9 Etiquette Rules for Hosting a Dinner Party
It takes quite a lot to be the hostess with the mostest. You may know the best entertaining tricks, but could you, perhaps, be forgetting simple etiquette rules? Below, our tips to entertaining in the way of the world's best party hosts.
1. ALWAYS SEND AN INVITATION.
Nothing shows how much you care quite like an invitation. Though archaic to some, an invitation is always pleasant as opposed to a text or a verbal invite. If printing and mailing an invitation doesn't sound particularly exciting to you, then take a tip from Kate Middleton who reportedly favors digital invitation maker Paperless Post.
2. LET GUESTS KNOW WHAT TYPE OF PARTY YOU'RE HAVING.
Whether it's a simple girls' night in or a formal dinner party, a good host should always be clear about what's expected of her guests. Knowing what type of party it is will allow guests to prepare themselves for the evening at hand.
3. PREPARE WAY AHEAD OF TIME.
A dinner party is always unpredictable. If you can, see to it that you've prepared everything you possibly can hours and even days ahead. This includes decorating the table setting, getting ingredients and food ready, making sure you've got the ambience right, and even creating a festive music playlist.
4. MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS.
Not everything will go your way. As long as you remember this, you'll most likely either be prepared for whatever comes your way or you'll remain in control of your emotions when something does go wrong.
More: How to Host Like a Socialite
5. BE MINDFUL OF YOUR GUEST LIST.
An amazing guest list makes for an exciting evening. Not to mention, good company will endure even in disastrous conditions. Still, make sure you don't invite too many people who don't know each other, as this could make a party feel like a mixer.
6. SEATING IS PARAMOUNT TO A PARTY'S SUCCESS.
Etiquette states the guest of honor should be seated at the right of the host. If there is one, the other guest of honor should then be seated at the left of the host. Another thing to remember is that place cards should be present if you've invited eight or more guests.
7. SET YOUR TABLE—WITH CAUTION.
An amateur mistake is overcrowding the table with plates and utensils that aren't needed. To avoid doing so, keep in mind what you'll be serving for the party when setting the table. While you're at it, study up on the proper formal plate setting.
More: The Different Types of Dining Plates and Their Uses
8. REMEMBER TO BE ATTENTIVE.
Now that you've planned everything to perfection, the only thing to do is to be a good host by being as attentive and welcoming as possible. Introduce everyone promptly, offer food and refreshments, and do sit at the table to enjoy the party with your guests.
9. DON'T LET GUESTS DO THE DIRTY WORK.
It's only proper for guests to offer to help. They can help a little here and there, but post-dinner clean-up is another story. As the host, you should make sure guests are relaxed and enjoying themselves instead of doing the heavy lifting.