Should I Invite My Newer Co-Worker to My Wedding?

Everyone else on my team is coming...

Q: We’re getting married in July, and we are so excited! There’s only one snag: I work on a small team (five people) and everyone is invited to the wedding… except for my newest co-worker. She came on board two months ago, and we get along great. We go to lunch together, talk about our partners and pets, and since she’s been married for two years she’s been really great to bounce wedding ideas and frustrations off of (the rest of my co-workers have been married for eight years or more, so they’re less helpful).

Here’s the thing, though: by the time we started lunching and getting to know each other, the wedding had been mostly planned. And while it wouldn’t be a big deal to add two more to our guest list, I can’t think of a way to invite her that doesn’t sound like it was obviously a last-minute decision.

Do you think I should invite her or leave her out? I think it would be fun to have her there, but don’t want to sound like a jerk.

would you invite your new co-worker to your wedding? Do you think it’s okay to make a last-minute invite?

 If you want the APW community’s two cents, send it to QUESTIONS AT APRACTICALWEDDING DOT COM, and we’ll do our best to crowdsource you some answers!

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  • siri

    I’d invite her! A few years ago, I was in her position (new girl started at our office who was in the throes of planning her wedding) and we hit it off immediately. She was very open about everything, said that venue restrictions didn’t allow her to invite us (me and a few others), but that she was getting married in a church, and would love for us to come along and witness the vows, which we did! I’m so glad I did, and didn’t feel at all weird about being invited later, since we had only met her after the invitations went out, etc.
    I think that, as long as you’re fairly good friends, she won’t mind, and will enjoy the invitation.

  • Nichole

    I don’t think you’d sound like a jerk for inviting her last minute if you want to do that. I think she’s pretty well aware of the fact that you met when you were already into the details of planning. If i were in her position, I’d be pleased and flattered that you invited me at this point.

    On the other hand, I don’t think you have an obligation to invite her, if you didn’t want to.

  • Eh

    If it’s not a big deal to invite her (e.g., cost or space) then invite her. Since she recently joined the team I don’t think she will think it’s weird or last minute; as others have said, she will probably be pleased to be invited.

    Since the wedding is in July you have probably sent you invitations out already. If you have one left, you could give it to her in person. If you don’t have one (or you did evites) I would just ask her in person. Either way, tell her that you have enjoyed your lunches and talks and that you would like her to come to your wedding.

  • Jenny

    I think it’s easy to do this if you want to, and doubt anyone you’ve know less than 2 months would be offended. There are a handful of people I would be offended to get a last minute invite from, and they are all family or extremely close long time friends. Other than than I’m flattered and excited to be included. Especially since she’s already planned a wedding, she’s more likely to get it. A simple, hey coworker, we had already sent invitations when you joined the work team, and I’ve been so busy it hadn’t crossed my mind that because of when you started, you weren’t on our list. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you over the last couple months and we’d love it if you could come and celebrate.

    • Eenie

      We invited a bunch of people to our wedding after I’d known them two months. I’d just moved locally to where my husband was, and it didn’t cross my mind to invite our new local friends until pretty last minute. We phrased it similarly – “Didn’t cross our minds that we hadn’t invited you since we met after invites were sent out – we’d love to have you attend if you can make it work with your schedule!!” Almost all of them came (or were disappointed to miss), and we were really glad we just opened up the local invites to anyone towards the end of it.

    • AmandaBee

      This, exactly – if you want her there, invite her and I bet she’ll understand. I last-minute (about 1 month beforehand) invited someone that I had began working with about 6 months beforehand, who became a close friend over time (and after the guest list was made). I just phrased it to her as “Hey, we met after our guest list was made, but I’ve gotten to know you since then and we’d really love for you to be there! I’m going to send you an invitation and I hope you can make it, though I understand if you already made plans that weekend.” And she came, and I’m glad she did.

      In this case, because she’s recently been through this rodeo I bet she’ll be especially understanding and happy that you extended the invitation. Worst case scenario, she’s already busy and has to send regrets. You really have nothing to lose in inviting her, unless you’d prefer that she not be there (in which case I don’t think you’re obligated to invite her).

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  • Liz

    You’ve known her for two months! What could it be BUT a last-minute decision? I think it’s a nice idea, and completely fine courtesy-wise. And if you end up working together for many years and becoming close, you’ll both be really glad she was there.

  • S

    If I were in her position I would be excited/gratefeul to be invited, and wouldn’t feel weird about it at all. The situation/timeline seems pretty straightforward, there’s no way she’d be hurt about it.

  • Amy March

    Invite her! It’s not weird that she is a last minute addition because she is actually a new friend!

    • Agreed! I went through something similar with a new teammate who joined the team a few months before my wedding. I just dropped the invite off at her desk with a “I know it’s short notice but we’d really love to see you at our wedding, let us know if you can make it” speech.

  • If you want her there, invite her – how were you supposed to have invited her before you knew her, after all? Just be aware she may already have plans. My coworker kindly invited myself and a fellow new colleague to her wedding about two weeks before it took place but neither of us could make it, which was a shame.

    ETA – it’s also not weird if you don’t invite her. Even if you’ve become the bestest of buds since you met her, without psychic powers there was no way to factor her into wedding planning before you knew her, and if she’s a reasonable person she won’t be offended by being left out.

  • Sara

    I think you’re fine. You haven’t known her long, and she’ll be happy to be invited. Related story – My high school best friend and I fell out of touch after college and saw each other about three months before her wedding at a party. We got drunk together and she asked me if I wanted to come to her wedding, and I said sure! She then called me the next week to give me the info for it and I went! Total blast! I know I was last minute, I didn’t even get a physical invite, but I was thrilled to be invited and glad I didn’t miss it.

  • emilyg25

    Invite her! Say, “Hey, I know this seems last minute, but we just got to know each other. Here’s an invitation to my wedding. I’d love to have you there!” Boom.

  • K. is skittish about disqus

    Aw, this is nicer and less tricky then I thought it would be! (I was expecting that it was a new co-worker that you haven’t built any kind of relationship with yet, but who was feeling left out or something)

    Absolutely invite her, especially since you *want* to invite her. Like others have said, you’ve only known her two months so it would be weird if she didn’t understand why she was a last minute addition! And even if she can’t make it, it’s still a nice gesture for your budding friendship.

    • Agreed. I would feel differently if LW was coming at it from an angle of, “every other coworker is invited so I probably should anyway, right?” But because this person is genuinely someone she’d like to have there, then an invite is a great idea, even if it’s a little last minute. :)

  • Greta

    I have received 2 last minute wedding invitations and for both of them I was flattered and excited – not at all offended. Both were because I had moved cross country after graduate school, and then moved back a year later. When 2 different grad school friends heard I was moving back they extended the invite. It was totally practical – they weren’t sure we were going to see each other anymore, after grad school and being cross country, but since we were now going to be living in the same city again, they wanted to celebrate together. I was thrilled and excited and accepted for them both. Both weddings were a blast and I didn’t feel left out or anything.

  • big dipper

    I was in a similar situation. I hadn’t invited anyone from work, but became close with a group of 5 colleagues (we started hanging out outside of work) around six months before my wedding.

    I hand delivered them invitations with a note on the back about how I was happy we had become friends, would love for them to attend my wedding because I expect that they will be a part of my life in the future, but understood if they had conflicts.

    They all attended and 3 years later we still hang out all the time, so I’m happy I sent the invite!

  • laddibugg

    Invite her! If everyone else on the team will be there, then she’ll have folks to talk to and she won’t feel left out. Plus you can talk to her about the wedding without feeling weird.

  • Fiona

    Hi! This could almost be my story, except I was the coworker. I was the recipient of such an invitation less than two months after I started at my new job. Shortly after I started my new job, we had hit it off, and my coworker who was getting married in a couple months invited me to her wedding. I was thrilled and honored, and had a wonderful time at the event. I made extra-sure to get her a nice gift, and it wasn’t awkward at all. Definitely do it!

  • Sara

    No. She shouldn’t/won’t be offended and will understand.

  • idkmybffjill

    Of course it’s a last minute decision, you just met her! I say you hand deliver an invitation and say, “I know this is sort of last minute, but I feel like we’ve really hit it off – I’d love if you guys wanted to come too our wedding, no worries of course if you have conflicts.”

  • ART

    “Hey, I wanted to extend an invitation to our wedding – I know it’s last-minute because we just started working together, but I have so much fun going to lunch with you, etc.! I’d hate for you to feel left out, since everyone else on the team is invited, but I also don’t want to put any pressure on you or take you away from other plans, since it’s coming up quickly and this is a new friendship. Here’s an invitation, we’d be happy if you could make it!”

    I remember thinking that wedding invitations had to be this formal, in-the-mail-only thing that I didn’t actually SPEAK to anyone about beforehand or unless they asked me a question or didn’t RSVP. But in hindsight, that is just a recipe for misunderstanding and awkwardness, and talking is way better.

  • macrain

    Just to offer another perspective: You don’t know this person very well. Sure, you’ve hit it off at the start, but the relationship is still new. I’m sure there are other folks who didn’t make the cut that you know better than this person. You could end up having some weird falling out, or discover something about her that makes you want to put on the breaks, or whatever! If it were me, I would not invite her, but I was also pretty ruthless with my guest list. Perhaps you are different, but- it’s something to think about! Also: there’s no reason to feel pressured since the rest of your colleagues are invited. It’s totally understandable why they are and she’s not.

    I made a new friend right around when my friends were planning my baby shower. I was so excited about the friendship I nearly added her to the guest list, but I ended up putting it off and deciding to invite her later if I wanted to. Sure enough, we drifted apart and are now barely friends. Thank goodness I didn’t hit her up for a gift and then barely speak to her after that!

    • idkmybffjill

      I had this happen but wayyyyy earlier. I started really hitting it off with an aquaintance right around when we got engaged, so I invited he and his partner to our engagement party and of course wedding! By the time the wedding rolled around a year and a half later we almost never talked and I felt a bit dorky about it, but oh well he wasn’t taking a spot from someone else (in our case).

    • Cleo

      Devil’s advocate on this…

      Since the LW and the new friend work together, they’ll most likely (barring a new job or getting laid-off) be seeing each other on a week-daily basis until the wedding. So there’s not much room to grow apart unless LW suddenly discovers the new friend is not her type of people in tiny insidious ways.

      If this was random new acquaintance though, I’d agree.

      • CMT

        Proximity doesn’t guarantee anything. You can have a work friendship wither even if you work with the person closely.

    • Amanda

      “You could end up having some weird falling out, or discover something
      about her that makes you want to put on the breaks, or whatever”

      Isn’t that true of any human, though? LW is (probably) only marrying the one person at the wedding; so the rest aren’t a lifetime commitment.

      The gift-giving part is a good point.

      • macrain

        Yes that’s true, but it’s much more likely that you would end up not being friends with someone you have known for 2 months, vs someone you have known and have been friends with for a long time (or at least well enough to want to invite them to your wedding). New friendships are fragile in a way that tried and true ones are not.

    • I get where you’re coming from, but I have to say that nothing is guaranteed in life. I have friends that I can appreciate for the time they were in my life, even though we’ve since drifted apart and don’t talk anymore. I look back feeling happy I made plans with them and shared moments with them, even though we aren’t best friends for*ever*. I do understand that some brides/grooms prefer to keep the guest list a little more locked down, but this is also a chance to say, “hey you make me really happy and I want to share this happy day with you,” even if it means they won’t be tight for life.

      • macrain

        Right, but those friends that you drifted apart from- were they in your life for longer than two months? Probably so, and I agree that those are significant relationships.
        New friendships, on the other hand can be flimsy! And those people can end up meaning literally nothing to you. There’s a huge difference between that and your good friend from college who you wish you talked to more.

        • Some have been, others not. In the past ten years I’ve lived in three major cities*, so I’m quick to meet people, make friends, and sometimes also move on. It also means that my close friend group is small, so if I only invited people I’d known for a long time and was super tight with, I’d have…maybe 3-5 people?

          When I started planning my wedding, someone in my coworking space said to invite people to your wedding that you would imagine inviting to your 25th wedding anniversary party. I think it’s good advice, but it doesn’t count for these types of new friendships where you just sort of *know*. It’s definitely a balance of what type of a wedding you want, your own personal experiences, and gut instinct.

          In this case, I think LW has that gut instinct and actually does want to invite her, she just doesn’t want to come off as rude. With so little time, I think she’d have to have a serious falling out with said coworker for her to truly regret it (something that could happen to anyone on the guest list, anyway). I suppose LW needs to ask herself: “Even if the lunching and hanging out stops shortly after the wedding, will I regret inviting this person to my wedding?”

          *edit: and traveled often for months on end

  • Natalie

    I invited a new friend two days before my wedding. He’d recently joined my friend group, and the week before my wedding it became clear that he was going to be important in my life, so I invited him. He was pleased to be invited, came, and we did become close friends afterwards.

    Invite your new coworker friend! If you feel awkward about it, tell her what you told us – that even though you met her very recently, as you’ve gotten to know her she’s become a friend that you’d like to have at your wedding. I can’t imagine anyone feeling offended by a last minute invitation that’s a heartfelt gesture of budding friendship.

  • Ashley Meredith

    I would add that it’s probably better to invite someone even if you have known them longer and it is a last-minute decision. We did this with a couple we know and I’m so glad we did. We had them on the first round of guest brainstorming, they got cut in our venue-driven numbers-consciousness, and then I think a week before the wedding I suddenly felt really bad about it and that they deserved to be there. I ended up just verbally inviting them (I may have included some of that backstory, like that they were originally on the list, I can’t remember) and they were still thrilled to be invited and did come. Because in the end, even if I didn’t handle it ideally, I was still expressing that I wanted to have them there. If I’d just said, “Well, it’s too late to invite them now,” they’d never have known that.

  • You’re not a jerk at all for not inviting her, and you’re not a jerk for inviting her closer to the wedding! I know traditionally it’s poor form, but I would personally be pretty stoked if someone came up to me and just laid it out: “Hey there, when I met you my partner and I had already sent out invitations for the wedding. But I’d really really like to invite you and share this special day with you, if you’d like.”

  • avh

    I would invite her! She will understand the reason for the late invite (you basically just met) and it’s a no-pressure situation if she declines. There is no downside here :)

  • Jan

    Invite her. Last summer my partner and I got a last-minute, verbal invitation to the wedding of two friends whom we adore and have known for a few years, but aren’t *that* close to (we have worked together in the past and see each other maybe 2-3 times a year, but don’t regularly hang out). We ran into each other at a mutual friend’s wedding and had a blast together, and they asked us to come to their own wedding happening two weeks later. We were delighted to be asked, and not offended in the slightest that we didn’t receive an earlier invitation, because we’re regular human beings with normal expectations and an understanding of things like “venue capacity” and “we aren’t everyone’s best friends”. Just ask! Especially since you’ve only known her two months.

  • LondonFrenchie

    Definitely invite her! It isn’t weird at all. I was invited at the very last minute to my then boss’ wedding a couple of years ago, she’d been engaged for a year or so and by the time of the wedding I’d been working with her for 5 months so I didn’t expect it – I was incredibly touched, and it has made such a difference to our relationship since, I definitely consider her and her wife as friends and I think it’s partly because I got to be part of this wonderful day. Besides, if she’s married she will know very well what it’s like to be in your shoes!

  • ManderGimlet

    Invite her! If it’s too much of a commitment for her she’ll decline, otherwise there’s nothing weird or rude about a late invite. She knows when you met! I would find it very flattering and an honor if a new friend valued our relationship enough that early to invite me to their wedding.

  • Caitlin

    I say invite her – if she’s planned a wedding in the last 2 years she will remember guest list stresses and will understand.
    As we are having all-day guests and then some extra people in the evening, we have a list of evening-only people to bump up the to the all-day list as we get negative RSVPs. My fiancé was slightly worried that this might be rude but the list is all people I would feel comfortable calling and saying “Hey, someone can’t make the whole day, do you fancy coming to the whole thing?” or even “remember I said you couldn’t bring that new person you are dating – you can now have a plus one so tell me their name for the table plan” (I live in the U.K., plus ones are not compulsory when sending an invite). Hopefully everyone will take it in the spirit it is intended.

  • Alison Lysakowski

    It’s pretty obvious that you had not anticipated her entering your life and making friends with you. I think an invite at any time would not offend her. It would make her happy.