Work Life

Do I have to invite the whole office to my wedding?

I am getting married soon. Do if I have to invite the entire office to my wedding? How about their spouses and significant others? I’d really like to include a couple of my co-workers, but if I invite the entire staff, the cost of the reception will skyrocket.

With the average cost of a wedding now exceeding $31,000, it’s a wonder that celibacy hasn’t skyrocketed.

Besides eloping or charging per head, you probably have only three options: invite all, some or none. An open invite is clearly too expensive. And it sounds like it would be unnatural to not invite some co-workers with whom you’re closer. So, the best course is selective invitation.

While it might cause a little temporary unease in the office (depending on its size), most people understand that, while all people are created equal, not all office relationships are equal. Selective socializing among colleagues, whether it’s going out after work, sharing lunch or enjoying some other activity of shared interest, is normal.

So this is one case where discrimination in the workplace is OK. Most people understand a blanket invitation to a co-worker’s special event is not a norm.

As with so many workplace-related decisions, the norm comes first. What’s the normal practice? So operating within normal boundaries is — how can I put this — very normal.

The only scriptural story you’d be violating is the wedding feast for the king’s son. (Lk 14:15-24) That king searched the highways and byways to fill the hall. But the point of that parable is different. And besides, kings have lavish budgets.

by Jim Berlucchi is the executive director of the Spitzer Center.

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