Company Congratulations: Celebrating a colleague’s upcoming wedding

by epi on March 1, 2013

Q: We have a work colleague who is getting married in a month. She is not throwing any special party at work, nor is she inviting anybody from her immediate work team. Is it proper etiquette that we buy her a present and have a small work party during lunch? Also somebody is suggesting that we send her flowers from the company, is this appropriate?

A: Sure! It is very nice for co-workers to celebrate occasions in the life of a colleague, with no expectation of an invitation or of being included in the actual wedding day.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah March 1, 2013 at 12:59 pm

My brother and sister-in-law are in the military and eloped last year so they could be stationed together. After a few hectic months, they’ve gotten settled and decided to celebrate by planning a reception this coming August. Would it be inappropriate to have a bridal shower at this point?

Reply

Elizabeth March 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Usually, the answer would be yes, it would be inappropriate to have a bridal shower after a wedding has taken place. However, most people are inclined to cut military personnel some slack, given all they do for our country and because the military’s rules often forces couples into doing things faster than they would prefer. I think if you had a small low-key shower, inviting only the closest family and friends, and the bride registered for traditional (and not super expensive) things, those people would be happy to give the young couple a good start in life. However, if they are not planning on settling down any time soon and don’t need the normal housewares that are given at this kind of shower, I would skip it. I would not have a shower after the fact, and then ask for contributions to the honeymoon fund or future mortgage fund, or something tacky like that. Instead, you could have a ladies luncheon or a tea or some other celebration for which the focus is not gift-giving, but simply celebration.

Reply

Gift Etiquette March 4, 2013 at 5:56 pm

It is very nice for co-workers to celebrate occasions in the life of a colleague

Reply

Nancy April 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm

I work in a department of 35 people and 5 of them are now pregnant…. due within 10 weeks of each other. In the past, we had individual baby showers at work, but this would mean a lot of showers in a very short period of time. Is it good manners to have one joint shower for all five?

Reply

Elizabeth April 9, 2013 at 2:15 pm

I think it depends on how showers have been done in the past. Does everyone contribute to one larger gift, or are people expected to buy them individual gifts? Is the whole department usually invited, or just the closer “work-friends” of the mom-to-be?

I can see that it would be very efficient to have one big baby shower for all 5. It would be best if there was simply a general collection for gifts (or an envelope for each mom) that people could contribute to anonymously, and everyone could sign all the cards. But if people are expected to give individual gifts, it might be really awkward for a guest who is close to one or two moms but not the others. In that case, you might just want to let people organize smaller more private ones.

Reply

Linda Wisenbaker April 22, 2013 at 7:20 am

My daughter-in-law’s half sister is getting married very soon. My 3 grandchildren that I am very close to are all in the wedding and I was not invited. I completely understand why I was not invited (reception is a brunch at a nice place and money is limited). BUT, I would love to see my grandchildren in the wedding. Can I call the bride’s mother and ask if I can go to the wedding just to see my grandchildren?
Sometimes we see the bride’s mother and father every weekend at grandchildren’s sporting events. What is appropriate?

Reply

Alicia April 22, 2013 at 7:34 am

No one should never ask for an invite to a wedding. As your son and daughter in law to take pictures and show them to you. The focus of the wedding is not your grandkids but their aunt (the bride)on the other side of the family.

Reply

Winifred Rosenburg April 22, 2013 at 9:13 am

Where is the wedding? If the ceremony is at a place of worship, it is most likely open to the public. I suggest inquiring with your daughter-in-law about what type of place it’s in and if there is limited seating or if it would be okay for you to go to just the ceremony. I had some people who weren’t invited come to my wedding ceremony, and I was fine with it. (Just make sure you are dressed as if you were going to the reception because you might end up in the background of some pictures.)

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: