It’s Friday night and it's time for the dreaded meet-the-parents dinner — yes, the parents of the girlfriend/boyfriend you’ve been dating for a few months now. Your mind is spinning. Are wine or flowers appropriate gifts? What about candles or soaps? What's the best attire? What are go-to topics of discussion? Relax, there are answers to all of these questions.
Depending on the occasion, different rules apply for guests. Take a wedding, for example. Black tie — is that suggested or mandatory? What about wedding presents — envelope or box? Should you bring a date, no date, or a family member? Where is the line between having a great time and having too much to drink?
Whether it’s a barbecue, a house-warming, a wedding, or any of life’s special moments in between, it's important for guests to know the rules before committing a serious party guest faux pas and being remembered as "that guy/girl who (insert embarrassing action here) at so-and-so’s party."
It all starts and ends with a little thing called RSVP.
Get prepped for different types of parties — work parties, family parties, small dinners, kids’ parties, etc. — by RSVP'ing early, asking if there is anything to help with, and remembering to be appreciative.
There are many opportunities to fail miserably at a wedding, both as a host and guest. As a guest, however, there are some guidelines to follow to make sure that doesn’t happen. Dress appropriately, throw on dancing shoes, and get ready to have a good time — even if that means sitting at the singles table.
Just a few for preview: don’t be too loud, don’t bring a guest without asking, and please, please, please think before you speak in front of the hosts and other guests, whether they're old friends or new acquaintances.
Gentlemen, listen up. Let’s be honest and admit that men can get a little rough around the edges — especially when together in groups. Since the setting won’t always be a guy’s night, take a cue on table manners from someone who knows — one of your own kind.
Traveling abroad? Be prepared for different customs and table manners across the pond with these surprising mannerisms.