Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates. In her monthly column for Brides.com Jen answers a fellow bridesmaid's burning question.
"I recently got engaged and I'm trying to throw together a list of who I'd like to invite to my wedding. So far, my fiancé and I have jotted down quite a long list of family members, close friends, and people our parent's would like to have there for our special day. Now, we're up to the part where we're deciding if we should invite people from our workplace. My husband works for a larger company — there's close to 1,000 employees. He's only going to invite two or three guys he's friends with. I, however, work for a start-up. A company of just 15 people. I know everyone I work with and of course, there's some I'm friendlier with than others, but if I invite seven of them, the other five will feel left out. Am I allowed to pick and choose who I'd like to invite? Should I just not invite any of them on the account of not wanting anyone to feel left out?"
Whenever I go to the grocery store, I make a list of the things I want to buy. But once I get there, I add so many things to that list that instead of using a hand cart, I need to go back to the front of the store and get a regular cart to fit all of those items in now.
I justify the items too. Like if I'm buying bread, then of course I need to buy peanut butter and jelly and cheese and turkey and maybe even some I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. Then, I go to the register to check out and as the clerk is ringing up all of the items I've hoarded into my cart, my bill is astronomical and I think to myself — do I really need to take all of these things home?
I'm not trying to compare your guests to bottles of pickles and rolls of cookie dough — or any supermarket food for that matter. But it can be tempting to add and add and add people to your guest list because you feel like you need to. Because you feel like if you don't, you might make someone upset. There's no way around this. We live in a world where we have a whole lot of acquaintances — thanks to Facebook and our pals on Twitter — and very few close friends. Do yourself a favor. Make a list of all the people you would ever think of inviting. Put those close friends at the top of your list. Add a giant star next to their names.
What do you do with everyone else on that list? Close your eyes. Imagine your wedding day. Try to taste the freshly cooked food and try to feel your feet pouncing on the dance floor. Feel yourself kissing your husband after saying "I do" and posing for pictures beside the people who raised you and stuck by your side through all of the years. Keep them closed. Imagine who is there. Who is beside you? Who you're pulling in tightly. Hugging and thanking them for attending. Making sure the photographer snaps a photo of them so that the memory will live on forever in your wedding album.
Those are the people you should invite. Invite the people at work you talk about things besides work with. The ones you have a relationship with. Those are the people who you'll be happy to see on your wedding day. Those are the people.