My mom, sister-in-law, and I were talking about etiquette (I don’t even want to tell you how many times I had to type that word and re-type it before google even recognized it haha). Between the three of us, we each realized we had stories about someone (….and by “someone” we mean ourselves) who had committed a “social faux pas” simply because we didn’t know any better!
So I thought it might be interesting to talk about a few common social situations and share what I’ve picked up, been taught, looked up, and learned about the proper way to act. I thought today we could talk about being invited over for a get-together (be it impromptu or with an invitation).
Hostess Gift: Yes or No?
I now always always ALWAYS lean towards yes (unless, of course, it’s a wedding or shower in which case you’re already bringing a card or gift for the guest of honor). I picked up this habit from my sister-in-law, Leah. I realized that she never ever goes anywhere without bringing a little something for the hostess or their kids – no matter how small the event! EVEN if it’s just a coffee date! It doesn’t even have to be anything big! A sucker for the kids, a coffee from Starbucks that she grabs on the way over, a bottle of wine if it’s an evening get together….. BUT the impact is huge. It showed me over and over again how thoughtful she was! Again, it never needed to be over the top – the small gesture spoke volumes.
“What Can I Bring?”
It’s always nice to ask! The hostess may say, “Nothing!”. However, if you’re asked to bring something, do so! And a tip: DEFINITELY don’t take the leftovers home with you. This applies to booze as well (For real, one time I was at a party and someone who was leaving for home went BACK INTO THE COOLER to take the four extra beers from the pack they brought). Long story short: You can get your casserole dish back later.
Timlieness: Early, On time, or Late?
The almighty internet says “On time or even a little (5 to 15 minutes) late”. Have you ever been speed cleaning your house and your guests arrive early?! Nightmare fuel. When a guest arrives early (unless, in my experience, it’s your best friend, mom, sister, or grandma) it feels awkward because you turn on “hostess mode” but you’re still trying to make your space presentable. For me, if I’m going to someone’s house for a get-together, I try to arrive 5-10 minutes late.
RSVP’s: Are they important if it’s not a wedding or shower?
In a word….YES. The hostess is trying to figure out how much food to make, how many place settings she’ll need, and how much booze will be bought haha. So, if the hostess or invitation has asked for an RSVP – please give one as soon as possible. My other sister in law, Emily brought up a great point, “It doesn’t really matter the reason behind a declined invitation – there’s no offense taken. So, there’s no need to make up an excuse or reason why you can’t be there. A simple ‘I’m sorry, I can’t make it.’ is absolutely fine” I completely agree! No need to explain or give excuses 🙂 Just a simple “I’m so sorry, I can’t make it.” is enough.
What etiquette topics would you like to read more about? Because, let’s be honest, good manners are never out of style.