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How to successfully have work colleagues attend your Wedding

When it comes to sending out invitations, the decision to have work colleagues attend your Wedding tends to exist in a separate category to friends and family. They’re lumped together as a collective but you’ll usually find when faced with the question, “Are you inviting your coworkers?”, you can’t meet it with a simple “yes” or “no” answer. A serious source of stress when planning a Wedding is the fear that the people you invite may not have a good time, or, more importantly, that you may not have a good time because of the people you invite.

In a recent survey, OfficeGenie.co.uk found most people (77%) want at least some of their work colleagues at their Wedding and 3% would even invite all of them. A fifth of people wouldn’t invite any of their coworkers, citing worries about work interfering with their Wedding (59%) and concern over extra expense (17%). Additional reasons were: not wanting to discriminate; a preference for a small Wedding; and fear that either their family and friends or their colleagues might embarrass them.

work colleagues

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This isn’t to say these worries subside when you do invite your work colleagues to your Wedding, it’s just a case of working out how to handle these worries. Lilli Hender from OfficeGenie.co.uk, has a few top tips:

Step 1: To invite or not to invite

The simple answer is to invite the people you’d like to be there – remove the work colleague label and see who fits under the friend label. Do you enjoy their company? Do you spend time with them outside of work? If you left your job would you keep in contact? These are the sort of questions worth bearing in mind. You might be so close to some of the people you work with, you’d like them to attend the ceremony. But more often than not, colleagues will just be invited to the reception.

If you take an all-or-nothing approach it means you’ll have people attend that you’re not that fond of, or people not attending that you are fond of. Don’t let yourself be wrapped up in office politics and don’t be made to feel guilty: honesty is (usually) the best policy so politely explain you’re only inviting those you’re closest to. You can make a “it’s only a small Wedding” excuse if you feel the need. Unless you’re inviting everyone, make sure to send out the invites discreetly so you don’t cause any extra tension.

Step 2: Wedding conversations in the workplace

After you’ve sent out your invites, you’ll naturally have lots of questions from those you’ve invited. You’ll most likely have answered these questions in your invitation (where it is; how to get there; what time it finishes) but you’ll be bombarded anyway. You’ll probably want to chat about it too, but try to keep these conversations on the down low and reserve them for lunch times – especially if you haven’t invited everyone. You still need to get your work done, after all.

If it is getting a bit much – people keep asking if you’re nervous or whether you’re going on a diet, for example – just say you need to focus on your work. Planning a Wedding is stressful enough as it is and you want to keep this stress to a minimum in your working life as well as your private life.

Step 3: On the big day

There’s a lot of pressure to make sure everyone is comfortable at your Wedding. You’ll find you have a balancing act between family members, friends, and now your colleagues too. As much as you’d like to be able to spend quality time with every guest, you simply won’t have the time or energy. It’s important they can get along fine without you beside them for the entire evening. Seating plans can really help with this: put your colleagues on the same table so they’re with people they’re familiar with. If you find the time, introduce them to like-minded friends and family. If you’ve let them bring a plus one, it will help them feel more at ease, but don’t feel obliged. There are only so many people you can cater for!

At the end of the night, encourage your colleagues to share lifts or taxis – that way you won’t be worrying if they got home safe. If they drink too much or do something they’ll regret on Monday, it isn’t really your concern. You may all work together but it isn’t a work event and you have enough on your plate as it is.

As with most things when it comes to your Wedding, go with your instinct. If you think your day wouldn’t be the same without some of the people you spend eight hours a day, five days a week with, don’t let this be the case. You want people you care about at your Wedding whether they have the colleague label or not.

work colleagues

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Lilli Hender is staff writer at OfficeGenie.co.uk and she advises on all things to do with the workplace: from wellbeing to Weddings.


14th March 2017
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