Dinner Parties: Is it Rude to Ask Who Else is Coming?

Dinner Parties: Is it Rude to Ask Who Else is Coming?

Joanna Miller
Sep 22, 2009

For etiquette advice, the last person we'd turn to is Curb Your Enthusiasm's Larry David, or at least his on-screen persona. But an issue he raised in Sunday's season premiere got us thinking: Is it bad form to ask a host who else is coming to dinner?

In typical fashion, Larry offended his friends with the question, particularly because he posed it before agreeing to attend the party and made it clear he didn't really want to be there. It's just not done, they told him. His job isn't to ask who else is coming. His job is simply to attend the party.

We agree that asking the question before accepting an invitation is not polite and gives the impression that you need to be convinced the party is worth your time.

But what about after you've accepted? If you're simply curious and it comes up in conversation, is that still a breach of good manners? In our opinion, not really.

Our dinner parties are always pretty informal, and we wouldn't be offended if the question came up. Plus, with so many invitations going out via e-mail and Evite these days, we often have a good idea of who's coming without even asking.

What do you think? Is it OK to ask under the right circumstances? Or best to just show up happy and hungry?

Related: Advise the Etiquette Expert: How Do You Say No Politely?

(Image: IMDB, HBO)

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