How to be a Great Guest and Get Invited to the Next Party!

There are many ideas for fun shindigs.  Everyone wants to be on the “must invite” list whether it be for the neighborhood BBQs, baby showers or the wedding of the year in their circle.  Here are some tips on how to be the guest everyone loves having at the party.

RSVP on time. You want to respond as soon as you receive the invitation.  The sooner your host or hostess has a more exact count on guests the sooner they can finish planning the details of their party.  If people always have to guess if you are coming until the last minute, it may be more of a hassle than not to invite you.

Stick to your RSVP. If you say you will be there, be there! Be there on time unless there is an absolute emergency.  Everyone understands that things happen but you don’t want to be that person who is always not so fashionably late, or who doesn’t show for the party. If your host feels that you are only attending their soiree if nothing better comes along, then they may not feel the need to invite you next time.

Don’t bring a plus one unless you are invited to do so. It is understandable if you have an out of town guest you can’t ditch. Call your host and decline the invitation and tell him or her why. Your host may tell you to bring your guest along or they may give their regrets.  If everyone else will know each other or your host wants to keep the gathering small, they may not invite your guest and instead accept your regrets. If you are invited to bring a guest, bring someone you know well to introduce to the rest of the group.  Do not bring anyone you know the host or hostess would never have invited.

Don’t be early. If you arrive before your host or hostess is ready to receive you it may really disturb their schedule and have them going out of their way. Arrive on time or no more than 5 to10 minutes early.

Bring a gift geared towards your host or hostess. If the people who invited you are not wine drinkers, don’t bring them wine unless you expect them to re-gift it.  Chances are they bought enough refreshments for the party so if you bring something they don’t drink normally it will probably go to waste.  Gift cards are available for a variety of stores and can be easily geared towards the tastes of your host or hostess as can countless types of gift baskets.  If all else fails ask your host if you can bring your signature dish, or if there is anything they would like you to bring for the party.  If your host or hostess has a carefully planned menu you can always offer to bring a centerpiece, napkins etc.  A vase of flowers is a great last minute gift for almost any hostess.

Drink responsibly. Just because the party has an open bar doesn’t mean you should always have an alcoholic drink in your hand.  Know your limits and if you are driving only have 1 to 2 drinks all evening.

Be sensitive to culture. If a host or hostess serves a vegan or ethnic meal and you aren’t fond of it, politely eat some anyway.  Under no circumstances should you be critical of the food.

If you are sick, cancel. This is especially important if there are small children living in your host or hostess’ home or if they are often around someone with a weakened immune system.

Special rules for extended stays:

  • If you are staying at someone’s home for an extended stay, communicate your comings and goings clearly with your host.  Also be clear about your arrival and departure dates and stick to them.
  • Try to leave a minimal footprint on their home.  Pay for your own meals, provide your own toiletries and keep your belongings wherever your host or hostess has told you to keep them. Clean your own dishes and either help out with groceries, prepare meals or both.
  • Practice good hygiene.
  • Pitch in. Offer to help prepare meals at meal times, do some extra laundry and leave things cleaner than how you found them.
  • Ask your host or hostess what the usual “lights out” time is so you don’t disturb anyone’s sleep. Also ask when the household normally rises and don’t make a lot of noise if you are up before that time.
  • Entertain yourself.  Don’t expect your host to be a constant source of entertainment.  Ask for suggestions of things you can do locally, eat out and otherwise give your host or hostess a break.  Communicate with your host or hostess in advance if you will be missing a meal, however.

Follow these simple courtesies to insure you are a welcome guest and aren’t talked about later.