So much can be said about party etiquette, I could not cover it all. Being the time of year in the northern hemisphere for outdoor entertaining, weddings, dinners, and other gatherings, I’ve had several thoughts swirling in my head about manners. Here they are in no particular order.
As a hostess:
Clean the house and tidy the party area. The guest bathroom should not have personal items sitting out.
For the duration of the party, all pets should be confined to areas of the house away from the guests.
Provide at least one raw fruit or vegetable when serving food.
Start and end the event at the stated times.
Greet each guest personally and direct them to a place to sit or mingle. Introduce guests unfamiliar with each other.
If a guest is invited to a bridal shower, they should be invited to the wedding as well. Typically one invites fewer, closer friends to the shower and more people to the wedding.
It is considered best form that the bridal or baby shower be given by a friend, not a relative, of the recipient.
As a guest:
Respond promptly to invitations, letting your hostess know if you must arrive late or leave early.
If you are uncertain whether or not children are included in the invitation, find out ahead of time.
Always bring a gift and card to events such as birthday or anniversary celebrations, showers, and weddings.
Bring a thank you note written beforehand to give to your hostess after a dinner party or luncheon.
Do not feel obligated to attend functions given by distant relatives or acquaintances around whom you don’t feel comfortable.
Never invite others to an event that you received an invitation for. If you are invited to an event by another guest and not the hostess, do not accept.
If you are invited to a dinner, do not offer to bring any food. A bottle of wine is acceptable if you wish to bring a hostess gift, but be sure you know the preferences of the hosting family.
If your hostess asks you for your family’s eating preferences or allergy information, answer honestly. It is crushing to be told that a family “eats anything” and then watch them pick apart and eventually throw away the dinner one prepared.
That’s all I can think of for now, based on my interesting and mostly enjoyable experiences the past few weeks. What are your thoughts on proper party manners? How do you go out of your way to be a gracious, considerate hostess or guest?
Thank you for reading The Well Bred Woman in Progress!