The etiquette of party going changes dramatically after leaving college. From hoping you know the kid working the front door so you don’t have to pay for your cup to stressing over the bottle of wine you’ll bring to your boss’ party. I can honestly say there is definitely a change of pace to the “parties” that we now attend as young professionals. After college, arriving fashionably late is no longer fashionable and once at the party, the people who watch you “drop it like it’s hot” sign your paychecks. There are some things we need to remember when being a “party go-er”. So here are some quick tips on being a gracious host and guest!
Make sure the invite is clear and that you have all the necessary information. You want people to know what the dress code is because we all like to be prepared. You want people to know if it’s dinner or light hors d’oeuvres. One example of “clear” is if your Halloween party is a costume party or if your New Year’s party is cocktail attire.
Plan and Prep. Prepare you guest list so it covers everyone you want to invite. Food and alcohol are the next obstacle. Make sure that you have food that will be easy to make and serve and have the alcohol ready to drink. So, the mixed drinks are mixed and the alcohol that needs to be chilled is cold. Also, allow the flow of the rooms to be easy and accessible. People navigate towards the food so have it throughout the house. Lastly have everything ready by the time the first guest arrives, you want to ENJOY the party.
Everyone stay calm. Hosting a party can either be stressful or enjoyable depending on your approach. Your guests don’t want to feel as though they are an inconvenience. DO NOT clean up while people are still in your home like picking up garbage or wiping down tables. If you need extra help before or after the party, to make sure everything goes off without a hitch, then do so! But never let ’em see you sweat!
Put your guests on a pedestal. Everyone should have a proper and warm greeting. Make sure you look after everyone, someone running low on a drink offer to get them a refill. “The keg’s in the corner” no longer is appropriate. You need to also make sure that your guests are mingling. Never have someone feel uncomfortable, to the point where they are standing alone. As the host it is your job to make sure everyone is having a good time.
Express your thanks. Thank those who came and make sure there is an additional thanks to those who brought a gift.
As the guest:
Always RSVP. When you receive an invitation do not hold anyone up by waiting to respond. It might hold up the host’s plans or it might even seem like you are waiting for something better to come along. Even if there is not an RSVP on the invite, call/ text/ tweet the host to let them know you will 100% be in attendance. It is just polite.
You want to be a gracious guest. If the host calls for dinner, get up immediately and head to the table. If you are asked watch a Kindergarten Christmas concert or play a full game of Monopoly do it in an enthusiastic manner! Make your host feel at ease because they are already worrying if everyone is having fun. There is nothing more stressful then having someone seem like they are not having fun.
Offering help doesn’t go unnoticed! Be specific when offering help because if you have a frantic host they might not respond well to “what can I help with?” Instead say let me get the dessert ready or I will pour the wine. More often then not you’ll get refused but the host will be extremely thankful for the offer. As the night ends, offer help to cleanup because we all hate that end of the night cleaning spree.
Don’t be the guy hovering in the corner over the chicken wing dip! Also don’t eat like you haven’t seen food in 3 weeks. There is nothing more awkward for people then watching someone devour through the food. Then, there is the even more embarrassing “too much alcohol” guest. Don’t be that person either, you’ll regret it in the morning or whenever you sober up. For the most part you will be with a more intimate group so you will stick out like a sore thumb if you had one too many.
Always be thankful. Thank the host when leaving and even call the next day! Your host will be so happy for the appreciation. I love a good hand written note so try even sending a thank you to your host!
Between both parties LEAVE THE PHONE AT HOME! Enjoy the company that is in front of you. Don’t know a lot of people, that’s fine but don’t bury your nose in a game of Flappy Bird. Introduce yourself and make connections! As a host don’t be rude by seeming uninterested in the conversation and company around you. Everyone came together, so relish in the love around you!
Let’s hear your party tips! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
So, until next time,