Lauren McEwen
Partnerships strategist & writer

It’s common knowledge that planning a wedding is a stressful affair, but what they don’t tell you is that mapping out the guest list is probably one of the most difficult parts of the process. Let’s face it: almost everyone starts out wanting a “small” wedding, but the thing is, you can’t leave anyone out. Close friends and family are a no-brainer, but then there is your extended family, friends you love but haven’t actually seen in years, and... people from work.

This often leaves the betrothed couple with tough decisions and awkward conversations as they try to fit everything into their budget while stepping on as few toes as possible. But one person you’re especially wary of insulting? Your boss.

When I chose to write about this topic, my initial thought was that unless you’re super close to your boss, most employers understand how expensive weddings are and would probably understand if you had to leave them off of the list. However, since it’s such a tough position to be in, I searched the internet for more advice.

The Knot kept it simple: “It's never a good idea to flaunt a party in front of people who aren't invited. So if you've discussed your day at work so often your boss feels as close to the wedding as your bridesmaids — you need to extend the invite.” Basically, unless you plan to stay tight-lipped about your nuptials in the workplace, you’re probably going to have to add your boss to the guest list.

WEDAWAYS founder Renée Strauss, on the other hand, suggests almost the exact opposite. “While etiquette once dictated that your boss was a must-invite, I say it depends on your office culture, the size of your team and how comfortable you feel around your boss in general,” she wrote for The Huffington Post.

If that still hasn’t helped you to decide, I would suggest consulting this questionnaire to decide if it’s appropriate to send that invite. The entire Bustle post is worth a read, but this paragraph might be most helpful: 

“Some bosses are actually interested in your life, while others are interested solely in how fast you can get that paperwork done. The best bosses like you as a person, and take interest since they know you're a hard worker with a lot of spirit. Sure, they're nowhere near as close to you as your best friend, or even the sister you haven't talked to in four years (she knows what she did), but they know the name of your dog. And that's kind of cool, and worthy of an invite.”

In short, if you’ve discussed the wedding at work and your boss is approachable and cares about you as an individual, it might be best to send out an invitation. If your relationship is strictly professional, it’s probably safe to say that they won’t be offended if you leave them off of your guest list.


Lauren McEwen is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and the social media manager for "Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis."