If you’re not sure whether or not to go to an event, your decision may depend on who else is invited. Almost no one wants to admit this openly, but everyone knows this feeling.
Asking the question can be awkward because you don’t know how this will be received by the host. To get a feel for how this question is generally perceived, we asked randomly selected people about this.
Is It Rude to Ask Who Else Is Invited?
Our survey of 102 U.S. citizens found that 33% of respondents thought it was rude to ask who else was invited. The majority of 67% did not perceive this as a problem.
Let’s get to understand the justifications for the two responses.
Why It’s Rude to Ask Who Else Is Invited
It exhibits a feeling of entitlement
It’s rude to ask who else is invited because it shows that it needs convincing for you to accept the invitation.
If you’re having a conversation with the host of an event and he invites you to the meeting, it will sound rude to ask about the other people invited.
The idea that comes to the mind of the person inviting you is that you want to know who else is coming so that you choose to accept the invitation or not. This comes out as rude because the event you’re being invited to isn’t yours. You’re just being invited just like any other person. You don’t have the right or entitlement to ask such a question.
If a person is not okay with an invitation, it’s better to decline respectfully without inquiring about other guests.
It shows a lack of appreciation
It’s also rude to ask the above question as it shows a lack of appreciation. It takes respect and honor for someone to invite you to a function or meeting. The honorable thing to do after an invite is to appreciate the gesture and then proceed to either accept or decline the offer.
If you’re being invited through a text message and the first thing you do is to ask whether so and so is also invited is rude. For example, if you receive a text message inviting you to be among the guests in a fundraising drive and your reply is “Who else is invited?” it doesn’t sound courteous.
The person inviting you may not take it lightly, especially if they were expecting a different reply. The person inviting you would have expected a reply along the lines of:
“Thank you for the invite. Please allow me to respond to you in a day or two.”
It’s important to show appreciation rather than asking questions that sound impolite.
It shows a negative attitude
You will come out as a person with a negative attitude if you ask about the invite status of other people after receiving yours. According to a 2006 article by ResearchGate, courtesy will always raise your status in regard to communication. 
The person inviting you will appreciate it if you expressed a positive attitude towards the invite instead of asking about who else is invited or not.
According to the host, it is better if you inquire more about the event rather than asking about individuals.
For example, you can ask something like:
“Is there a dress code”
“What time does the event begin?”
These are inquiries that won’t raise questions about your attitude towards the event.
Why It’s Not Rude to Ask Who Else Is Invited
It could be just a casual talk
It won’t sound as rude to ask who else is invited if you do it in a casual way that doesn’t offend someone.
If you’re talking to someone you know or a close friend and then ask, it may not be a problem at all. The person is likely to think that you’re asking without any bad motive.
Also, the tone in which you’re asking the question will determine whether it’s rude or not. If you ask in a harsh tone, the person listening to you will see you as a rude person.
However, if you keep your tone friendly, the question you ask will appear friendly as well. So, if you have to ask the question of who else was invited, try and ask in a good way to avoid misinterpretation.
It could show an interest in the invitation
Asking about other persons invited could show a person’s interest in the event or function. One could be asking so as to have a picture of how the event will be. If you look at the question critically, you’ll find that the persons asking don’t have an ill motive. All they want is to have a mental picture of how the event would turn out.
It’s obvious that the people who come to an event have the likelihood of determining how colorful it will be. So, if a person is genuinely asking about other invitees, it shows that they have an interest in the event.
The tone and body language have to be friendly to avoid sounding rude.
For preparation purposes
A person may be asking about other people invited to an event for purposes of preparing for it. This is especially helpful if the invitation was extended at very short notice.
You may want to know whether there will be dignitaries coming so as to know how to conduct yourself or set things up for the event. If this is the case, it is not rude at all to ask.
The person you’re conversing with will understand why you had to ask about the list of other invited guests. Again, as you ask the question, be sure to maintain the right tone and attitude to avoid misinterpretation.
Matt Vargas is an author and public speaking coach with a degree in sociology and more than ten years of practical experience. Matt is responsible for the empirical surveys at everyday-courtesy.com, is a passionate recreational musician, and blogs here about his experiences in the field of interpersonal communication.