The holiday seasons are quickly approaching and parties, dinners and get-togethers will soon fill our calendars for the next several weeks. Whether you have a standing invitation, or get a formal invite, good guests really make or break a party, here’s six ways to make sure you’re a welcome addition:
- Be sure to RSVP
Make sure you tell your host or hostess if you will be attending. Especially if they have specifically asked you to do so, and even more, by a certain date. Try to do so immediately. If you delay your reply, you could hinder the host’s planning and also make it seem as if you’re waiting for something better to come along. Even if no RSVP has been requested, it’s thoughtful to thank your host for the invitation and let him know if you can be there or not.
- Don’t Be Late
Punctuality means different things to people. This one thing can really make or break how a hostess or host feels about you coming. Being late suggests that their time and planning isn’t important to you, so in general guests should arrive at or shortly after the time stated on the invitation, but no later than 15 minutes. Do not, however, arrive early, because the hostess or host is usually preparing last minute details and wont have time to greet you properly. If you will be seriously late, call your host with an ETA so she won’t worry.
A gift for your host or hostess is a lovely way to thank them for their hospitality and is always appreciated. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive; simply consider the nature of the occasion when making your choice. If it’s the first time you’re visiting someone’s home, then it’s a very nice gesture to bring a small gift. If you have a few extra minutes to wrap it, even if you only use tissue or a decorative bag, it adds to the gesture. Be sure to read the whole post I wrote on hostess gifts HERE.
- Be A Willing Participant
When your host says that it’s time for dinner, go straight to the table. Don’t make your host or hostess have to ask you more than once to come, it’s rude and makes it seem like you need a “personal invitation.” Be sure to keep your phone turned off or on silent, and dis-engage for the night. Staring at a cell phone while people are trying to have a conversation with you is extremely rude to your hostess and the other guests. If you’re asked to participate in a party game or view Susie’s graduation pictures, accept graciously and enthusiastically no matter how you really feel. Nobody wants to be around someone negative and unwilling to play along.
- Offer to Help if You Can
Be sure to offer help and don’t be too vague with your suggestion. If you’re visiting with the hostess in the kitchen as she prepares the food, be specific when you offer to help: “I’d be happy to prep the salad or fill the water glasses.” Even if your offer is refused, your gesture will be appreciated. Don’t forget to offer to clean up when the party is slowing down. “May I clear the plates or take out the trash?” Your offer will go a long way, and it will make the hostess feel like she’s not alone.
- Don’t Overeat, Don’t over-indulge
Attacking finger foods as if you haven’t eaten in a week will not only attract the wrong kind of attention, it will also leave less food for other guests. Same goes for the main meal, moderation is the name of the game. That’s why there’s leftovers, so you can eat heavy at home.😉
- Thank your host, enthusiastically
Always thank your hostess when you say your good-byes. Be sure to be enthusiastic and meaningful about it. Thank them for a lovely day, a lovely meal, and lovely conversation. A second thank you by phone the day after the party is also a gracious gesture. If you want to take it yet a step further, a written note is always appreciated—even after casual parties.