It’s pretty easy to be a guest at a dinner party. All you have to do is show up and eat a nice meal with your friends. Done and done.
However, some of you out there may be overachievers (like me) who want to be the best dinner party guest ever. Or maybe you’re just looking for some etiquette advice in these modern times. Either way, we’ve entertained enough to know what separates a good guest from the very best so here’s a few tips.
Offer to Bring Something
Asking if you can bring something to a dinner party is a polite thing to do. Some people will take you up on the offer while others won’t. I usually follow along depending on wherever the hostess leads me. If mama taught you not to show up empty-handed, then it helps to offer something specific such as, “I’d love to bring dessert!” or “What type of wine should I pick up?”
Time Your Arrival Just So
If you arrive early or on time, be prepared to meet your host at the door in a harried state. Even the best of planners are usually running around last minute trying to get everything done in time! Aim to arrive about 15 minutes late and, remember, any later than 30 minutes might put you and everyone else in a hangry mood.
Don’t Bring Flowers
Though totally not necessary, bringing a gift for the hostess is a nice gesture. But finding a vase and artfully arranging flowers while simultaneously welcoming guests and attending to the cooking is not an easy feat.
Instead make it easy and opt for something they can quickly stash away like a candle, cookbook, or a nice bottle of olive oil. Worth saying that bringing flowers in a vase is a pro move. You obviously understand how things work and probably don’t need to continue reading.
Try (Very Hard) to Ignore Your Phone
Yes, we live in a modern world and, yes, that video of Kristen Bell crying over a sloth is super funny. Be that as it may, a phone can be distracting so try hard to set it aside and focus on enjoying the company at the dinner table. Conversation at a stand still? Questions about upcoming travel plans or favorite TV shows always seem to get things going again.
Say Thank You in a Timely Manner
Manners during a meal are a given but it’s what you say after the fact that is most important. Send a little text or email saying thanks the next day. Extra points if you give a specific compliment like, “Those mashed potatoes were to die for!” or “No one sets a table like you!”
Most likely, your host worked their little behind off to put on the dinner party you just enjoyed. Your gratitude and appreciation will make all that hard work worthwhile.