Tips For Becoming The Perfect Dinner Guest
RSVP on time. RSVP’ing on time helps the host or hostess know exactly how much food to buy and prepare. This also helps when figuring out seating arrangements and creating place cards.
Offer to bring something. Most of the time, the host or hostess will say “just bring yourself” when the menu is already prepared, but it is always nice to offer to bring something to the dinner party whether it is a dessert, beverage or side dish.
Don’t be tardy for the party. Arrive on time to ensure you do not hold anything up. Dinner parties are usually very choreographed and if a guest arrives late to the party, it could throw the meal off. If there is an emergency or you know you will definitely be late, it is very important to call the host or hostess.
Bring the host a small gift. A lot of work goes into a dinner party. Bringing a small gift whether it’s a candle or a bottle of wine, shows the host/hostess that you acknowledge and appreciate the time and effort that went into this event and you’re happy to attend.
Offer to help. Ask the host or hostess if there is anything you can help with. This could be passing around the hor’dourves or helping pour beverages for the other guests.
Help keep the other guests entertained. The host and hostess wear many hats at a dinner party. By you simply starting a conversation, you are helping the guests interact with each other while the host or hostess can focus their attention on doing something else without worrying the other guests are bored.
Don’t be the “loud guest”. Dinner parties are usually a very intimate thing. Do not talk over other guests or yell across the table.
Always use a napkin. Napkins are usually rested upon one knee.
No cell phones at the table. If you need your cell phone on you at all times in case the baby sitter might call, leave your phone out of eye’s view, but close enough where you can hear it. All other calls, emails and texts should wait until everyone has left the table.
Rest the fork and knife on either side of the plate when not in use. Do not place the fork, knife or spoon directly onto the table.
Politely excuse yourself. Do not abruptly jump out of your seat and walk away. Politely ask to be excused or excuse yourself.
Clean up after yourself. Do not leave a trail of mess everywhere you go. Be sure to pick up after yourself and take your plate with you when you leave the table. Scrap the dish into the garbage and leave the plate next to the sink if it is fine china to avoid damage.
Be sure to thank the host or hostess at the end of the night. You can even go as far as sending a thank you note for the lovely evening.