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Inviting Your Boss to Your Wedding: The Dos and Don’ts

Is the thought of inviting your boss to your wedding making you a little uneasy? Here's how to handle this common dilemma.

bride greeting guests

bride greeting guests

Hands in the air if you see your boss more than you see your significant other during some especially trying weeks! I know you’re all wondering whether the fact that you spend so much time together means inviting your boss to your wedding is a must. I know you’re all going to add, “Also, doesn’t it become more complicated if I’m inviting a bunch of coworkers? Doesn’t this mean I definitely have to invite my boss to my wedding?” I know this whole dilemma has become, weirdly, unexpectedly, one of the biggest conflicts of your entire wedding planning process so far—because, I know you feel, if you make the wrong choice, things could get very, very awkward at work, very, very fast. Listen: Deep breaths. This is not the big deal it seems to be. Read on for some helpful dos and don’ts on inviting your boss to your wedding, and let’s make this decision together:

Do invite (and don’t invite) whomever you want.

This is your North Star, people! All office politics aside, if you’re not that into inviting your boss to your wedding, just don’t. They should understand that weddings are highly personal events, and when they see they weren’t invited, they shouldn’t read too far into it. No one should read too far into not getting a wedding invite—unless they’re in your immediate family or friend group. Beyond those circles, you don’t owe anyone an explanation, excuse or white lie for keeping them off the list—just stay cool, calm and collected. On your wedding day, when you look out at your guests and realize the room is full of only people you and your new spouse love, you’ll be so glad you stuck to your guns.

Don't just invite your entire team or office because it feels like you should.

It may feel like your wedding guest list should simply be: family, friends, work. And that’s it. But (and please see above for more on this), it’s way more customizable than that. We all have our work wives and husbands, people we can’t imagine life without, and they should totally be invited, because, really, they’re friends more than anything! But not all coworkers are friends, and definitely not all bosses are friends. Think strategically and critically about your guest list from work, and don’t feel the least bit bad if you invite only your work friends and not your boss. Your boss is only in charge of you in one place, and one place only: The office.

Do chat it over with your boss if it would make you more comfortable.

If you are thinking of inviting your boss to your wedding, but are worried it might seem over-the-line or unprofessional, feel free to schedule a quick meeting with him or her and simply ask outright if they’d be comfortable with an invitation! It’s a polite and professional move, and will help save you a lot of stressful wavering back and forth about whether or not you should do it. Just explain that you’d love to have your boss at your wedding, but the decision to RSVP yes is up to them and they shouldn’t feel pressured if they feel that attending will create an awkward vibe for the rest of your team. They’ll probably say yes!

Don't worry about whether your coworkers will be comfortable or not.

So you’ve decided that’s your comfortable inviting your boss to your wedding, but now you’re worried their presence might prevent your coworkers from really letting loose and having the best time ever (with help from your open bar). Listen: You’re overthinking it! First of all, remember once again that it’s your wedding and you’re allowed to invite anyone and everyone you want—they’ll all find a way to get along, even if it’s a little bit awkward for them at first. It’s simply not your problem—you’ll be so busy getting married your entire day will pass by in a blur and you probably will barely even get a chance to say hello to your work fam. Second, people tend to let loose at weddings—even your ultra-professional, uptight boss. So the chances are pretty high that come cocktail hour, everyone will be feeling comfortable, relaxed and chummy anyway. Don’t you love when a problem solves itself?

Do let your boss make the call if you’re unsure.

If you’re still feeling all wishy-washy about it and think no matter what you decide to do will leave you feeling awkward (congrats, you’re me!), simply extend the invitation to your boss and let them make the call! If they feel that it’s appropriate for them to be there, they’ll say yes, show up, have a good time and probably leave early (not to mention, get you a great gift). If they think it’s not their scene, or would be out of bounds for whatever reason, they’ll gracefully decline (but probably still send you a great gift). At the end of the day, they’ll do whatever makes most sense for your working relationship, and they’ll make sure you won’t have to worry about it! (Since you have more important things on your mind—like those two weeks off you’re taking for your honeymoon.)