I love planning events. Bringing people together makes me happy!
Everything from choosing a theme to researching venues, creating a menu, deciding on décor and sending out invitations excites me! No two events are ever the same and that’s what makes it even more interesting.
Now that the holidays are underway, you should be getting invitations to holiday parties left and right – in the mail, via text, online or even in person.
What do you do when you get these invitations? You can bet I do a little happy dance!
If you love attending events but aren’t always sure what to do when you get an invite, keep reading to find out how you can be the next best guest.
If you said you could care less; well this blog post isn’t for you. You can stay home by yourself while we all party like it’s 1999!
How to be the Best Guest
I’ve hosted and attended a variety of events, enough to be comfortable sharing a few tips with you on how you can be the best guest ever, before, during and after the festivities.
Let’s get this party started!
Before the party you want to practice the 3 C’s!
People put a lot of time into planning events. And if you’ve received an invitation they thought you were special enough to be invited.
Be courteous by always thanking people who extend an invitation to you whether you are able to attend or not.
You won’t hurt their feelings if you truly can’t attend, but you may just piss them off if you don’t say anything at all. They won’t always tell you but you’ll feel the tension.
Take it a step further and be considerate of their time and resources.
When you RSVP ASAP you let people know that you care and appreciate the hard work they put into hosting a party. In order to serve guests, your host needs to have a good idea of how many people are coming to their party. It’s best to RSVP early on or by their requested reply date so they can prepare ahead of time.
Eventbrite is one of my favorite tools to use when hosting events. It’s the largest invitation and self-service ticketing platform that helps you easily keep track of guests with their event planning software. I’m so excited to share this fun and simple graphic about RSVP Etiquette they sent me.
Pay close attention to that flowchart! Keep it handy for the next time you receive an invite.
Most invitations will be crystal clear about what to expect. However, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to communicate them to your host.
Some things you might want to ask are…
- What should I wear?
- Can I help with anything?
- Can I bring a guest?
- Are kids, or dogs, allowed?
- I have to see if I can get off work for your party, can I let you know a by [insert date here]?
- Or I’ll be late is that okay?
Now, for more formal events, I think you’ll have all the info you need to answer these questions.
For example, if your wedding invite doesn’t indicate a plus 1, then plan on going solo. The budget for this event is set, so don’t bother asking. It’s just the way it is.
And please, don’t just assume you can bring more people to the party. More people, means more money that your host may or may not have.
I will say there are exceptions to some rules. If you’re going to a casual dinner party that your friend is hosting, I’d say ask away. It doesn’t hurt. Just make sure that guest isn’t her ex-boyfriend! That’s just wrong.
During the party continue practicing the 3 C’s!
Yes, here we go again. Thank them again for inviting you to the party. Host gifts are not required but are a nice way of saying that you are happy to be there.
If you’ve brought a host gift, hand it to them then when you arrive. My personal go to is a bottle of wine. It just depends on what your host likes and the type of party they’re throwing. Other ideas are potted plants, coffee or tea, seasonal candles or a yummy dessert. Whatever it is, keep it classy!
If you arrive a bit early or are the first one to arrive, ask if you could help with anything. If they are more comfortable with you making yourself at home, respect their wishes.
Don’t pack food before the party is over! One thing I see all too often at parties are people taking food to go when the party isn’t even over yet. Don’t do this. Be considerate of other guests who are still eating and have yet to arrive.
When the party is coming to an end, feel free to lend a hand for cleanup if you can. This is something I tend to do. If they won’t let you clean, you can at least keep them company.
Again, be sure to gauge if they want the company or are just exhausted and want to go to bed.
When other guests begin to trickle in say hello, mingle and introduce yourself. Don’t hide in the corner or wait for your host to entertain you. They will eventually get to you.
If you get stuck ask people questions and listen with intent. Asking how they know the host is a good place to start.
Use your phone sparingly. Don’t be on it all the time. Yes, use it for photos and checking in with others, but I beg you, please don’t be on it perusing the whole time. It’s kind of rude.
After the party the cycle continues and those 3 C’s still come in handy!
Send a quick thank you note, email or text! Share your favorite moments from the party. Give your host props for their mad party planning skills.
Be sure to invite the host and their family to your next party! It’s only fair.
Send out your invitations in a timely matter. See? The cycle continues.
Follow these simple and somewhat common sense rules and you’ll definitely be the best holiday guest this season and at every event you attend.
Remember, the host is serving you, and service is one of the biggest ways to show others you love and care about them. Think about this the next time you’re invited to a party or host one of your own.
How do you make sure you’re the best guest at every party? Leave a comment below!