As often as we are the host or hostess at a party, we are also in the role of being the guest. It’s easy when you’re the guest to feel like you have little responsibility for the success of the party. But if you’d like to be a guest who is always invited back for the next party, here are tips to make you the kind of good guest who is welcome at anybody’s table!
1.Respond to your invitation as soon as you know (and no later than the stated RSVP date) whether or not you can attend the party. That way your host can make plans knowing the exact number of guests who will be attending.
2. Ask if you can contribute anything to the meal such as an appetizer, side dish or dessert. The host may be relieved to have someone take charge of one of the courses for her. However, do not just bring a dish without running it by your hosts. They may be making something very similar already or your dish may clash with a carefully planned menu. Similarly, if you bring a bottle of wine as a host gift, you shouldn’t expect it to be served with the meal. The hostess may already have selected the wines to complement the meal.
3. Not a cook? Then offer to bring a table or buffet centerpiece. Once again, don’t bring this if your host has declined the offer as there may already be a specific decorating scheme planned.
4. If you have the time, offer to come a little earlier than the other guests to help with pre-party setup. But if your offer is accepted, don’t be late-your host will becounting on you.
5. Arrive at a dinner party on time. Some hostesses plan the timing of their meals very precisely, and you wouldn’t want to hold up the meal and spoil the food for everyone else.
6. When the meal is over, ask your hostess if you can help clear the table. But if the answer is “no thanks”, then just relax and leave things alone. The host may not wish for everyone to feel rushed as their plates are taken from them mid-bite.
7. If you see the host frantically cleaning in the kitchen after the meal is over, offer to help.
8. Do your part to be friendly and make conversation with other guests. You’re part of the chemistry that will make the party a success.
9. Don’t raise a conversation topic that you know will cause dissension among that particular group of guests.
10. Drink responsibly. Your host may be serving alcoholic beverages to complement the meal, but it doesn’t mean everyone should become a sloppy drunk by the end of the party. Nor does the host want any of the guests to be hit with a DWI violation, or worse, on their way home.