Did you know that wandering around the house uninvited, drinking before you arrive, and forgetting to bring a bottle of wine to your host means that you’re being a terrible party guest? OK… maybe terrible is a bit of an exaggeration, but it does mean that you’re being a little bit rude, and that’s not a good look.
In many cases, it’s actually a good thing to arrive 10–15 minutes early. But when you’re going to a party at someone else’s home, it’s actually considered quite rude in the U.S. Your host may be doing last-minute party prep, putting together an outfit, or quickly cleaning the home. Your host may need those precious few moments before the soiree kicks off.
Everyone’s a critic these days. So if the food is a little bland, the décor a little tacky, or the music a little too loud, you have every right to say so to a fellow guest, right? Wrong! Keep your negative thoughts to yourself.
It may seem old-fashioned to bring a bottle of wine, small seasonal token, or fun little kitchen gadget to your guest as a thanks for having you over. But take a note from the Canadians and know you should always bring a little something for your friend.
We love an open bar and glass (or three) of wine as much as the next person, but be sure to watch your alcohol intake at any party. You don’t want to embarrass yourself or your host by dancing on the tabletops, do you?
Maybe the person who has invited you over is the only person you know at the party you’re attending, but they know everyone who’s there! Say hi to your host, be sure to engage them in a short conversation, but then know you need to let them visit with others as well. Mingle around the party, make small talk, and meet new people! You could make a new friend or two in the process.
Some hosts are totally cool with you bringing along a bunch of buddies, but many are not. You’ll know the host of your party and the type of soiree best, but it’s better to assume that your invitation is for you alone unless specifically stated otherwise. Even calling in advance to ask whether or not you can bring along another person puts your host in an awkward spot, so just don’t do it.
The first sign of a bad toast: making a proclamation when you’re not asked to. We get it. After a few brews, saluting your friends on another trip around the sun, an anniversary, or promotion may sound like a good idea. But it isn’t.
You may think that your host’s choice of country music is as lame as can be and that some Katy Perry might really get the party going, but it isn’t your party. Unlink your Bluetooth from your host’s speakers and enjoy the atmosphere as is. That means don’t turn the music up or down, too.
The best party guests help their hosts out. If you see your host setting out food, ask to assist. If people are spilling drinks on the table, mop up a little bit. Don’t get in anyone’s way and don’t insist upon helping, but it’s good to at least ask.
Don’t propose at a wedding. Don’t announce your upcoming adoption at a baby shower. Don’t talk about your insane birthday party while someone else blows out the candles. Save your own big news for another day.
Remember how you’re not supposed to get too drunk at a party? That starts before the party even does. Don’t drink before you even reach your final destination. Nothing good can come of it.
Did you know you need to RSVP within 24 hours of receiving an invitation? Yeah. You do. We know that your calendar can be crowded and life can be crazy, but try your best to let your host know whether or not you’ll be able to attend as soon as possible.
Staring at your phone may make you feel like you’re occupied when you’re feeling nervous or awkward, but it actually stresses you out even more. Beyond that, being on your phone during a social engagement implies you’d rather be somewhere else.
Don’t roll up to the party with a bag full of Tupperware. If your host offers you a plate of leftovers to take home, feel free to take them up on that! But don’t treat the buffet like your own personal grocery store.
If an area is blocked off, there’s probably a good reason for it. There may be a nervous puppy or a sleeping toddler in the room, or the room could simply be a complete and total mess! Don’t snoop around the house and don’t go through your host’s drawers and cabinets. It’s just tacky.