1. Forgetting to RSVP
If you show up without RSVPing, just go ahead and write off any future invites. It’s a rude move that will likely catch the host off guard and could mean less food and drink to go around.
Tell the host if you plan to attend and how many guests you’ll be bringing at least two weeks ahead of time. It will allow them time to better prepare. Plus, it only takes about 30 seconds to text the host to let them know if you’re coming.
2. Don’t show up early
If the invite says the party starts at 6 p.m., don’t ring the doorbell a minute earlier. If so, you can make the host feel rushed as they finish preparations all while feeling obligated to entertain their first guest. It’s a good rule of thumb to show up a little late – about 15 to 30 minutes after the start of the event.
One exception to showing up early is if you’re close friends with the host and ready to lend a hand. Even so, shoot your friend a text ahead of time asking if it’s OK to come early and help them prepare.
Pro tip: Ask if there are any last minute needs. Chances are, your host will need something like extra napkins or a bag of ice.
3. Don’t come empty handed
It’s good to ask the host when you receive the invite if you can contribute anything. Offer to make a dish or bring dessert. If the gesture is refused, bring a small gift like a bottle of wine or champagne. For non-drinkers, bring food that won’t spoil quickly like a tin of cookies. This way the host can enjoy it at another time.
Candles, flowers or a gift card to a favorite restaurant are also good gifts. This will show your appreciation to the host for sharing their home and taking the time and effort to put the party together.
4. Don’t drink too much
Drinking too much alcohol can bring on a lot of issues – especially if you’re among co-workers. You may say something you regret. You may look sloppy. You may get loud. You may pass out on the couch and become an unwelcome overnight guest.
Pace yourself. Drink water. And if you plan to drink a lot, take Uber or Lyft home.
5. Put your phone down
Life is what happens when you’re staring at your cell phone, right? Tuck your phone in your pocket or purse and enjoy the company around you. It’s one thing to snap a few photos with friends (and the amazing food), but burying your face in your phone can signal the host that you’re bored by their party. Take photos, but Facebook and Insta can wait until you’re home in bed.
6. Know when to go
A lot of party hosts won’t put an exact end time on the invite. That doesn’t mean it’s an all-nighter. If you’re having a good time, try to pay attention to what the others are doing. When the crowd begins to minimize, that should be your signal to leave. Or if you notice the host beginning to clean up, they could be signaling you it’s time to head out.
7. Thank the host
They set the guest list, sent out invites, bought the food and drinks, cooked, cleaned and hosted a really great party. Let the host know you appreciate their efforts and that you enjoyed yourself. If you’re one of the few remaining guests, help clean up a little. Small gestures like washing a few dishes or taking out the trash won’t go unnoticed.