Should you ever not invite your boss to your wedding? Is there a rule somewhere that states you absolutely must invite your boss to your wedding; the most emotionally important day of your life? What if you hate your boss? What if she’s the biggest jerk in the world? The decision on whether to invite the boss to the wedding depends on a variety of factors.
The first thing to consider when deciding whether or not you really want your boss to attend your blessed nuptials is the size of the company and your place in it relative to the big cheese. If you work in a massive company and you’ve never even met your boss personally, then you possess one big hoking get out of jail free card. Go ahead and have the wedding and don’t even think twice about it.
On the other hand, if there are only ten people in the office and one of them signs your paycheck, you’re going to have to give serious consideration to inviting the person behind the John Hancock. Even if you don’t have the best of relationships, it is probably in your own best interest to bite the bullet and invite the boss.
What if your situation is a mixture of these two extremes? If you work somewhere where you do have contact with your boss and you actually like him or her, that’s easy. The problem comes when you don’t exactly want the person to be there. What do you do? The best advice in this situation is to first ask what others have done who’ve been there and done that. In an ideal world, you’ll find a co-worker who was married recently and who has the same relationship with the boss as you have. Of course, we don’t live in an ideal world. The boss may be new, or maybe nobody has gotten married during the current boss’ tenure, or you may even find that you are the only one who doesn’t consider the lady in charge to be the second coming of Mother Theresa. At this point, the ball is really in your court. The absolute best response would be to invite nobody at alll from work and that way it doesn’t look like you snubbed the top banana. If that scenario isn’t plausible, then it’s highly likely that you are going to be inviting a boss you don’t like to your wedding.
But let’s say that you don’t want to invite anyone from the office to the wedding, whether so you can escape the boss or not. You still run the risk of creating bad feelings unless you throw a special pre-wedding party just for the guys and gals from work so they can meet your intended. Going to this length is probably unnecessary if you are relatively new, but if you’ve been at a job long enough to develop relationships that could be strained if anyone finds out they weren’t invited to your wedding, a pre-wedding party is a great way to alleviate this awkwardness. Just one rule: you simply cannot mention enough how the wedding itself is a small ceremony for close friends and family only.
What about inviting everyone at work? Do you have to send individual invitations to each and every person? Again, a lot depends on the size, but let’s say that the total workforce you are dealing with is no more than twenty. If there is a common meeting place where notices are posted that can be viewed by everyone, you can certainly issue a mass invitation to everyone there. Alternatively, you can send a sign-up sheet-for lack of a better word-around on which everyone who will be attending can sign their name. Make sure to provide a place on the sheet where each person can indicate whether they plan to bring along a spouse or significant other. This works well, of course, only if you plan on inviting everybody who wants to attend. Just make sure to indicate whether or not the invitation extends to both the ceremony and the reception, and make sure you’ve got the requisite amount of room for a sellout in both cases.
What if you only want to invite certain co-workers and not others? Obviously, if you’re talking about only five people and you plan to invite just four, you’re setting yourself up for some unnecessary awkwardness. Unless co-worker number five is Hitler in disguise, it’s probably not a good idea to freeze someone out. If you’re talking about fifteen people and you only plan on inviting five, that’s completely within the rules of etiquette. Of course, this is a situation that calls for individual invitations. You can’t just send out a sign-up sheet for a selected few.
Inviting the boss and co-workers to your wedding ceremony can be one of the easiest decisions you’ll ever make. More likely, however, certain problems will arise. Just take a few minutes to consider things and common sense will probably be enough to dictate your decision.