How to Be the Perfect Party Guest

It all begins with the RSVP
Staff Writer
1950's Holiday Party

Art of Manliness

1950's Holiday Party

The season for parties is currently in full swing. For a party guest, the event is a chance to kick back and have a good time. But for the host, throwing a party can be a stressful endeavor. A host must worry about the decorations, the food, the entertainment, and whether their guests are getting along, having a good time, and behaving themselves. Take one worry off the host’s list by being a winning and polite guest. Not only will you help your friend’s event be a success, you’ll find more invitations to parties in your mailbox.

When it comes to being a perfect party guest, always, always, RSVP. “RSVP” stands for “Répondez s’il vous plaît,” French for “please respond.” When you receive an invitation that asks you to RSVP, the host or hostess is kindly requesting that you let them know whether or not you will be attending their function.

Today, the RSVP has come to be seen as optional. Some believe you only need to call if you are coming, some think you only need to call if you are not coming, and some do not think you have to call either way. Sometimes RSVP’ing is avoided because you do not want to face the awkwardness of telling someone you are not coming and making up an excuse about why.

However, not RSVP’ing is rather rude. The host or hostess needs to know how to plan his or her party — picking the proper venue to accommodate a certain number of guests, the proper amount of party supplies, and perhaps most importantly, the right amount of food to serve the guests. By not RSVP’ing, you keep your host completely in the dark as they attempt to prepare for their function. The host is forced to guess and may then buy too much or too little food, causing them to overspend or experience embarrassment, respectively. On that note, do not RSVP and then pull a no-show. You'll earn a reputation as a flake.

If you cannot attend an event, simply express to the host your appreciation for the invitation and then apologize and say that you unfortunately have other plans (even if it’s a date with the couch). If you do not like the host (and this may be why you are not attending the party in the first place), simply tell them you're busy and leave it at that. 

The Art of Manliness is a blog dedicated to uncovering the lost art of being a man.

Click here for tips on what to bring and what not to do at dinner or cocktail parties.

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