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  #1  
Old 08-24-2013, 03:10 PM
Fang Fang is offline
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Wedding invitation addressed just to me, not long-term girlfriend -- can she go?

I was invited to the wedding of two friends I've had for about 7 years, but am not particularly close with (one is a former co-worker). This is a Chinese banquet wedding if that makes a difference. They know my girlfriend too, she's not really friends with them (not that she doesn't get along with them, but my main socialization with them is either at work-related things or something like a party where I would invite everybody), but they are aware that we are in a committed long-term relationship. The envelope has my name on it, but not hers or a "guest" listing. The RSVP is online-only, but has an entry for "How many will be attending", up to 6. Normally, I would say, "Well I guess she's not invited", chalking it up as being a bit rude, but the online RSVP thing makes me think maybe I can say I'm bringing her as my guest, and not putting her on the invite was just an oversight or implicit. Obviously it would be awkward to ask them directly. What do you guys think?
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2013, 03:16 PM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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If the invitation does not say "and guest", then you may not bring a guest. Period.

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  #3  
Old 08-24-2013, 03:21 PM
Cyros Cyros is offline
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I would generally agree with Shodan but I think the "number attending" option on the website opens up enough ambiguity to justify asking the mother of the bride, or the groom, or whomever is in charge of fielding such questions.

Last edited by Cyros; 08-24-2013 at 03:22 PM..
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  #4  
Old 08-24-2013, 03:23 PM
Nava Nava is offline
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Asking about the "number attending" is equivalent to "and guests". Put her down.
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:00 PM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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Originally Posted by Nava View Post
Asking about the "number attending" is equivalent to "and guests". Put her down.
I am afraid it is not - at least, not in America. If only you were invited, you would not put down "13" and bring a dozen of your friends. Same principle.

The "number attending" is for invitations issued to several members of a household, where not all can attend. That is, "number attending" must always be equal to or less than the number invited.

The hosts couldn't afford to invite more than a certain number. Therefore, they decided not to invite people they didn't know very well, like friends of friends. They did not say "and guest" for a reason, and it is a social faux pas to ignore that reason.

People who do stuff like this are the bane of wedding planner's and caterer's existence. You were invited; no one else.

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  #6  
Old 08-24-2013, 04:04 PM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
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Originally Posted by Cyros View Post
I would generally agree with Shodan but I think the "number attending" option on the website opens up enough ambiguity to justify asking the mother of the bride, or the groom, or whomever is in charge of fielding such questions.
I agree with this. Hopefully the mother of the bride or groom or somebody like that is listed on the invitations as a contact for questions, etc. If so, contact this person and politely ask.
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  #7  
Old 08-24-2013, 04:06 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
Asking about the "number attending" is equivalent to "and guests". Put her down.
The online response form may have a default drop down menu and its is not customized for each invitee. Some may be invited as couples, singles or whole families.

You can't assume based on a drop down menu.

Last edited by IvoryTowerDenizen; 08-24-2013 at 04:06 PM..
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  #8  
Old 08-24-2013, 04:10 PM
apollonia apollonia is offline
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If your name isn't on the invitation, you're not invited. Her name is not on the invitation, she is not invited.

You can:
A) Call and ask "Hey, can I bring my girlfriend?" but the host will be miffed at being put on the spot, and is faced with either saying "Sure!" and adding another plate, or looking rude and saying "No."
B) Not attend, and do something with your girlfriend instead.
C) Attend alone.

Those are pretty much your options. And honestly, does your gf even want to go? I wouldn't want to go to the wedding of a not-particularly-close ex-work-friend of my husband's. Anyway, I'm reasonably certain that the online RSVP has a form set up that way so that people who are in groups (invitation addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Fielding, how many are attending, 1--Mrs. Fielding has a family reunion or whatever, or invitation addressed to The Patel Family who consists of five members, but only three will be attending because Mr. and Mrs. Patel don't want to bring their two youngest to a boring wedding or whatever) will have the option.

Also, very traditional wedding etiquette holds that a couple must be invited places as a couple once they are married or in an equivalent-to-married relationship. While I would argue that it's a little weird to do so and yet issue an e-RSVP instead of paper cards, it may be that someone Very Very Traditional is holding sway here.
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  #9  
Old 08-24-2013, 04:20 PM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is online now
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I feel like weddings are more comfortable when attended as a couple. I would inquire even if it is slightly awkward assuring them you understand if the guest list is limited. Whatever the outcome you can make the call.
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  #10  
Old 08-24-2013, 05:53 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Skip the wedding, send a gift. Your SO was not invited.
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  #11  
Old 08-24-2013, 06:00 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Although I would generally agree with Shodan's interpretation, not everyone really grasps the nuances of invitation ettiquite. Tou could just call them up and ask whether bringing a guest is allowed/expected?

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  #12  
Old 08-24-2013, 06:06 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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The "how many will be attending" usually means "how many of those invited will be attending?" Like if you invite two or three people, will ALL of them attend, or only two, or just one, etc. Your girlfriend is most likely not invited. (If you have to ask, ask a family member or friend of the couple. But don't just assume she can come.)
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  #13  
Old 08-24-2013, 06:12 PM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
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Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
Skip the wedding, send a gift. Your SO was not invited.
Not that this was the question, but this is pretty much my feeling also. "Come celebrate our relationship, but you're not allowed to bring the other person in your own relationship" means I will not be attending the wedding. I don't care if it's Very Traditional or not. It's lame and rude.
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  #14  
Old 08-24-2013, 06:17 PM
LMarie LMarie is offline
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When you're not clear about something, it's always a good idea to ask before drawing a conclusion (about them being rude or whatever).

All you're out of is a question, so go for it.
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  #15  
Old 08-24-2013, 06:28 PM
jackdavinci jackdavinci is offline
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I think the invitation is ambiguous enough that you should just ask the person in charge of the invites. Phrase it more in terms of "not sure what was intended" rather than "I'd like to,change things".
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  #16  
Old 08-24-2013, 06:30 PM
Helena330 Helena330 is offline
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Originally Posted by LMarie View Post
When you're not clear about something, it's always a good idea to ask before drawing a conclusion (about them being rude or whatever).

All you're out of is a question, so go for it.
Bingo. I certainly wouldn't assume. My cousin was super-stressed before her wedding. I could certainly see her forgetting that someone had an SO, particularly someone she knew only from work or very casually.

I'd ask someone (mother or sister) besides the couple (whom I wouldn't want to put on the spot), but adding that I certainly understand if they have to limit people due to financial concerns. Better that than assuming rudeness and have that subtle boiling resentment.
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  #17  
Old 08-24-2013, 06:58 PM
sugar and spice sugar and spice is offline
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I'm another one who could see this being an oversight/mistake. It sounds like a larger wedding (since you are not closest friends but are still on the guest list), it's easier to make a mistake in a guest list of 200+. Something gets messed up in Excel, or the bride sees "Fang Doper" on the groom's list and confuses you with someone else named Fang who is single. That sort of thing. Also you're not family, you're not super close, if the couple were intentionally excluding your SO (vs just making an mistake) then they could have just not invited you either and it wouldn't be a huge deal.

Last edited by sugar and spice; 08-24-2013 at 06:58 PM..
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  #18  
Old 08-24-2013, 07:07 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is online now
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I would venture that the option to specify the number of guests is a default part of the website being used, and not because the people sending the invitations are giving you the option of adding a guest. I'd go stag (as invited), or as suggested by Oakminster, send a gift and do not attend.
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  #19  
Old 08-24-2013, 08:11 PM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is offline
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Just ask them, I don't see why its so awkward
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  #20  
Old 08-24-2013, 08:22 PM
chizzuk chizzuk is offline
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Originally Posted by Helena330 View Post
Bingo. I certainly wouldn't assume. My cousin was super-stressed before her wedding. I could certainly see her forgetting that someone had an SO, particularly someone she knew only from work or very casually.

I'd ask someone (mother or sister) besides the couple (whom I wouldn't want to put on the spot), but adding that I certainly understand if they have to limit people due to financial concerns. Better that than assuming rudeness and have that subtle boiling resentment.
Even if the SO's name was not specifically on the invitation, I've gotten plenty of invitations that said "chizzuk and Guest." So I would assume that if a +1 wasn't on there, an extra wasn't invited.
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  #21  
Old 08-24-2013, 08:55 PM
alphaboi867 alphaboi867 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fang View Post
I was invited to the wedding of two friends I've had for about 7 years, but am not particularly close with (one is a former co-worker). This is a Chinese banquet wedding if that makes a difference...
It does; Chinese wedding etiquette isn't the same as Western wedding etiquette. Nobody will give you showing up with a date a 2nd thought as long as you put an appropriate amount in the hongbao (avoid odd numbers, or anything w/ a 4 in it).
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  #22  
Old 08-24-2013, 10:51 PM
doreen doreen is offline
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I would probably still check as they aren't close friends or family , but alphaboi867 is correct. The etiquette is not the same.
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  #23  
Old 08-25-2013, 02:02 AM
48Willys 48Willys is offline
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I would call and ask. All of my friends know that I am NOT up on social niceties. If it is a wedding of folks from a different culture then mine, you betcha I will ask! For instance, I have no idea what hongbao even is, and what is up with the numerology?

Weddings are usually fun. I do not think that since I met my wife I have attended one without her. If she can not come, I do not have any reason to attend. Not even for family.

Listen to others before me. As I said, I am clueless on social issues, especially Chinese ones.


Of course you could skip it and avoid all the hassle.

OK, I looked up hongbao and it seems that, like most cultural things, it depends on where in China these folks are from. Call, and then do as they ask. Luck, 48.
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  #24  
Old 08-25-2013, 03:55 AM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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I agree that cultural norms are crucial here. For instance, if I were to have received the invite in question, I'd automatically assume that my SO was also invited - because I wouldn't think that anyone would be so rude as to imply that I would be willing to go to a party without my SO.
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  #25  
Old 08-25-2013, 04:08 AM
Sleeps With Butterflies Sleeps With Butterflies is offline
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Originally Posted by apollonia View Post
If your name isn't on the invitation, you're not invited. Her name is not on the invitation, she is not invited.

You can:
A) Call and ask "Hey, can I bring my girlfriend?" but the host will be miffed at being put on the spot, and is faced with either saying "Sure!" and adding another plate, or looking rude and saying "No."
B) Not attend, and do something with your girlfriend instead.
C) Attend alone.
I agree with this. Calling and asking is putting the person on the spot. I'd assume they invited everyone they felt they could and not second guess their decision. What if they can't afford to have more people and every person who didn't get a plus one on their invite asked to bring their SO? It would add up quick.

It's one afternoon or evening of your life. I don't understand why so many people would be so put out that if their SO wasn't invited they wouldn't go either. Unless you really want to stay and party it up you're talking about a few hours away from your partner. I can't imagine skipping something like a wedding of a friend because my SO couldn't go.
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  #26  
Old 08-25-2013, 04:18 AM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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And when you show up at the wedding, alone, and the bride greets you at the reception line and asks, "But where's [your girlfriend]?", what do you say?
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  #27  
Old 08-25-2013, 05:18 AM
Melbourne Melbourne is offline
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Or just turn up :~). Even at a traditional reception there is almost always a spare place at the reception because someone didn't turn up. If they are really traditional, they will feel they must make you welcome. Of course in that case, the bride and the mother of the bride will hate you forever... Wedding Crashers
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  #28  
Old 08-25-2013, 05:24 AM
sandra_nz sandra_nz is offline
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Traditionally, only the people named on an invitation are invited.

If you had described yourself as being close friends with them, then I might think it was an oversight. But given that you've said you're not particularly close to them, and your girlfriend has even less of a relationship with them, I'd say this was deliberate. Be pleased that you have been invited (rather than miffed that your girlfriend hasn't).

Weddings are expensive and the line has to be drawn somewhere as to who does and doesn't get invited.
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  #29  
Old 08-25-2013, 05:38 AM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is online now
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Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
I agree that cultural norms are crucial here. For instance, if I were to have received the invite in question, I'd automatically assume that my SO was also invited - because I wouldn't think that anyone would be so rude as to imply that I would be willing to go to a party without my SO.
Maybe they didn't really want you to come.
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  #30  
Old 08-25-2013, 06:30 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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I would accept and then send someone else to attend in my place. I have friends that love Chinese food, particularly free Chinese food.
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  #31  
Old 08-25-2013, 07:33 AM
Manda JO Manda JO is online now
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Originally Posted by Sleeps With Butterflies View Post

It's one afternoon or evening of your life. I don't understand why so many people would be so put out that if their SO wasn't invited they wouldn't go either. Unless you really want to stay and party it up you're talking about a few hours away from your partner. I can't imagine skipping something like a wedding of a friend because my SO couldn't go.
It depends on what you mean by "SO". If we are talking about a relationship of years, and especially one in which the couple live together, it's really odd not to invite both. A couple is a social unit, and if you are inviting one person to something purely social (as opposed to a work function), you really need to invite the couple.

Now, the same doesn't apply to someone who is seeing someone else casually. I don't think wedding-throwers have to extend the +1 to everyone. The line is blurry. But there is a line, and I don't think it would be unreasonable to be hurt if invited to a friend's wedding but told your spouse/long time SO was not welcome. If you can't invite the couple, don't invite at all.
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  #32  
Old 08-25-2013, 07:50 AM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
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Originally Posted by Sleeps With Butterflies View Post
It's one afternoon or evening of your life. I don't understand why so many people would be so put out that if their SO wasn't invited they wouldn't go either. Unless you really want to stay and party it up you're talking about a few hours away from your partner. I can't imagine skipping something like a wedding of a friend because my SO couldn't go.
For me, it's specifically weddings I feel this way about, and it's because they are all about celebrating relationships, so it seems stupid and petty to not invite people's significant others to such an event. Also, there is often dancing at weddings, and being forced to leave my usual dance partner at home does not warm me to your event. I would rather just send a gift and be done with it.
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  #33  
Old 08-25-2013, 09:25 AM
Ranger Jeff Ranger Jeff is offline
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Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
And when you show up at the wedding, alone, and the bride greets you at the reception line and asks, "But where's [your girlfriend]?", what do you say?
[Jumping up like Arnold Horshack] Oooh oooh! I know that one!! [/julah] You say "You didn't invite her!"
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  #34  
Old 08-25-2013, 09:36 AM
alphaboi867 alphaboi867 is offline
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Originally Posted by 48Willys View Post
I would call and ask. All of my friends know that I am NOT up on social niceties. If it is a wedding of folks from a different culture then mine, you betcha I will ask! For instance, I have no idea what hongbao even is, and what is up with the numerology?...
The Chinese word for 4 sounds like the word for death and odd amounts of money are only given at funerals.
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  #35  
Old 08-25-2013, 09:57 AM
kayaker kayaker is online now
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You should attend alone, but if caught in a utility closet with the maid of honor, use your SO's non invite as an excuse for your behavior.
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  #36  
Old 08-25-2013, 01:33 PM
Andy L Andy L is offline
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Originally Posted by Fang View Post
I was invited to the wedding of two friends I've had for about 7 years, but am not particularly close with (one is a former co-worker). This is a Chinese banquet wedding if that makes a difference. They know my girlfriend too, she's not really friends with them (not that she doesn't get along with them, but my main socialization with them is either at work-related things or something like a party where I would invite everybody), but they are aware that we are in a committed long-term relationship. The envelope has my name on it, but not hers or a "guest" listing. The RSVP is online-only, but has an entry for "How many will be attending", up to 6. Normally, I would say, "Well I guess she's not invited", chalking it up as being a bit rude, but the online RSVP thing makes me think maybe I can say I'm bringing her as my guest, and not putting her on the invite was just an oversight or implicit. Obviously it would be awkward to ask them directly. What do you guys think?
Back when my wife and I got married, we invited a friend of our from college, who gave me a call because she was in a similar situation to yours - she had a long-term boyfriend that she was living with. If we had known that our friend was in such a relationship, we would have made the invitation out to both of them, so we appreciated being contacted, and we let our friend know that her boyfriend was invited. I suppose we were put a little on the spot by the question, but it wasn't a big deal as I recall.
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  #37  
Old 08-25-2013, 04:44 PM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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1) Chinese wedding banquets are enormously expensive per head and
2) They are also long, and you don't want to be there without someone whose company you enjoy.

Call someone and ask.
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  #38  
Old 08-25-2013, 05:57 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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You don't need to ask. "How many attending? Up to six" means you are welcome to bring six people with you. And this is an Asian occasion. Asians expect extra people to show up. That's part of the celebration.

Last edited by Acsenray; 08-25-2013 at 05:58 PM..
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  #39  
Old 08-25-2013, 06:17 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
You don't need to ask. "How many attending? Up to six" means you are welcome to bring six people with you. And this is an Asian occasion. Asians expect extra people to show up. That's part of the celebration.
It was on a website. It was probably a generic menu. I don't think you can make that assumption.
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Old 08-25-2013, 06:47 PM
doreen doreen is offline
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
You don't need to ask. "How many attending? Up to six" means you are welcome to bring six people with you. And this is an Asian occasion. Asians expect extra people to show up. That's part of the celebration.
Except for one thing- it's entirely possible that two second or third generation Asian-Americans getting married in a Western country might have a Chinese banquet but use American etiquette for the invitations. TBH, I don't remember being invited to any Chinese style weddings ( and my husband is Chinese) that required an RSVP of any type , so I'd say at the very least it's a mixture.


Oh, and in "Number Attending" with a drop down menu on a website is equivalent to
"Number Attending __" on a printed invitation. It doesn't mean you fill in whatever number you can fit in the space. It's a way to inform the host how many of the people invited on this invitation will attend- if only two people were invited, the maximum number of attendees is 3. If another invitation goes to a couple and their four children, there may be 6 attendees , as six were invited.

Last edited by doreen; 08-25-2013 at 06:48 PM..
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  #41  
Old 08-25-2013, 07:07 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
And when you show up at the wedding, alone, and the bride greets you at the reception line and asks, "But where's [your girlfriend]?", what do you say?
"Oh, I'm sorry, she couldn't make it." (Of course, the OP will be RSVP-ing, letting them know that he's attending, so they'll know ahead of time she won't be there)

Weddings are expensive -- ask a third party. But do NOT simply assume she's invited, or put the bride on the spot by asking her.

It only has your name, not her's, nor does it say, "and guest". Remember what they say about assuming? She's not invited.
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  #42  
Old 08-25-2013, 07:35 PM
Kaio Kaio is offline
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If these were CLOSE friends, I'd politely ask if it was an oversight.

Given that you pointedly say you are not close with them, I think it's safe to think that they invited who they intended to invite. Every wedding has a limit on the number of guests, and while I think it's a bit rude to invite someone and not their long-term partner (if you two are that far down on the list, they can invite neither of you in favor of another uncle, or something), it would be much more rude to assume your GF was invited without an explicit invitation having been extended to her.
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  #43  
Old 08-25-2013, 07:48 PM
MLS MLS is offline
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Your GF was not invited. It would be rude for her to attend.

I don't see the big deal about attending without a "date." What, you can't be apart for an evening? Really?

(1) It's OK to talk to, even dance with, someone you're not in a relationship with. Plenty of men don't like to dance and are perfectly OK with their SO dancing with someone else.

(2) At the Chinese wedding I went to years ago, there wasn't any dancing. About a million courses of food, but no dancing.
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  #44  
Old 08-26-2013, 03:55 AM
bengangmo bengangmo is offline
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Originally Posted by alphaboi867 View Post
It does; Chinese wedding etiquette isn't the same as Western wedding etiquette. Nobody will give you showing up with a date a 2nd thought as long as you put an appropriate amount in the hongbao (avoid odd numbers, or anything w/ a 4 in it).
If its a traditional Chinese occasion - every one I've been to the tables are sat at 10 to a table, with communal style dishes.

One extra person isn't usually a problem (just pull an extra chair to the table and squeeze a bit) BUT - if two or three at the table bring an extra, then it becomes an issue
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  #45  
Old 08-26-2013, 08:16 AM
yellowjacketcoder yellowjacketcoder is offline
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Just chiming in - It would never occur to me that significant others were NOT invited. Bring her along and mark '2' for attending.
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  #46  
Old 08-26-2013, 09:05 AM
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As someone putting together a wedding invitation list right now - if your name isn't on the invitation, you are not invited. There aren't many people on our list without partners, but we've made sure we know everyone's status. No SOs were left off on purpose.

But I could see others making a mistake or assuming wrong, or possibly inviting spouses but not significant others. The general rule is if you have any doubts, ask before assuming.
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  #47  
Old 08-26-2013, 10:50 AM
Sahirrnee Sahirrnee is offline
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If her name is not in the invitation she is not invited. That they have met her and know you are in a long term relationship and still excluded her is IMO rude.
If I couldn't invite both halves of a couple then I would invite neither.

It could be an oversight on their part but since they have met her in other social situations then I think it is a snub. Perhaps they have a single woman in mind they would like to introduce to you?

I think what causes confusion though is, some of us will follow the rules of etiquette to the letter and others won't. Life would be a lot easier if everybody knew the rules and played by them.
It's why some of us get upset over things like including gift registries with the invitations and asking guests to contribute to the honeymoon fund. It's not just that it's crass but it also starts bending the rules which causes this kind of confusion.
You don't know who is following the rules and who is more relaxed about them.
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  #48  
Old 08-26-2013, 01:13 PM
Foxy40 Foxy40 is offline
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I have to say that I am very surprised at the people saying so matter of factly that they would just bring her or write "2" in the box for number attending. If her name isn't on the invitation or "and guest" she isn't invited. Sure, it could be an oversight but do you really want to put the host/hostess on the spot by asking? Weddings can be expensive and a plus one could add a couple of hundred dollars to the cost of the affair. I wouldn't presume or even ask but go alone or send a gift.
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  #49  
Old 08-26-2013, 01:21 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: North Shore of LI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowjacketcoder View Post
Just chiming in - It would never occur to me that significant others were NOT invited. Bring her along and mark '2' for attending.
Please don't ever just do that. No.
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  #50  
Old 08-26-2013, 01:27 PM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxy40 View Post
Sure, it could be an oversight but do you really want to put the host/hostess on the spot by asking?
If my committed long-term partner is left off the invitation? Yes, I do.
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