Etiquette Tips for Party Guests

“What does etiquette mean to you? To us, it means treating people with consideration, respect, and honesty. It means being aware of how our actions affect those around us. Why? To help us build successful relationships.”

Emily Post – 

Holiday Party

Growing up, I remember my parents were always hosting parties at our house. I remember helping my mother prepare the appetizers, decorate the house, and organize favor bags for the guests. She went all out and I always admired her drive to throw the perfect party each time. The guests always left smiling, their stomach’s full of food, drink and laughter.

Clearly, I have taken after my mother because I absolutely love organizing parties. Whether it be a wedding or a backyard BBQ, here are some tips to being a great party guest.

1. RSVP! (and on time!)

When we were planning our wedding and the RSVP date had come and gone, we were still looking at about 20 guests who did not send back their response cards. For those of you have have planned a wedding… you know what I’m talking about. For those who have not planned a wedding – you have no idea how annoying it is to make those phone calls…

And I’m not just talking about weddings; this goes for any type of party: birthdays, BBQ’s, brunches, bachelorette parties, bridal showers… As a hostess, you should not have to track your guests down to see if they are coming or not. Do your friend/family member/boss, etc. a favor – make sure to respond by the date listed on the invite or within two weeks of event.

2. If you can’t make the party, let the host/hostess know. 

Nothing grinds my gears more than people who RSVP “yes” to a party and then don’t show up. I think it’s rude and inconsiderate. As a hostess, I make sure I have enough food and drink for my guests and enough favors / goodie bags to go around. When someone doesn’t show up, nor makes an effort to let us know, it makes me question whether or not they value our friendship.

Of course, there are exceptions, those life emergencies that are out of our control. But more likely than not, you know if you are able to show. If something comes up and you can no longer attend a party, it’s best to let the host or hostess know as soon as you do.

3. Don’t show up empty-handed. 

Emily Post would call this a “hostess gift”. We recently threw a 4th of July BBQ, and all of our friends showed up with their hands full of beer, wine and small gifts! Some of the guys came with cases of beer. One couple brought us a sunflower plant and beer cozies, along with a side dish they had offered to make. Another couple brought a bottle of wine. How thoughtful! We always bring something when we go to a party and if you are old enough, you should too.

Don't show up empty-handed to your next party!


Any tips for fellow hostesses or party guests?

Leave them in the comments! 

  • When people don’t RSVP it is my biggest pet peeve. The worst is when they don’t RSVP and then come to the party!

    • THE WORST! Honestly, just tell me yes or no!

  • I will never understand why it’s so hard for some people to RSVP! One of my biggest pet peeves. I have a hard time with the people that cancel right before an event too, but hey, at least they let you know. Beautifully Candid