There seem to be countless tips on how to be the perfect host or hostess these days — from how to concoct the perfect menu to how to set the perfect table — but what about how to be the perfect party guest? Although it is easy to forget, being a guest requires etiquette, as the host deserves respect for the efforts they’ve put into throwing a party for your enjoyment.
Here are five quick tips to always follow when attending a party. Whether it is a backyard BBQ or fancy dinner party, keep these tips in the back of your mind the next time you are welcomed into someone else’s home, and you’ll always be welcomed back again.
1. Give a clear answer if you’re coming or not: RSVP as soon as possible. You’ll come off as reliable and the host will be relieved to begin planning appropriate serving amounts.
2. Bring a gift: It doesn’t have to be fancy or lavish, but bringing along a box of chocolates or fine cheese is sweet and generous. Bonus: If you’re sending flowers, have them sent a day in advance with a card so the host can place them on the table before the party.
3. Never arrive early: While showing up late is also a no-no, showing up 30 minutes early is an inconvenience to your host who will be bound with meal preparation and will suddenly stress about having to entertain you.
4. Be gracious: This seems obvious, but always have the host’s needs in mind as well as your own. Don’t wander around the kitchen getting in everyone’s way, and if asked what you would like to drink, try simply replying, "Whatever’s easiest."
5. Don’t touch the TV remote: Or the music, and absolutely not the computer. Just because you were told to make yourself at home, don’t actually do so. The setting of the party is the host’s business, and you should simply enjoy and not edit.