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Always Invited: A Guide to Proper Party Guest Etiquette

11 Nov 2016

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Believe it or not, there’s a certain art to ensuring your name is always on the invite list – this has even been backed by science. A recent study has found there are certain rules that hosts expect their invitees to follow, and to break these rules will surely land you in the sin bin (or completely off the party list). If you’ve received an invitation to an event and want to keep those invites coming, here are some tips to remain the number one guest.


Letting the host know whether you can make it is generally the polite thing to do, and you should do so as soon as possible. If you are slow in responding, it makes the host’s job that much harder and could hinder their planning and coordination of the event. If your host hasn’t asked for an RSVP, let them know anyway – thanking the host and letting them know if you’re attending will be greatly appreciated (and surely land you an invite to the next event).

DON’T: Arrive Empty-Handed

You bring gifts to birthdays, weddings and anniversaries, so why should a dinner party be any different? Your host has put in a great deal of effort to ensure you have a good time, and good guest etiquette says it’s essential to arrive with some kind of favour. Even if you just bring a bottle of wine, a board game or a plate of food with you, it will be noticed and appreciated by your host.

DON’T: Use Your Phone

In this modern day and age, it’s easy to give in to the ever-consuming social media addiction. However, you’re at a party – so socialise! Resist the temptation to ask for the Wi-Fi password, put your phone away and engage in conversation with other guests and the host. Otherwise, you may as well have stayed home!

DO: Offer Help

There’s a certain unspoken element to party etiquette that suggests it is polite to offer a hand, especially if you’re speaking to the host while they are getting things ready or cleaning up. This doesn’t always mean you have to actually do anything – the host will most likely refuse your offer and insist you sit down and relax – but the gesture will be appreciated all the same.

DON’T: Wander Off

If the party is located at the host’s home, it’s best to remain in the social areas of the house. To go walking around and letting yourself into bedrooms without permission is considered rude and will not usually bode well with your host. It is a breach of privacy and your host may feel violated. Stay in the dining, lounge, bathroom and outdoor areas and mingle with the other guests to ensure you don’t ruffle any feathers.

DO: Enjoy Yourself

The easiest and best advice is: enjoy the party! Participate in games (no matter how silly they may be), ask questions, enjoy the food and compliment the host on their efforts. The most satisfying part of organising and hosting an event is seeing guests enjoy themselves, so be sure to relax and have a great time!