “elope.”

      1. haha, my boss and i went to a wedding last weekend of another one of our co-workers, and he told me on monday that now he is “excited to see my wedding” or something like that. i told him that comments like that make me feel like ill dissapoint people and also make me want to just elope. lol

    3. Yeah I’ve been at one job for 8 years, and the other for 10, and didn’t invite anyone..oops.

      1. it is a bigger deal to invite noone than invite everyone but a couple. that is much harder

  3. I agree…invite Phoebe, leave out the other two. It’s what makes the most sense, if you’re closest with Phoebe. And of course, it wouldn’t hurt to ask her opinion on the matter. I also urge you to cut back on the over-analyzations, step back from everything, & breathe! Your letter isn’t totally frazzled-sounding, but you manage to weave in so many details & “ifs” & different angles that it’s clear you’re getting a little caught up. Don’t worry so much– the people you invite aren’t going to be like “look & this girl and her extravagant wedding!” & the ones you don’t invite will most likely understand.

  4. GatorGirl says:

    Holy hell.

    #1 – Do not hang a Save the Date in your office kitchen. It’s tacky.
    #2 – It is not required to send local guests (or any guests) STDs so I would not send one to your office mates one at all. You might not be working at your company in 6 months and you do not want to be “stuck” inviting ex-coworkers. (STD equals a formal invitation in EVERY instance.)
    #3 – Invite who you want to invite. End of story. If you only end up inviting Pheobe from the other office mention it nicely that she is the only one from her office invited and to please keep things quite.

    And, be careful who you’re discussing wedding planning with. Over sharing information, asking people for their opinions, etc can give people the idea that they will be invited to your wedding. And please keep it off of Facebook. The whole world doesn’t need to know you e-mailed your florist 10 pictures with ideas.

    1. I agree about #2. I feel like Save the Dates are not something everyone necessarily needs to get. GG is right, who knows if those people will even still work with you when the wedding comes around?

      1. SpaceySteph says:

        I agree too. We sent save the dates to all the family and longtime friends out of state. We did not send them to every coworker we planned to invite.
        Already it’s paid off, people I put on the no-save-the-date list have already left our company and sometimes even our state. Then I could cross them off the invite list without issue.

      2. GatorGirl says:

        Who knows if the sender of the STDs is going to be at the company! You could get laid off, get a better oppertunity, heck you could even move states unexpectedly! I chose to only send STDs to our family and CLOSE friends we know, with out a doubt, we want them to be a part of our wedding/reception. Anyone I had the slightest question about (co-workers, friend of a friend, semi-estranged family members) did not get the STD. It’s too risky to just send them all willy nilly to everyone.

      3. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Have you already sent out save-the-dates??! You are so much more on top of things than I am. haha We just got our engagement pictures done this weekend, so I’m guessing it will be at least another month until we can get save-the-dates printed.

      4. GatorGirl says:

        We sent them in August due to the fact that very large portion (maybe 60 to 70 percent) of our guests are from 400 or more miles away from the wedding site and that we’re having a holiday weekend wedding. We wanted to make sure everyone could get hotels. You’re still totally in the norm (from my obsessive reading of The Knot) for STD timing. I can’t wait to see pictures!

      5. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Are you getting married on Memorial Day weekend? That sounds so much fun! And yeah, that’s very good thinking about the hotels. We have several out of town guests too, but they’re mostly family members. I honestly just sent them emails about it when we set the date to give them a heads up. They’ll get real save-the-dates too though. You’ll definitely see pictures! There are two up already. My photographer does this weird thing where she makes facebook pages for people’s photo shoots, so there’s a page titled My last name – Fiance’s last name Engagement Portraits. I think that’s where the pictures will show up.

      6. GatorGirl says:

        Yup, Memorial Day weekend. My BFF got married 3 years before on Memorial Day weekend and the free day off was such a blessing. Off to find the pictures!

      7. I went to a wedding a few years ago over Memorial Day Weekend. It ended up being a lot of fun. It was in Savannah and the weather was in that perfect stage. Warm but not so hot you think you’re going to melt 🙂 I wish the same for your day!

      8. GatorGirl says:

        Thanks!! We were a little nervous about ruining people’s holiday traditions but we’ve only heard of one invitee who probably won’t be able to come due to the holiday. I’m hoping for warm since the whole shebang is out doors but not too cold since we’ll be considerably more north! (We do have an indoor back up location in case of a freak hurricane of something.)

    2. You scared me with the sending of STDs hahahhaa

      1. Addie Pray says:

        You see a lot of STDs in my line of work. (Short Term Disability) And yes I chuckle each time.

      2. I see a lot of STDs in my line of work as well.

      3. me too! I was wondering – what kind of wedding is this again?

      4. GatorGirl says:

        Sorry! Due to my own wedding planning I’ve been reading The Knot way too much and their words are starting to come out 🙂

  5. Avatar photo gillociraptor says:

    Honestly, you should have been asking Monica for wedding planning advice instead of Phoebe. She’s kept binders full of wedding planning ideas for years.

    1. Guy Friday says:

      Is it terrible that I read the whole letter, the advice, the comments, and then got down to your comment and suddenly realized “Wait! That’s a Friends reference! THAT’S why she named the women how she did!” I clearly have not had enough coffee 🙂

      So, here’s my take: if you have some specific objection to inviting them — i.e., you actually DON’T want them there — then follow the advice Wendy laid out. But if you’re basically thinking “I could take it or leave it” with them and you honestly have no specific objection to inviting them other than you wouldn’t have necessarily done it were you not working near them, I say invite them for the following reasons:

      1.) Assuming money isn’t an issue, you’re looking at maybe 4 extra people, tops (assuming you give each of them a plus-one), assuming they all come, which they may not do.

      2.) Speaking as someone who recently got married, it’s not like you buy the exact number of invites anyway. Generally, you buy them in increments of 25, and you probably buy one increment more than you absolutely need at first just in case you want to add people. So you’re talking 2 extra invites you already have that you don’t even really have to put postage on; I doubt they’ll care if you hand deliver them.

      3.) It’s great to say, “Well, if they’re awkward about not being invited, screw ’em.” But it’s a small work environment, and you all obviously work fairly closely together, and you don’t want that kind of negativity in your work place whether you’re there short-term or long-term. Cost/benefit-analysis-wise, aren’t there more pros than cons to inviting them?

      Honestly, the absolute worst-case scenario if you invite them is that they come, at which point you can put them together at a table in a corner, say hello to them during the reception, and probably barely notice they’re there. I had the same situation happen with a new attorney at my firm who started a week or two before I sent out the invites, and I ended up inviting him for the reasons I laid out above, and he was really touched by it. So I made someone happy, which is always fun 🙂

      1. I did this, too, when I got married, and either the person you don’t know well won’t come, or they will appreciate the gesture and come have a nice time with your other co-workers and you won’t even notice – or care – that they’re there. Avoiding the awkwardness and drama is so worth it.

      2. i totally agree with you, Guy. the pro/con anaylsis is in favor of inviting them, especially if money isn’t an issue.

      3. Addie Pray says:

        Whoops, I didn’t notice the friend reference until I read your comment, Guy.

      4. I must be slow because I didn’t notice this either. Stayed up too late watching election returns I suppose.

  6. WWS! I’m so glad that my wedding is over. Even more so after reading this letter.

    LW, I didn’t send out save the dates, but I gave invitations to my eight closest coworkers and only half of them could make it. In general, you should anticipate a 20-25% decline percentage of your entire guest list. I wasn’t expecting it (26% of our total declined), and it was somewhat of a shock once all of the RSVPs came back. Good luck with the planning.

  7. I have slightly different advice here, given that money isn’t the issue. I’d invite them all, and I’d bet that Monica will not come, and Rachel may not, either. I’ve worked in small offices like this before, and it is guaranteed that If the LW invites everyone but Monica and Rachel, there will be hard feelings at being left out. Is it petty? Yes. Is it silly? Yes. Will it happen? Yes. Especially if the LW has been going on and on about her wedding at the office. If the LW couldn’t afford it, I’d tell her to let people know it would be a small gathering of close friends and family, but if she’s willing and able to invite 7 or 8 of her 9 co-workers, and has no financial issues with inviting the rest, I’d spare myself the drama and invite the last one (or two), too. What’s the harm in this case?

    And, please LW, do not under any circumstances put one Save The Date on the office fridge. That will just end poorly.

    1. I have to agree. It seems like poor manners to me to invite all but one or two of your coworkers, and it likely going to create a lot of unnecessary drama.

  8. Yeah if you don’t know somebody’s last name you don’t have to invite them. My wife was put in this uncomfortable position when she started working her last job, she was there for maybe a month, and she got invited to a women’s wedding who wasn’t even in her department, but since it was such a small office the women thought she had to invite everyone, and that just made her feel a little weird about it. In the end though we didn’t go, and I’m glad we didn’t because a month into their wedding the guy cheated on her, and left her.

    On and her last name is Geller-Bing.

    1. I’d be *really* glad not to have gone if the wedding lasted a month.

      1. FancyPants says:

        A month? Seriously, how many groomsmen *REALLY* needed to make a speech?

      2. Doh!

  9. My personal take on this is if you work in a small office, it’s best to invite everyone or no one. I work in an office of 15 people, and since I’m the kind of person that doesn’t really like to mix my work life with my personal life, I decided to just not invite any of my co-workers. That way no one felt left out, and I didn’t have to worry about acting like work-Kristen at my own wedding.

    1. kerrycontrary says:

      Good point. I definitely act differently at work than I do outside of work, and I wouldn’t feel like I could totally be the “real me” at my own wedding if coworkers were watching.

      1. Exactly. I wouldn’t want to have to worry if I looked unprofessional when I was dancing like a crazy-person with my friends or carrying around a glass of mead. Plus, getting married was just so hugely personal that I couldn’t imagine having my co-workers there to witness it. They don’t need to hear me cry through my vows and talk about the depth of my love with my husband.

        Not everyone is like that, though! So, LW, you have to make the decision that feels right to you.

    2. this is such a good point!

      it was so weird and hilarious to see some of my co-workers so drunk and telling dirty jokes and stuff.. haha, i mean, not that i think they are bad people now or i never thought that they were so perfect or anything, but it is a huge shift from the normal person *i* am used to seeing.

  10. I agree that it would be a good idea to seek out Phoebe’s input. I would also suggest not sending Save the Dates to coworkers. What if you send save the dates to Rachel and Monica and one of them leaves the company before your wedding? Etiquette would dictate that you would still need to invite them to the wedding.

  11. WWS. Definitely approach Phoebe first and ask her opinion about the situation. The main question you should be asking yourself FIRST is where is the venue of the wedding and how many people can I invite in the first place? Once you get the venue (and the dress) down, everything else gets easier. You do not need to be handing save the dates to your co-workers. If you’re going to request the time off for the wedding/honeymoon, a lot of your co-workers will probably know that your nuptuals are coming. Whether you still want to extend them an invite or not is up to you.

  12. well, you could always do what a co-worker of mine did, and invite them after you have had some number of declines. my boss and i are pretty sure we were “second string” invitees, which is fine. i wasnt expecting being invited anyway, so it was a surprise. but, i do agree with a few people above, dont give them a save the date, just hand deliver an invite if you want them to go. thats what my coworker did, and it does make it much less formal and a whole lot easier.

    i think that the pros of inviting everyone outweigh the cons of picking and choosing, especially because you are in such a small office. if i were you, id just invite everyone. its awkward though- i work for a pretty large company, and i thought about what i might do recently after my co-worker did his invites the way he did. i have NO IDEA what i would do!! its a stressful thing to think about… lol.

    also, question, why would it be bad to just put a save the date in the kitchen, assuming she would then invite everyone? its a small office… i see it as giving a save the date to a whole family instead of individual members, is that bad too? i dunno, i dont see whats wrong with that. its not like they dont know shes getting married anyway…

    1. GatorGirl says:

      In my opinion, putting the STD on the office fridge is basically saying “hey office, you aren’t important enough for me to order and extra 8 STDs and hand address them, so here is my half assed attempt to let you know when the event is.” It just seems like such a lack of effort for such an important event in your life.

      A co-worker of mine did this for their wedding but with the invitation. He just tacked it to the bulletin board. I was VERY put off by the lack of effort that was put into inviting the 10 of us that work there. It seemed to me like a call for gifts, rather than inviting people to spend such an important moment in your life with you. Which I did actually send a gift because I was unable to attend the wedding and never got a thank you note.

      1. interesting.

        to me, this seems like a damned if you do/damned if you dont situation. if you casually try to invite people, your seen as gift grabbing, but if you formally invite everyone, you are seen as wanting a big huge wedding….

      2. SpaceySteph says:

        What? How can you put an invite on the wall and have that mean people are actually invited? Don’t you need to like RSVP for that kind of thing?

        I got invited to a wedding by Outlook invite once (they did a quick, small thing about 4 weeks after getting engaged, but still an Evite seems more appropriate than a meeting invite) and it was so awkward. Was it just me invited? Me and my plus one? Some people were married and some were not, but not everyone’s wife was on the invite, because most of them don’t work here. It was very confusing.

        I don’t often believe that you should follow the Emily Post way, but there is a right way and a wrong way to invite people to your wedding, for sure.

      3. GatorGirl says:

        I thought the whole “tack an invite on the employee board” thing was super strange. He just one day at lunch was like “hey guys the RSVP date is coming up, can you let me know?” What?? I definitely don’t follow all rules of etiquette day to day but a wedding is one place that in my world formality is expected.

        And thank you notes. Goodness please write thank you notes for your wedding gifts!! And shower gifts and any other kind of gift you get wedding related!!

      4. I hope you tacked your RSVP response onto the board, preferably a handwritten post-it note.

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        Speaking of thank you notes…I went to a wedding about a month and a half ago that included traveling and weekend hotel stay (it was a weekend long event). After spending money for that, I also gave $300 as the gift. So yesterday I got my thank you postcard, which was preprinted and presigned (like by the printer) that gave a generic thank you for coming/the gift. I have to say it would’ve been nicer had they at least actually signed their names themselves. Oh well.

      6. GatorGirl says:

        Wow. A huge gift (in my opinion) and a stock thank you? With out even personal signatures? Sounds sincere.

        I’d be seriously annoyed. Not that there is anything you can do other than just sit and be annoyed but still.

      7. lets_be_honest says:

        I actually starting wondering if this was normal. I get that sitting down and writing 100-200 thank yous is a bitch. People are busy, and its annoying and time consuming. But still. I wouldn’t say I’m seriously annoyed, but it certainly would’ve been nice to think they actually did appreciate the gift or the travel it included. Now I don’t think they did. Not very classy to say the least.

      8. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Yeah, that is NOT normal. I’ve never heard of that before. People are still expected to hand-write thank you notes for every guest and every gift.

      9. GatorGirl says:

        Yeah, not sending thank you notes is completely unacceptable in my book. I hope it never becomes normal. Sure it’s a bitch to write 200 thank you cards and it gets repetative and your hand hurts blah blah but the gift giver is busy, gave up some of their precious time to spend their hard earned money on a gift, travel etc etc. The least you could do is just write a little 3 sentence card! Seriously it’s a pet peeve.

      10. lets_be_honest says:

        Exactly! My grandmother cuts off grandchildren from future gifts if they cash a check before thanking her.

      11. SpaceySteph says:

        I have NEVER done this in my entire life. When we were kids my mom wouldn’t cash our checks until we wrote our thank you notes. Stuck with me so every birthday or whatever that someone sends me a gift, I leave it until I can write the thank you note. I even do that with cash, which is strange I know.

        Wedding gifts… I’m not sure I will be able to write all the thank you notes before depositing those checks, because its gonna take me weeks and I do want to spend some of that money on the honeymoon! Or is that bad? Should I wait?!

      12. lets_be_honest says:

        Its a really good practice your mom taught you. I do the same. I don’t think it applies to wedding checks though. From what I’ve seen, the bride and groom cash those quite quickly and then use the standard time frames for getting thank yous out.

      13. Avatar photo theattack says:

        @SpaceySteph, You could always spend any cash you get on the honeymoon instead of checks. When I write a check, I want someone to cash it fast. It just simplifies my bank account, but I completely respect the way you do things. Do you think you’ll even have time to open gifts and cards before the honeymoon though? We’re planning on leaving the day after the wedding, so we won’t be seeing any of the gifts until we get back.

      14. GatorGirl says:

        @SpaceySteph Please please cash the wedding checks with in a reasonable amount of time (2 weeks or a month). It will really help people balancing their accounts. You can always deposit all the funds into a savings account or something and not spend anything until you’ve written the thank yous.

        @theattack Everyone I’ve talked to says wait until Monday to leave for the honeymoon!! Assuming you’re getting married on Saturday. All the rently married couples say having Sunday to just decompress, double check you’ve packed everything, get all the gifts to a secure location, take a shower, etc is the best idea they had during the whole wedding process. Also flights are cheaper on Mondays 🙂 I think we’re going to wait a month or so to go.

      15. Avatar photo theattack says:

        @Gatorgirl, I really wish we could wait to leave, but the cruise we’ve been eyeballing leaves on Monday. We’ll want to drive to Florida in his Prius (much cheaper than flights, plus we get to mosey back up to Tennessee), which would take more than a full day of driving. I’m not terribly excited about spending the first day of our marriage in the car, but I know we’ll make it fun.

      16. GatorGirl says:

        @theattack Oh stop by my house on the way home!! If your port is Miami or Tampa or Jax you’ll basically have to drive by! oh wait….I’ll be getting married prob the day your getting back. Bummer!

      17. SpaceySteph says:

        Well for birthdays, I try to send those TY notes out within a week so I don’t leave people’s accounts unbalanced too long.

        We are leaving for the honeymoon 3 weeks after the wedding, so that gives me maybe a bit of time to write some thank you notes. But I’m glad to know I’m not a horrible person if I cash those checks first.

      18. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Impersonal, pre-printed thank you notes? That’s so tacky. Sorry about that, LBH. I think people underestimate the power of a good thank-you note.

      19. lets_be_honest says:

        I totally agree about underestimating the power of a good thank you note! Handwritten anything is so rare these days, but I love opening my mail and seeing an aunt or friend who took time to sit down, think about me and give me something I can save (I’m a psycho card saver).

      20. That’s so freaking tacky.

      21. I wouldn’t be offended by that. Maybe it’s just because I’ve working in large offices where people were still close enough to hang out outside work without being BFFs. I’d assume they were having an informal wedding where the numbers didn’t really matter. If I wanted to go, I’d mention it to them, and if not, I wouldn’t. I think it’s unfortunate that everyone assumes that if you tell them you’re getting married or invite them, that you’re just trying to get gifts.

      22. thats how i see it too- just a casual invite.

        i guess im going to have to make a big announcement if i ever get married that i wont be formal with any of the process. then maybe people wont get all offended and crazy about it.

      23. SpaceySteph says:

        I think this would work. As it turned out, the couple I’m talking about did have a set number of seats (and assigned tables) in the small room at the church where they held their reception and did need an exact count. If I had showed up +1 without notice, he wouldn’t have had a place to sit.
        If you are planning an informal event without assigned seats, then by all means invite everyone, but I think that you ought to tell them in the informal invite “the more the merrier,” rather than leave them to figure out what you mean.

      24. GatorGirl says:

        I think the style of the invitation says a lot. Sending save the dates and having “fancy” invitations (high quality paper, script, formal wording, etc) to me indicate a more formal affair. (The invitation I referenced above was a more formal invitation with script and formal wording.) If the LW is going for a more relaxed/informal (say a bbq, buffet, open seating, etc) wedding then maybe the STD on the fridge is appropriate.

      25. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I agree. Very tacky. This girl that I absolutely hated in college put a save-the-date up on the refrigerator in our student lounge, but she specifically went around telling people that they weren’t invited. She just wanted to announce her wedding to everyone. She’s a bitch anyway, but she definitely had all kinds of mustaches drawn on her picture by everyone who was pissed about the way she handled it.

      26. well thats horrible. i would only consider doing that, like i said above, if everyone was invited.

      27. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I mean, if your wedding is decidedly informal, I don’t see a problem with it. If someone’s going a more traditional route though, I think it’s very tacky. And I still agree with GatorGirl that everyone should have their own save-the-date if they’re all formally invited.

      28. oh geez people are going to hate me if i ever get married… lol

      29. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I think GatorGirl and I are both a bit more strict with those sorts of things though. I don’t know that very many people care about it. I just personally enjoy etiquette, and believe me, if you even sort of care about etiquette, wedding planning will have you buried in all those rules. My etiquette books have gotten so much use lately. I doubt your friends and family will hate you if y’all don’t usually operate that way. I certainly don’t always operate with etiquette in mind, but more formal weddings are something I sit up straight and do things by the book for. (Read: totally different from my potluck wedding argument months ago, since that would be a decidedly informal affair)

      30. GatorGirl says:

        I think both of us living in the South, where following traditional etiquette is much more expected, plays into our veiws a lot too. Of course there are plenty of Southerns who buck tradition but I know I am marrying into a very traditional family where certian things are expected. My Northern family is also very old school (think Cotillion with white gloves old school) so it’s just kind of engrained in me.

      31. Avatar photo theattack says:

        But the girl who did that at school was the type of girl who raised her hand during class to tell irrelevant stories about her fiance, just because she liked for everyone to know she was engaged. Her boyfriend also proposed to her after only two weeks of dating, and she liked to go around to other girls and tell them how horrible and unloving their boyfriends were for not having proposed yet. She got married in May, and I’m honestly shocked that it’s lasted this long. I hated her so much for so many reasons.

    2. i had a friend who just printed really simple invites she designed online off and hand delivered them. no envelope or anything. it was either a half or a quarter of a page of paper that listed the important things. where/when/who. or you could go really green and completely against tradition and do an evite type of thing where people rsvp online. obviously saving paper invites for people who don’t do computers 🙂

      and discussions like this make me so glad i eloped. i am just not cut out for wedding planning!

  13. Addie Pray says:

    This kind of reminds me of those logic games you see on the LSAT and other standardized tests – there are 9 office workers, Phoebe, Rachel, Monica, … and Dick, Harry, Lou, Joe, Bob, and LW. LW is getting married and can invite 5 coworkers. If Monica goes, Rachel must go. Dick hates Harry and won’t go if he’s invited. … You get the drift. CONFESSION: I LOVED LOVED LOVED THE LOGIC GAMES ON THE LSAT! I wish the practice of law involved solving logic games.

    Anyhoo, my advice to LW: Talk to Phoebe, confirm she can’t come, tell her “bummer” and LYLAS, and then invite your 5 coworkers. Monica and Rachel will be non the wiser. Unless you post the Save the Date in the break room (please don’t do it) or you have a habit of talking about your upcoming wedding to all (not just Phoebe). I’d probably not discuss details at work in front of them.

    1. Is it odd that I wanted to take the LSAT just so I could try them out? I never had any desire to go into law… I do spend most of my day programming now, so it’s like logic games galore!

      1. Addie Pray says:

        You lucky duck. Should I have gone into programming?

    2. I love those logic puzzles!

    3. Marjorie Burns says:

      You should buy yourself a book of Quizzles!

      1. Marjorie Burns says:

        ETA: It looks like they are now out of print and highly collectibles. Bummer. You can find some PDF copies online, though.

  14. Wendy had good advice, though I found her idea of what to say to Phoebe kind of long-winded to the point of coming across as slightly awkward and neurotic. I’d just tell her that I was planning to invite her to the wedding but wanted to gauge whether she thought she could make it and her opinion before inviting the rest of the crew. Aside from that, though, I’d probably just invite my office and Phoebe. No need to invite people that you aren’t super close with. You’re likely going to barely have time to interact with some of your close family members, much less acquaintances from work, so the others aren’t really going to be missing out on anything.

  15. You are overthinking this! Just invite whom you want. I think sometimes brides get so deep into their wedding planning that they forget no one else cares as much about their wedding as they do (I don’t mean they don’t care at all – I just mean some brides get so caught up in the whirlwind that every little problem becomes magnified). Honestly, do you think the coworkers you barely know really want to be invited? I know I would not have any interest in attending a coworker’s wedding if we weren’t good friends.

  16. tinywormhole says:

    Just to add my own experience here, I too work for a company with about six people (there were closer to 8 when I was sending out invitations a few months ago), and I struggled with this question too.

    In the end, I invited my boss and one coworker I am closer to than the rest. I told them that unfortunately I couldn’t invite everyone in the office but that I was inviting them – that was so they would know to keep their mouths shut about it. In the end, neither came, since I got married far away. But I think it was the thought that counted.

    My husband didn’t invite anyone from his current job. He had just started a new job a few months before and didn’t feel close enough with anyone there. He did, however, invite his former boss and coworker.

    So yeah I agree – invite who you want, be discreet about it, and live with your decision guilt-free. You are not obligated to invite anyone to your wedding, and if non-invited coworkers try to make you feel differently they are being rude.

  17. Really?
    Invite them all with properly delivered save the dates and invitations. The culture of your small office(s) is inclusive and what an ass you’ll look by cutting just one or two out…particularly when these same women will most likely be part of any pre-wedding lunches or office showers you might be lucky enough to receive. You never know what the future brings. Someday Monica might become a good friend or your boss or your nanny, hm?

    1. “…particularly when these same women will most likely be part of any pre-wedding lunches or office showers you might be lucky enough to receive.”

      This is so true. It’s not just that they will be excluded on The Big Day, it’s the inevitable celebratory lunch/shower, too. Are they supposed to chip in for the gift if they’re not invited? Are they even supposed to go to the lunch or whatever? It makes it awkward for the invitees and the uninvited. In this case, since money is not an issue, the drama isn’t worth it.

    2. I guess I’m curious about how the two companies interact. They may share an office, but if they just sort of coexist for the most part, then the other folks may not be involved in the office showers. Even then, though, I’m sure that when people have office showers, not all of the co-workers at the shower are invited to the wedding, right? I mean, they are thrown by other people than the bride, I assume. I’ve never been to an office shower, so I don’t know how this works.

  18. SpaceySteph says:

    My advice (I’m getting married in 3 months so I have some experience with this stuff):
    1. Your wedding is not that big of a deal to anyone but you. Its a little self-centered to think anyone will be SO snubbed by not being invited to your wedding, unless they think they are your best friend. Chances are Rachel knows that she’s the boss and not the best buddy. She might even think it inappropriate to go to your wedding if her underlings are there.
    2. Don’t send local people Save the Dates unless they are also really close friends that you DEFINITELY want at your wedding. That preserves your flexibility to decide closer to the wedding date based on who you are close with 6 months from now. Who knows, you an Monica could become good friends. And Rachel could take a job in South Dakota, never to be heard from again.
    3. Don’t post a Save the Date in the kitchen. Don’t talk excessively about your wedding at the office, even if you invite everyone. Don’t talk much about your wedding to people who aren’t invited. I don’t mean total radio silence, but certainly don’t go into the table linen saga or whatever, with people who aren’t invited. Also, don’t hand out invitations at the office. Mail them or meet people for coffee after work to deliver them. That just makes it more obvious who is invited and who isn’t, which is a total Mean Girls move: “None for Gretchen Wieners.”

    1. Guy Friday says:

      Its a little self-centered to think anyone will be SO snubbed by not being invited to your wedding, unless they think they are your best friend.

      Uh, no it isn’t. ESPECIALLY not in small offices. One of my friends helped me get the job at my firm, and she got married right before I started there. Since we have a two-office set up (3 lawyers in one office, 5 in another), she chose to invite only the secretary and the lawyers from her 3-man office, not the boss. And the boss was so offended that she was frosty toward my friend until my friend left the firm about a year later.

      So, yeah, like I said, even if it’s totally illegitimate to feel that way, it still can engender bad feelings. What’s more important: inviting 4 extra people to a wedding you’re not paying for anyway and for whom you’ve been given the green light from your parents on already (which isn’t even a guarantee they’ll show!), or not inviting them and having them upset/annoyed/poisoning the work environment? Is it really worth the risk?

      1. GatorGirl says:

        I have to agree with you Guy. People get offended for all kinds of crazy reasons, justified or not. If it’s in the LW’s best professional interest to invite to invite all 9 people then she should do it, even if she doesn’t really want to. But I still don’t think they should get Save the Dates. Too much can change in 6 months.

      2. Oh, yeah. The excluded co-workers will most definitely be offended, even if they cannot/would not have come to the wedding. It’s the thought (or lack thereof) that counts. And, in a small office, it will make it awkward to invite all but 1 or 2 co-workers. Guaranteed. If she were only inviting 1 or 2 out of 9 it would be different, but inviting 7 or 8 out of 9 is asking for trouble.

      3. SpaceySteph says:

        I guess I just have never met these crazy, petty people.
        A fact about which I am extremely grateful. Strike my number 1 then.

  19. This is why I’m glad I had a small, last minute wedding.
    However, I’d have to agree with everyone else, only invite the people you want.

  20. Sue Jones says:

    I say invite them all if money is not an issue. The ones who would feel awkward won’t go and let them sort out their feelings. I think best to receive and invite and decline rather than feel snubbed, but that is just my take. I remember years ago being new to a job and a girl I worked with was getting married, and had invited EVERYONE but me because she didn’t know me, and all I heard around the office was the wedding the wedding the wedding! THAT felt awkward since while I was happy for her, I wasn’t going to the event like everyone else was. My feelings weren’t hurt but I was glad when it was over and done with.

  21. lets_be_honest says:

    Pretty divided comments!
    I’m on the all or none side, especially since you aren’t paying for it and like others pointed out, they may not even come. I don’t see the big deal about the save the dates on the fridge, but I don’t see the big deal about a lot of wedding related things.

    1. Addie Pray says:

      1. Hi, lbh!
      2. Do you want to talk about my boyfriend?
      3. About the “especially since you aren’t paying for it” comment. A lot of commenters have made a similar comment – basically, “since you’re not paying for it, no need to worry about inviting the extra few office workers.” I kind of hate that mentality. If it were FREE, as in the caterer would not charge more per extra guest, ok, fine, I’d invite everyone I ever met (well, maybe not but you know what I mean.) But here, her parents are paying for it. With their hard-earned money. Money that could go to retirement or medical bills or a trip or whatnot. If LW wouldn’t invite the extra people on her own dime, why do so on her parents’ dime? Like “‘oh, since mom and dad are paying for it, I don’t have to worry about whether it’s reasonable, responsible, or whether it’s worth it, etc.” I think kids should be more respectful of their parents’ money than that. But most aren’t. “Oh, mom and dad are paying for dinner? Ok then I”ll also order a bottle of wine and 2 desserts.” No, not cool. I hate that mentality. Am I the only one?

      1. Sue Jones says:

        No I do agree with you, however, I tend to always go with being more inclusive rather than exclusive if I can so that everyone feels connected to each other and to help with team and relationship building. It may be best to invite nobody from work, so nobody feels left out. But it would not be good team building to only invite some and not others, or, worst case – everyone but _________. There is nothing wrong also with having a small private wedding with only a few close friends and family. That is what I did actually, but later I had a party and invited everyone.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        What she said!

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        HI! I do, tell me all about him!
        About the “free”…you’re right. Very right actually. I retract my comment 🙂 I do think it’d be not nice to invite all but 1 or 2 though. I think inter-office happiness and that quasi-friendship you find with working with the same 5-10 people every day is important. I’d be ticked if everyone but me got invited to a coworkers wedding. People who are saying who cares and invite only the people you are close with-I get that if its about 1 person who isn’t part of a group invite. But inviting this group and leaving one out is rude, imo. If you don’t care about people who you have to work with everyday hating you or thinking you’re rude and/or don’t like them, then leave the one person out. I personally care enough about the office politics so to speak that I wouldn’t leave 1 person out and then have awkwardness in the office. Just not worth the $100 or so you would save by not inviting her.

      4. Addie Pray says:

        I agree – I might be inclined to invite them all. My point wasn’t whether she should or shouldn’t – it may be very reasonable to invite them all – but I just don’t think the analysis should change because her parents are footing the bill.

        Well, my boyfriend is very gassy and likes to fart in bed. And for some reason I think that’s adorable. Also, he seems to really dig me. Also, he helped me move into my new condo… Oh oh oh, wanna talk about my new condo now?

        In short, life is grand: new job, new bf, new condo, same prez — I’m one happy camper!

      5. I figure the LW put the part about it not being about finances in to make it clear it is an etiquette issue, not a matter of not being able to afford to invite them. And that does change the analysis for me because my answer to “I cannot afford to invite all of my co-workers, is it okay to only invite a few, even if the left out ones might be offended?” is different than my answer to “Should I risk offending my co-workers and creating unnecessary office drama by leaving one or two out of them off of the list and inviting everyone else?” If you cannot afford it, then you don’t really have any option other than to cut the guest list. If you can afford it, why risk the drama? Sometimes, in some situations, money can buy happiness. Or at least let you avoid unhappiness.

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        I’m super happy for you!

      7. Guy Friday says:

        You’re not the only one. However (and maybe it was the way I read the letter), I interpreted the LW as saying that she had raised this issue to her parents and her fiancee and they had all said, “We’re perfectly happy to invite them too if you’d like”, which to me means “We think there’s a justification for inviting them.” So, using your dinner scenario, I see it more as “Oh, mom and dad are paying for dinner? So I can get the $13 fettucini alfredo instead of the $9 chicken parmesan.” I don’t think spending more of someone else’s money means you aren’t respectful, especially if you’ve checked with them first. I suspect her parents see it the same way I phrased it earlier: it’s only 2-4 extra people, and the pros far outweigh the cons.

      8. Addie Pray says:

        Fwiw, I don’t have an issue with the LW mentioning that her parents are paying for it so it’s ok to invite the extra office workers – I gathered she meant simply that she can afford to include them if she decides she wants to. I just took issue with the mentality I’ve seen in some of the comments that seem to suggest “oh well since your parents are footing the bill, just invite them all.”. The LW may end up doing that, but I hope it’s based on other reasons (so no one is hurt, etc) and not only b/c it’s mom and dad’s moulah.

        But you’re pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down.

  22. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

    It’s such a small office, I’d invite them all…

  23. fast eddie says:

    I invited 2 office friends to our wedding and they RSVPd so we paid the caterer for them and their spouses. None of them showed but they did give us a nice gift. I was disappointed but who am I to judge. 125+ friends did come and we all had a great time. I never said anything about it except that we had a wonderful party and missed them.

    Your only looking at 18 possibles and most likely half or less won’t show up. If the budget allows, give them the invitations and let them make up their own minds. Years from now the expense will fade from memory. Why risk hurt feelings over a few dollars.

  24. If you aren’t going to invite Ross, Chandler, and Joey don’t invite anyone.

  25. Saving the Date, Losing my Sanity here (which, btw, Wendy, thank you for coming up with a cleverer handle than I could have ever done!).

    Thank you Wendy and all the commenters for all your incredible input. Seriously. I never imagined this letter with this admittedly barely-even-a-real-problem “problem” would get so much response. This is great advice. A few clarifications/updates:

    -I absolutely agree with those who said that just because my parents are paying doesn’t mean I shouldn’t give a thought to wasting someone else’s money. They’ve been very involved in the guest list this whole process and I damn well think they have the right to be, since they’re paying. I am extremely fortunate to have parents that are on the “upper” side of middle class and supportive of what we want out of our wedding, and I wouldn’t dream of exploiting that. All I meant by that is just that it’s really a non-issue – I’m not paying, it is well within my parents’ means, it’s really only a matter of a few extra people, and when I asked what they thought about this, they explicitly said “do whatever you think is best, we’re fine paying for whoever you want to come from work.” (Yes, my parents are awesome!) I just wanted to clarify that because I knew cost might come into play in Wendy’s answer so I figured I’d point out that that’s not why I’m asking.

    -I think Wendy and others’ suggestion about approaching other coworkers who know our office culture well is great, and probably what I’ll do. I actually think I’ll ask some of my immediate coworkers, rather than Phoebe. That way I won’t put her in the awkward place of having to address the weird space that exists between the two organizations with someone who works across that gap. And I’m sure my immediate coworkers – some of whom have been there, done that, when it comes to weddings – will have valuable insights.

    -I will probably skip the STDs for my coworkers all together, not every invited guest needs one. And yeah, the thought about the office fridge was a momentary idea that I realized even before Wendy posted her response would be tacky and awful.

    -Yes, I am probably making a bigger deal out of this than I even need to. I am naturally a very stressful and anxious person so sometimes all of this stupid wedding crap completely overwhelms me. In some ways wedding planning has been so much fun and a really great source of closeness between my fiancé, myself, and all of our families. In other ways it has made me want to rip my hair out. When we first booked our date and I realized our engagement period would be about a year and a half, I was quite sure I’d be eloping by the end of it because I knew a lengthy period of wedding planning would exhaust me. But truthfully it hasn’t been as bad as I thought, so those of you saying “ahhh wedding planning sounds terrible!!”, it’s probably not as brutal as this letter implies. This is just a weird little situation I’m finding myself in because of the odd nature of our office environment. So don’t let my letter stress out all you future brides-to-be…unless you are also a naturally anxious and easily-stressed person, in which case, HAVE FUN WITH THAT. 😛

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