Dinner Party Etiquette: Guest Behavior

There is a right way to do things even when you are the one attending the event. As a guest there are some rules you should follow to prevent being that person at the dinner party or any other event for that matter. From what you should do if you’re running late, to not being too early, we will cover all of the little things you need to know to make sure you’re on your best behavior.

Photo Credit: Scott Clark Photo

Do Not Arrive Early

This is a huge issue for me because I don’t like to be late. I find myself being there TOO early and need this tip for my own sake. A dinner party is the one exception where you don’t need to be early. Give the host every minute until the party starts to do whatever it is they need to do. The last thing they need is to be distracted and/or feel pressure because you were the over achiever who couldn’t wait to come. (Me again). If you have to sit in your car until the exact start time that is perfectly acceptable. Just don’t be early.

Running Late?

In the event that you are running late, definitely let the hosts know. Don’t text them every couple of minutes to give them a play by play especially because at this point you’re already late and they should be focusing on hosting. Give a general estimate of the time you think you should arrive by and do your very best to get there. If you are going to be really  late, definitely encourage the host to continue without because it isn’t fair to make those who arrived on time wait.

Plus One

NEVER, EVER bring someone if they are not invited and/or you did not clear it with the host. It is absolutely inappropriate to assume that it is okay for you bring another guest. If you bring another person without letting the host know it creates a really awkward vibe; the host could have planned for 10 and you show up with an extra person making it 11. It could totally offset everything the host had planned. If it is important for you to come with someone always ask, never assume.

Should I Bring Something?

Ask your host if he/she would like for you or the others to bring something. If they accept don’t wait until the last minute and run to the store to get a weak bottle of wine. Definitely plan ahead and make sure it’s something that could work for everyone. If the host insists on you not bringing anything don’t push it, just show up and have a great time.

New to the neighborhood? If you just moved in and you’re being invited then you should certainly bring something; simply just to say thank you for thinking of me and including me. Flowers already in a vase or a nice bottle of wine are good options especially since you won’t really be sure what the hosts likes as of yet. Also be on time but not early; good first impression right?

How Can I Help?

Unless the hosts ask for your help, don’t push the situation too much. If the host looks flustered like they need help then by all means lend a hand but it is still their event.

Thank You

The evening went great, you enjoyed yourself; new friend or old friend it is always nice to hand write a thank you note. It is so simple and it’s a really thoughtful gesture that the host will appreciate. It might be the encouragement they need to continue hosting and having you over.

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