Etiquette

Inviting Bosses and Co-Workers

I work for a small, family owned business in central Iowa (about 10 people work in our store). I technically have 3 bosses (the mother and husband, and 2 of her adult-kids who run the store). I am super close with 1 of the 'kids' and would love to invite her to our wedding, that meaning I would have to invite her brother and parents (no biggie). However the problem is, there is only 2-3 co-workers out of the 10ish of us that I would like to invite.

How do I go about this without stepping on everyone else's toes and hurting someones feelings? I mean its a small store, it won't take long for word to travel on who got an invite and who did not. Our wedding is 8 hours from where the store is (the wedding is back in our home town where we will be moving back to in a couple months), and with the traveling schedule of the company and the distance of our wedding, I doubt the owners, and most of the co-workers would be able to come anyway, but I would like to invite them for all they have done for me the past 3 years and because they have became my second family practically. 

Re: Inviting Bosses and Co-Workers

  • First it depends greatly on your location's business etiquette for such things..   IMO, I'd go ahead and invite everyone if you've got the space.  I wouldn't do STD just in case something changes then you don't have the additional obligation (in case someone decides to move on before you send out invites, you move early, etc.)..  Never rely on people not being able to make it - never know they may shut it down for the day so everyone can attend, OTOH, you may get no one because it is 16 hours in the car round-trip and people have to work...
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  • peachy13peachy13 in my cubicle, doing very important work
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    I'm not sure when your wedding is but I would suggest to wait until it's time to send out invitations to make the decision. Don't send a save the date, don't verbally invite, etc. Just wait until it's invitation time (6-8 weeks before wedding), assuming you have the space and budget capacity. A lot can change in the work place -- people leave, issues arise, you may become closer to someone, etc.

    In the meantime, I would try to avoid talking about your wedding too much. If in the end you decide to only invite 3 people out of 10 (which is fine to do), I might let those 3 know who received an invitation.
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  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
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    I also work at a small, family owned business. I chose not to invite anyone, because I didn't want to invite everyone. I didn't want there to be any bad feelings. 

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  • adk19adk19
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    I think you have three choices.  Invite all.  Invite none.  Or invite only the bosses.  I don't think cherry-picking which boss or co-workers you'd like to invite is an option.  But I definitely agree with no Save The Dates for anyone.
    OurWildKingdomholyguacamole79princessleia22SP29
  • I did not give any of them (including my bosses) save the dates, we went to place our wedding invite order this weekend and then I got thinking on the people we might have forgot, and at the same time a co-worker just sent me an address request for her wedding next year. 

    Could I just do a business wide invite? I know its un-proper but I was just curious if anyone has done this before (a previous co-worker did that right when I got hired on and they hung the invite in the break area-and that is what made me think of it). 
    MesmrEwe
  • oh-and our wedding is July 9th, so it is coming up :) 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    I did not give any of them (including my bosses) save the dates, we went to place our wedding invite order this weekend and then I got thinking on the people we might have forgot, and at the same time a co-worker just sent me an address request for her wedding next year. 

    Could I just do a business wide invite? I know its un-proper but I was just curious if anyone has done this before (a previous co-worker did that right when I got hired on and they hung the invite in the break area-and that is what made me think of it). 
    I wouldn't do a "business wide invite."

    Everyone invited really needs to be invited by name. Doing it any other way
    1) comes off as impersonal and 2) isn't transparent about who is and isn't invited and can leave a lot of room for misinterpretation. 
    holyguacamole79adk19SP29OliveOilsMom
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
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    My dad's dental practice was the same way.   There were ~10 employees and it was quite gossipy.  Since many of these women were like aunts/ sisters to me, I invited all of them.   There's only one I didn't invite and that's because she started working around the time invites went out.


    This should be an all or nothing approach.  And invites need to be mailed to the home address. 



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  • Jen4948 said:
    I did not give any of them (including my bosses) save the dates, we went to place our wedding invite order this weekend and then I got thinking on the people we might have forgot, and at the same time a co-worker just sent me an address request for her wedding next year. 

    Could I just do a business wide invite? I know its un-proper but I was just curious if anyone has done this before (a previous co-worker did that right when I got hired on and they hung the invite in the break area-and that is what made me think of it). 
    I wouldn't do a "business wide invite."

    Everyone invited really needs to be invited by name. Doing it any other way
    1) comes off as impersonal and 2) isn't transparent about who is and isn't invited and can leave a lot of room for misinterpretation. 
    Your not close with 7 of these people and your risking them thinking the invite is for their kids as well... 7 x 4 (coworker, spouse 2 kids) could be 28 guests you could really do without.


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  • adk19adk19
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    I did not give any of them (including my bosses) save the dates, we went to place our wedding invite order this weekend and then I got thinking on the people we might have forgot, and at the same time a co-worker just sent me an address request for her wedding next year. 

    Could I just do a business wide invite? I know its un-proper but I was just curious if anyone has done this before (a previous co-worker did that right when I got hired on and they hung the invite in the break area-and that is what made me think of it). 
    No.  Under no circumstances can you do a business-wide invite.
    SP29
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe
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    edited April 2016
    I did not give any of them (including my bosses) save the dates, we went to place our wedding invite order this weekend and then I got thinking on the people we might have forgot, and at the same time a co-worker just sent me an address request for her wedding next year. 

    Could I just do a business wide invite? I know its un-proper but I was just curious if anyone has done this before (a previous co-worker did that right when I got hired on and they hung the invite in the break area-and that is what made me think of it). 

    This is the institutional etiquette at my brother's workplace - that's how all invites are done there (even if typical wisdom/etiquette is "NO!").  The only time it backfired for a bride is when she was the "Low woman on the totem pole" and everyone higher-up requested off to attend - LOL...  She was working Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day, 4th of July, etc. for the next year to get the days off she wanted for her wedding and extended honeymoon... 
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  • Do you socialize with any of these people outside of work? Go to dinner, text about non-work stuff on a regular basis, know each other's families, etc? 

    I would only invite the people to your wedding that you already socialize with outside of work. 
    SP29lnixon8
  • adk19adk19
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    MandyMost said:
    Do you socialize with any of these people outside of work? Go to dinner, text about non-work stuff on a regular basis, know each other's families, etc? 

    I would only invite the people to your wedding that you already socialize with outside of work. 
    Yes.  This.  Think about it, you're buying them a pretty nice dinner.  Would you do that under any other circumstances?  Would you and your fiance take your co-workers and their significant others out for dinner at a non-work-related event, and pick up the tab for their meals and drinks?  If not, no invitation.
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  • SP29SP29
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    MandyMost said:
    Do you socialize with any of these people outside of work? Go to dinner, text about non-work stuff on a regular basis, know each other's families, etc? 

    I would only invite the people to your wedding that you already socialize with outside of work. 
    Generally speaking I very much agree with this. I also don't believe one needs to invite ALL their co-workers, but in the OPs case, because it is a small family owned business, I would go all or none (and definitely consider "none").

    Do not do a business wide invite. It is impersonal and confusing. Each person should be invited with their SO, by name. If you pin an invite to the break room board, how do your coworkers know everyone is invited? Their SOs? Their kids? Personally, I never attend any event (whether that be a wedding or a birthday party) without being explicitly invited by the hosts (whether that is a paper invite or WOM). If you can't take the time to specifically invite me to your event, I assume you don't really care to have me there.
    OurWildKingdomadk19OliveOilsMom
  • Just a couple of them besides my boss, and that I guess is where my biggest problem lies. I only hang out with a couple outside of work, but we are all decently close at work. I've thought about inviting just a couple but since it is such a small business I know a couple would probably have hurt feelings even though we don't hang out outside of work.
  • From your original post, you sound doubtful any of your bosses or coworkers (even the ones you are closer to) would come anyway because of the distance.  I'd take that as a cue to either not invite anyone or only invite the bosses with their SOs.  Or, you could invite everyone with their SOs, with the assumption most people won't come...as long as there is room for and you can afford to host everyone, if they all do RSVP they are coming.

    Another thought.  Since it sounds like you are leaving this job in a few months anyway to move back to your hometown, what about not inviting any coworkers to your wedding, but then invite them to a "good-bye and thanks for all the fish" backyard BBQ shortly before you are leaving that employment.  Of course, only if something like that would be cheaper than just inviting them all to the wedding anyway.

    And now I have to give my word of warning from when I was the "uninvited coworker".  At a previous job, one of my coworkers invited everyone in the office (plus their SOs) to a Superbowl party...except for 3 of us (out of an office of 18).  I was one of the 3.  It was AWFUL and really hurtful!  All 3 of us felt that way.  I started wondering/second guessing "did I do something to offend her", "I thought we got along and worked well together, but does she actually dislike me", etc.  And the party was certainly NOT kept on the down low.  Everybody was talking about it the whole week.  Then on the Monday after, everyone was talking about how much fun it was.  Although I certainly maintained my professionalism, to be honest, I always had hard feelings toward her after that and thought she was a really callous person.

    I don't know where that "fine line" is when it goes from being "coworkers you're a bit closer to and invite" to exclusionary...and its probably different for different people.  For me, I think more than half invited is where it perhaps starts crossing that line.   

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