Creating your wedding guest list is tough enough, and that's before you add office politics to the mix! If you've decided that your work bestie is definitely getting invited to your wedding, the next question to ask is: Do you also have to invite your boss? Amber Harrison, Wedding Paper Divas' Style and Etiquette Expert and host of Small Talk, Big Day, has a few tips for navigating these uncharted waters with ease.
Beware: Extending wedding invitations in the workplace can be a slippery slope! "As a general rule, you should only invite those colleagues that you spend time with outside of the office or feel especially close to," says Harrison. Inviting coworkers out of obligation runs the risk of creating resentment toward people whose spot you wish you'd given to a friend or family member — especially in the event of a workplace disagreement down the road. Adds Harrison, "Sometimes an all or nothing approach can make things easier [i.e. inviting all of your coworkers or none of them], but that isn't always the right solution." While Harrison says that your boss isn't an obvious addition to your guest list, even if you are inviting other coworkers, she has a few things to consider when deciding whether it's the right choice for you.
"Do you work closely with your boss, and do you feel comfortable with each other? Do you frequently talk about things unrelated to work? Have you discussed your wedding at length? If the answer is yes to any (or all) of these questions, you should definitely invite them," says Harrison.
Think about how other coworkers have handled this in the past. "Will your boss feel slighted if he or she does not receive an invitation? Is an invitation to your wedding a gesture they would appreciate, or might even expect? Consider which decision would most encourage smooth sailing at work," Harrison explains.
Of course, it comes down to whether or not you'll be comfortable on your wedding day. "Will you feel comfortable and be able to relax and have fun on your wedding day with your boss in attendance? Do you think your boss would feel comfortable and enjoy the celebration? If you are concerned that your invitation is being extended — and would be accepted — out of obligation only, proceed with caution," Harrison advises.
And of course, regardless of who you add to the guest list, try to keep wedding-related conversation in the workplace to a minimum. "Use discretion when extending invitations. Always mail them to a home address, never to the office or distributed by hand at work," says Harrison. "And keep any talk of plans discreet and private, so other officemates don't feel as though they've been snubbed."