Two experts gives their best advice for navigating the tricky situation.
Credit: Barb Simkova for Tara McMullen P

Ah, the guest list. Who knew a log of your favorite people in the world could cause such pre-wedding stress? Whether you're playing the numbers game or not, the question of inviting coworkers is always a tricky one. Invite them and it could be awkward (where do you draw the line?), but skip them and you might offend your office buddies. So, what's a couple to do? We caught up with Myka Meier, founder of Beaumont Etiquette, and Amy Champagne, owner and creative director of Amy Champagne Events, to get to the bottom of this age-old conundrum-and the answer is a lot simpler than you might expect.

"You should never feel obligated to invite anyone to your wedding, whether it be work colleagues or friends," insists Meier. With this freedom in mind, ask yourself a few questions if you're still on the fence: Do you often see each other outside of work? Have you ever met their significant others or spouses? Would they add a layer of happiness to the day you'd otherwise miss? If so, then invite away. But if you're just doing it because you "feel like you should" then save that stamp for another. If you're feeling like they might be out of place on the guest list, odds are they'll feel that way during the party.

There's no need to make a formal announcement regarding your decision, just address questions if and when they come, advises Meier. "Instead of listing off who is coming, you can just answer with something along the lines of, 'We decided to keep it intimate, and while we would have loved to invite everyone it just wasn't possible.'" Champagne echoes this sentiment, saying, "Regardless of the reasoning, most people should be understanding if they did not make the guest list, and if they aren't understanding then it's only more obvious why they shouldn't be invited."

With that said, common sense rules of etiquette apply. That means not making the big bash your number one topic of conversation among people who aren't invited to partake in it. "If the person in the nearby office is hearing all about the dress fitting, the meal tasting, and the engagement shoot with the photographer, it would be awkward if they were not at the wedding to see it all come together," Champagne explains. And if many of your coworkers are on the guest list but you're on the fence about just one or two people, do the courteous thing and invite them (assuming you have the space, of course). It never feels good to be the only person in the office left out.


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