better_off_redd (better_off_redd) wrote in etiquetteworld,

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Last minute business dinner invite – Inappropriate?

Hi all,


My Darling Husband & I are having a difference of opinion in regards to a situation that just came up and what is the best way for us to handle it. 


The company he works for has about 10 people visiting the US and working on a project started in their European division.  It’s Friday, a bit after 9AM here, and the department head just sent out an email inviting individuals who will be working directly with this people in this division to go to dinner together this very evening.


The timing seems incredibly odd even though we didn’t have any special plans, and career building potential kudos aside, something about it has me a bit agitated.


I have not seen the actual invitation, however when my husband informed me of it and said he would like to attend, he told me that spousal involvement was not requested or otherwise implied in the invitation. 

Yes, I did ask because business dinners are so rarely done anymore.

Here's the Rub:
In a non-business situation, I know it is typically rude or bad form to invite a married person to an event or gathering without including their spouse. 

In a business situation that is going to have to be casual due to the last minute nature…Is it considered rude or unacceptable to not invite the spouse?  Or should it be considered that the invitation of spouse is automatically implied if one is married?(I would never assume this if it was not specifically addressed in the wording of the invitation.)


If it were a luncheon, which the company does all the time, then I could more easily understand.  Lunch gatherings do not typically interfere with personal or family time. 

I’d like for him to go as I know it can only help both of us by default, but I am also struggling with my feeling that the invitation is exclusionary, and therefore rude or inappropriate.  He doesn’t think there is anything wrong with it, but he’s also a bit of a novice when it comes to etiquette.

Can anyone tell me what the correct protocol is for this type of situation?

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

*ETA = removed broken cut. :-( 

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