No doubt the talk at the water cooler will be who got the invite and who got the shaft. Deciding which coworkers to include depends on how big your office or department is. If you work in a group of six, you can't leave out the one slacker just because she pawns off her work on everyone else.
But if you have a huge office and collaborate with dozens of people, it gets tricky. A good rule of thumb is that if you socialize outside of work and have the person's home number and use it, you should probably invite them. It's okay to include close friends and key people who might help further your career in the future. But don't use an invite to brownnose-it won't get you a promotion or a bonus. As for the big boss (or bosses), choose which superiors you work with the most. Half the time they'll decline, note your generosity, and just send a gift. And if you want to keep who's invited on the down low, you can always ask those guests not to tell anyone they're invited.
Weddings with lots of kids can be great for some couples, hell for others. It's your decision. But if you'd like an adults-only reception, you'll need to establish guidelines and invite children over a certain age-or keep anyone under 18 off the list.
Can't decide if kids are appropriate or not? If your wedding is in the morning or afternoon, it's more appropriate for youngsters to attend. For one, they're awake! An evening affair is usually a kid-free zone and adults generally realize it's their time to let loose and not chase after their little ones on the dance floor or scold them for running fingers through the icing on the wedding cake.
If guests make a fuss and threaten not to come to your wedding without their toddlers or infants, express your regrets but tell them that it would be unfair to others you've said no to (the only exceptions are usually for immediate family).
Making the Cut
So you've followed these points -- and you still have 300 names and a location that holds 175. Oh, the guilt! While you might feel bad about deleting names from the list, you and your fiance need to develop parameters for cutting that won't make you feel terrible.
One groom's fantasy football league is another bride's book club. You'll both need to reflect on which of your acquaintances is important enough to witness your wedding. It's probably not necessary to invite your entire sorority pledge class if you haven't seen half of them since college. Focus on people who are relevant to your life now...and who will be relevant five years from now. You know that couple you keep bailing on dinner plans with? They can probably go to the bottom of the list.
You don't have to invite couples you're not close with anymore just because you went to their weddings. If anyone will understand, it's those who had to do the same. The key to the cut is doing it as efficiently and quickly as possible to ease the pain -- kind of like removing a Band-Aid.