Let's think...are these tools your friends? Not just your "sorta-buddies," but your actual friends? It matters.
It’s Saturday night. Close your eyes and imagine a guys night out—pitchers, shooting pool, grilled steaks, baseball game, whatever the hell it is you do. Think about who you’d invite for this. Your buddies. Your real friends. Do you include your boss? Or your other random co-workers?
Because they’re not your friends, they’re dudes that you’re forced to spend time with out of circumstance and decorum. Your free-time is your free-time. So apply the same rules to your wedding. Don’t over-think this. And don’t bow to intra-office politics. Unless you have a genuinely best-buds relationship with your co-workers, scrub them from your guest list.
[You] Too late. I accidentally invited a few of them.
Have you sent them invitations?
Well...no, not exactly. But over coffee, I casually mentioned that of course they’re invited. So now I’m obligated to formally invite them, right?
Wrong. You’re off the hook. Just throw your fiancée under the bus.
As we mentioned in our overall advice on guest lists (click here), the best approach with co-workers is to lie, lie, lie. Tell them that because it’s a small wedding, your fiancée and her family have a strict “no co-worker” policy. You’d love to invite them...but your hands are tied.
Hmm. What about my boss?
Same rule applies to him or her. Besides, on this day of all days, do you really want to deal with your frickin’ boss?
Yeah, but...when they got married, my other co-workers invited the boss to the wedding. I need to keep pace.
Dude. Have a backbone. Embrace some basic psychology: people want you when they feel unwanted. Think back to when you were dating, how the “unattainable girl” was hotter than the one who dropped her skirt. Same goes for the workplace. By not inviting your boss, however subconsciously, you just earned a little more cache.
I want to invite a few buddies from Marketing, but I don’t want to invite the dorks from Internal Audit.
Bad idea. Better to go all or nothing. When you invite some of your work friends, you open the door for tension and bruised feelings. People get jealous.
Okay, but I really am good friends with Peter Gibbons from IT. We hang out all the time. I can invite him, right?
If he’s a good enough buddy that you trust him not to blab about it, yes. This is the exception, not the rule.
Can I tell you a secret?
This about your toe-fungus again?
No, not that. I just, well...my fiancée has many, many, many friends. 85. And I only have 14. So I thought that maybe...
You’re wondering if you can invite your co-workers as “surrogate friends.”
There’s no need. This isn’t a popularity contest. Your fiancée isn’t in love with you because of your quantity of friends; she’s in love with you because she has awful taste in men. Remember that. Don’t sweat “losing the battle” of who has more friends at the wedding. It’s more important that you have your good friends, not that you have a crowd of ass-bags you don’t know that well. Just relax about it.
Next up: for a more thorny complication, here's what to do if she won't take your name.