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Ask Amy: Should we invite coworkers to our intimate wedding?

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Dear Amy: My long-term girlfriend and I got engaged and are planning a small (but not tiny) wedding next year.

We’re anticipating 40 to 60 guests, made up exclusively of family and close friends.

My question is: Do we need to invite our co-workers?

We both work in the same small (20 person) office within our church. We like everyone there, but are only really close with about five of these people.

One of the pastors from our church will officiate the ceremony, so at least some people from work will be there.

We don’t want anyone to feel left out, but we also don’t relish adding 15 acquaintances to an event that is so intimate.

Should we invite them? Should we not? Is there a third option?

Shy: No, you do not need to invite all 20 colleagues to your wedding.

For you, there is a possible third option. It’s known as a “church family” wedding, and it might be an ideal solution for you.

Discuss this with your clergy.

In a church family wedding, the church (which is also your workplace) opens up the wedding service to any church member who wants to attend. Attendees do not receive a printed invitation, but clergy would announce the wedding from the pulpit and/or publish it in the newsletter, and invite members to attend the ceremony if they would like.

Your wedding ceremony would include your invited (40 to 60) guests, and any additional church members and colleagues who would like to witness your wedding.

After the ceremony, you and your new spouse would have some punch, cake and cookies in the church hall and thank your church family for witnessing your wedding. Later you and your invited guests would make their way to the reception venue for the private reception.

Dear Amy: I wanted to see how you would feel about having an in-law tell you: “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I come first.”

It came out of my brother-in-law’s mouth about a year ago.

I have spoken to him since, but a family gathering is coming up soon and of course I would avoid any negative situation, but I would like to hear from you regarding what you think I should do now?

Wondering: Any statement that begins with “Don’t take this the wrong way …” includes an invitation — if not a demand — to take it the wrong way. (After all, is there any “right” way?)

In the moment, you might have listened to this balderdash and perhaps responded: “Well then, how would you like me to take this?”

At this point, I think you should interpret this as a somewhat desperate and rude statement made by a deeply insecure person.

And yes, while you will probably always remember this and attach it to your brother-in-law, at this point I think that you should prove who comes first by behaving impeccably and with total confidence.

Dear Amy: I have a friend who has given me a subscription to an online lecture series about some obscure ancient history, with the expectation that I will spend my Saturday afternoons attending these virtual lectures with her.

I have absolutely no interest!

How do I say “no thank you” to this kind of gift without hurting her feelings?

Ungrateful: It is risky to give a gift that requires regular attendance without clearing it with the recipient ahead of time.

You could say to her, “This is really thoughtful of you, but I don’t think I’ll be able to attend these lectures. Is there anyone else you might be able to pass this along to? I’d hate to feel like I’m squandering your generosity.”

Dear Amy: I’m a longtime reader, and I just want to say that I’m consistently impressed by the kindness and compassion you show to those asking you questions, as well as how sage I find your advice to be.

There’s no shortage of negativity in this world, so I just wanted to point out that I think you’re doing a fantastic job and that readers and those with questions are very lucky to have you as a resource.

Mike: I don’t always get things right, which is why I reserve this last spot in my column for people to disagree with or correct me.

But I promised myself that I would also occasionally run responses such as yours, mainly to demonstrate how supported and grateful I am for all of my readers. Grouchy and gracious — you all matter to me.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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