Get It Together People! Party Etiquette That Will Keep You on the Guest List

I know I’ve personally stopped inviting certain individuals to my parties and events because they don’t seem to work well with either my theme or they have missed the mark on general party etiquette. Don’t let that be you.

1. Don’t Arrive Early

Throw out everything they taught you in grade school about being on time. Parties are the exception to the rules (unless it’s a special dinner where punctuality has been expressed). Chances are your host has been counting down the minutes until the start time and they always need about 15 minutes to decompress after preparation, plate those last appetizers, or just throw on their party ensemble. If you arrive early, expect to be a part of the help all night. To reiterate, arrive 15 -20 after the start time and your host will always love you.

2. No unexpected guests (No plus one)

If you know your host or hostess is all about plated dinners, don’t bring uninvited guests before asking. Beyond the plated dinner, bringing unexpected guests can throw off the balance of an intimate event when the host may have only wanted her closest friends or couples. A quick call or text to the host asking if their event is open to additional guests will give them a heads up and an opportunity to decide if they want to add another individual to the guest list.  

3. If necessary un RSVP yourself 

There’s nothing worse than planning a sit down plated meal and everyone is waiting on one more individual to arrive. If you can’t make it, you usually know at least a day or more in advance. Be sure to let the host/hostess know so that they can open this spot to someone else or plan their menu and portions accordingly.

4. Don’t arrive empty handed

Unless that is the request. There are a number of opportunities to contribute to the party whether it’s picking up some fancy salts from Whole Foods Market or bringing that bottle of wine. In fact, Your Stylish Ways has 8 gift ideas that will make your hostess squeal.

5. Adhere to the Dress Code

When someone plans a party and takes the time to include a dress code, it means they want their event to exude a certain feeling or ambiance. Most events and soirees don’t have dress codes, but when they do you should follow the request of the host. This will ensure that you aren’t sticking out like a sore thumb, or that you’re not asked to leave or step out of the group photo because you aren’t dressed appropriately.

6. Don’t spend the whole night together

This goes for couples and friends that attend parties together. It’s important to meet and mingle with new people and if you’re glued together all evening, you never know what you might miss. Be sure to take at least 30 minutes to step away from each other and meet a new friend, assist the host or ear hustle in someone else’s conversation. You’ll be glad you did because it will give you something else to discuss at the end of the night during debrief.

Jamila Taylor

World traveler, strategic planner, stylist, and food enthusiast. Jamila loves to travel the world tasting new flavors, and exploring local cultures. When she's not traveling on her magic carpet she's helping small businesses through her boutique consulting firm, Enjoy the Day Consulting. Follow her travels @justjamila

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