Sunday, 27 February 2011


Ladies and gents (but really, I'm thinking mostly ladies), I have a guest list question or possibly even a slight dilemma.

Workmates. I like mine. But I don't really see them outside work. They're not friends, or not yet - they're colleagues. Good colleagues, but still colleagues.

I work in a small office and there are eight of us. One works part time and won't be invited, but will be fine with that. But the others - I'm still left with six colleagues. One's the boss, and we know her partner so he'll need to be invited. One other has a partner I know. Three others have partners but I don't know them and if we get the invitations out soon we can get away with just those two plus ones. So that's eight invitations. Out of 85 guests. That is, let's say, a large proportion. A huge proportion, in fact.

However - they are all very excited for me and I think I should invite them. Discussions with my best ladies this evening began with, "don't invite them if you're not sure, save the money" to, 'it'll be more trouble than it's worth if you don't invite them," and, "at least they are a discrete group and can look after themselves." There it is: the wisdom of crowds. I should invite them.

But as with this wedding, if you come, you're there for the lot: ceremony and evening event. However - something about saying the vows in front of my colleagues makes me feel uncomfortable. These aren't people that know us intimately, and barely know J at all. Two have just worked there for two months so far.

As I type this, the solution is starting to seem obvious - invite them to arrive after the ceremony. But everyone else would be arriving before - with just colleagues there later. Am I being daft? Does it matter if they are there for the ceremony or not? I'd even need to print them special invitations.

In an ideal world, I'd invite them and half would politely decline. But isn't it wrong to invite people who you secretly hope won't turn up?


  1. Yeah, it's nasty, and slightly unfair to be thinking it, but it's what unfortunately happens with weddings. I'll be honest, I put an evening invitiation up in work (I'm sorry, I wasn't printing 11 + rsvp's- plus it would have been too formal for them) and let them say how many were coming. I pretty much wish I hadn't bothered. It seemed like a different story every day. This persons coming, they're not coming, I might come. In the end, 4 came out of 11. I really do understand that my wedding isn't the most important thing in the world to them, or anyone except me, but it wasn't worth it. Obviously I'd you are close to them do, but I don't think they can be offended if you say it's just a small wedding and its just not possible to invite them. As to partners, I didn't go there, but personally Id be of the all or nothing camp. Just because you know him does he have to come? Sorry if I sound harsh, I really don't mean to, but don't feel obligated to invite people.

  2. 85 guests is not a lot of people- it is a small enough wedding that i'm sure they'll understand if you don't invite them.

    i also work in a small office and early on i made a rule that we won't invite anyone that we don't see socially outside of work. a wedding is a social occasion (the most important one yet!)- it doesn't make sense to me to have this as the first time you see someone outside of work.

    i will invite one or two couples from my office that i consider friends.

    everyone's situation is different though, do what you feel most comfortable with!

  3. We just told people we weren't inviting any work colleagues. How that went down with the ladies in Husband's office who expected to be invited to the extent that they kept asking him about it, I don't know.

  4. I saw this knotty conundrum posed in a wedding magazine recently (yeah, I "read" far too many) and they advised that you have a little event just for work colleagues to make them feel included. I think you have to be tough - this is the same thing as paying to take them out to dinner, would you do that? Either invite the ones who are actual friends or don't invite anyone if they're not friends but work colleagues. Of if you really feel dreadful, just ask them to the evening; they really can't object as it's YOUR day!


  5. If I was you I would be in the all or nothing frame of mind. And as it would end up a relatively large proportion of your guests I would probably be in the nothing camp..although it is easy for me to say that as I don't know them.

    Also what I found out was that if you don't feel comfortable saying your vows, will you be happy doing your first dance? Or feel embarrassed at little intimate moments that might crop up?

    Just say it is a really small wedding and as none of them are coming they won't know how small it really is. I sound like a horrible peron but sometimes a white lie helps so much in these situations, I know I am speaking from experience from the joy of deciding our guest list.

    Good luck in your decision


  6. I'm with what's already been said - if they're not already social acquaintances, then they have no reason to expect to be invited to your wedding, especially as it's a relatively small one, and shouldn't be disappointed. Have no fear of being selective if there is someone you actually want to invite, and I wouldn't worry at all about inviting them to evening only if that is what you decide to do - in fact there's no reason that you'd even have to do special invites if you did go that route - just invite them as you please. At my last work, a colleague and friend got married about 9 months after I'd joined, and made no bones about splitting the work invites between those who were friends outside of work, who got day invites, and indeed those who had partners invited too because she knew them, and those of us that were delighted to be invited evening only. However you do it - aim for least stress and maximum enjoyment for yourself and your husband-to-be on the day.

  7. Personally, if you have any doubts at all I'd say don't invite them. Arrange a meal with them after the wedding to have your own celebration. You're having 85 of your closest family and friends to the whole day. It's not as if you're inviting loads of people to the evening do and leaving them out. But it's your day and you should do what makes you feel comfortable. If it doesn't - don't do it. I invited more people than I wanted to come and, guess what, they all said yes! oops!

    My answer - do what YOU want to huni. It's your day.

    Good luck! xx