A Little Lesson In Party Etiquette

A Little Lesson In Party Etiquette

Although we all think we know party etiquette, in today’s modern world of Evites, Facebook events, text and email invitations, both throwing and attending a party has gotten a little tricky.  Technology has thrown some people through a loop, the idea of the host gift has grown and changed, and for some reason people still don’t understand the importance of r.s.v.p.!  So here goes 8 tips for both the host and guest of the modern-day party.

(RSVP) Respondez, s’il vous plait

With the exception of a wedding, it has now become perfectly acceptable to send out paperless invites.  Just because you are viewing these invites on a device, that doesn’t mean that a response isn’t necessary.  Unless stated otherwise, it is imperative that you respond!  Whether it is a more casual party at home, or a formal dinner that is per head at a venue, the host needs to know how many people are attending.  Responding also doesn’t mean calling or texting the day before either, unless something really important comes up.  There is a response date set for a reason, it gives the host ample time to prepare for the party.  I get it things come up and people change their minds, but just remember your host is trying to make a great party, and its common courtesy to give them a heads up whether you’re coming or not!

Guests and Plus Ones

When it comes to a formal party, and the host is paying per person, it is only ok to bring a plus one if you are invited with one.  The host is paying for every single person that attends the party, so if you’re not invited with a guest then it’s probably not a good idea to bring one.  In a more casual party situation, bringing a plus one is much more acceptable, as long as you inform the host ahead of time.  Although the host isn’t paying per person, they still have to make sure they have enough food, drinks, and seating to accommodate all of the guests attending.

Showing Up Early

There is nothing wrong with coming slightly early, but understand that you might totally freak out the host by doing so (totally been there).  As a regular party thrower, I use every single minute of prep time that I have before a party, especially the last 15 minutes.  If you plan on arriving a little early, the best thing you could do is offer help to the host.

Gifts For A Celebration

I think we’ve all been taught the rules on gifts, however, it seems some may have forgotten.  I’m not talking about host gifts, we’ll talk about that next, I’m talking about birthday, engagement, house warming, etc.  No matter what the occasion, if you are attending a celebration of some sort, you really should bring a gift.  Not saying that you need to spend a fortune, any kind of thought will do!

Host Gifts

Let me start out by saying, you are not required to buy the host a gift, but most feel that they should not show up empty-handed.  A contribution of apps, wine, or a dessert, absolutely counts, but if you’re looking to bring an actual gift, there are so many cool ideas out there.  Try a fun coffee table book, small wall print, candles, hand soap, or a personalized gift like my Pearls To A Picnic hanger.  Flowers are still a good one, but try to bring them in a vase so that you don’t create extra work for the host at the height of the party!

Check Out Some Of These Cool Host Gift Ideas

This was a gift given to me at the Urban Tee Party launch, my new tee line.


White chocolate covered almonds made to look like martini olives, and rum gummy candy by Sugarfina.


Those who know of the book, What Do You Do With An Idea, this is the next book in the series.  Another gift given to me at my brand launch.

What Do You Do With A Problem


In honor of my blog, a very good friend of mine had this made for me:)


Pics On Social Media

Obviously posting every single thing you do on social media is very common these days, however, if you are taking pics at a party it’s not a bad idea to ask the host’s permission before doing so.  There could be many reasons why a host might not want their party posted, so it doesn’t hurt to ask.


So I’ve touched on all of the do’s and don’ts for party guests, now here are a couple of tips for the host!

Should you serve the wine or champagne brought to the party by a guest?

This topic has come up lately, which is why I am touching on the subject.  It is purely the discretion of the host whether or not they want to serve wine, champagne, etc. brought to a party by a guest.  If the guest brings the bottle chilled, then I would assume that they probably want to drink what they brought.  If your party is already overstocked on wine, champs, and spirits, then my suggestion is to put it off to the side and use what they brought once you run out of what you’re serving.  If you asked your guest to bring a bottle to contribute to the party, then you most definitely should serve it.


Shoes Off or On??

Here’s the low down.  I understand that many of us do not wear shoes in the house, I follow that practice as well, but when it comes to entertaining, that is where it gets complicated.  Here are my thoughts, I believe that it is perfectly acceptable to ask guests to remove their shoes if you are having a small intimate gathering with close friends.  Most of them probably already know that your home is a shoe free zone and that makes it less awkward.  For larger parties, however, I do not suggest asking your guests to take off their shoes.  I get it, shoes are dirty, but that is what a mop is for.  Not to mention that having someone take their shoes off, totally ruins the perfect ensemble that they have put together to wear to your party.

One last note, if the weather is horrible and your guests shoes are wet, muddy, snowy, etc. then I would hope they would be courteous enough to remove their shoes without you having to ask:)


Keep The Bathroom Stocked

Make sure your bathroom is fully stocked with TP, hand soap, and hand towels before your party begins.  I like to keep a spray bottle of unicorn gold and a scented candle in there too (haha).


If There’s A Spill, Keep It Cool

Accidents happen, so whether you’re the host or the guest, keep it calm and humorous if a spill occurs.  As the host, be prepared with a stain cleaner or distilled water (works great) in case a spill occurs.  If you are a guest, do offer to pay for cleaning.  Most of the time, the host will gracefully decline, but it’s a nice gesture to offer.


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Don’t forget to check out my new t-shirt line at urbanteeparty.com



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  1. I loved all of your ideas!!! Thx!

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