Being invited to a formal or casual dinner is always exciting! It’s great to be going, but too often we are left to wonder what to do and what not to do once we have arrived. Most hosts invite their friends and family to their homes in order to have a great time and enjoy good food and friendly fellowship together. Try not to get upset about the event and realize that your company is desired and your host is looking forward to spending a great evening together with you and a group of his close friends.
So, just to refresh your mind, follow some tips on what is expected during the evening, in this kind of event:
# Follow whatever dress code is suggested by your host on your invitation.
# Be punctual, ideally you should try to arrive at least 10 minutes before the announced start time. Make every effort not to arrive late.
# Come bearing gifts. It is polite to bring a gift to your host. And remember: You shouldn't expect your gift to be used or served during the dinner. Remember that the size or price of the gift is insignificant.
# Follow the host lead during the evening. During a formal dinner party there will normally be name cards and the seating will typically be a man then a woman alternately around the table. The women are generally seated to the right of the men and it is not uncommon for couples to be seated apart. If there are no cards, wait for the host to indicate where you can sit.
# If you don't like something that is served, be discreet and don't make any comment about it.
# The serving of the tea or coffee will signify that the formal dinner has concluded. At this point you should feel free to either leave or mingle. Again, watch the host for clues about their expectations.
# Always remember to send a handwritten thank you note to the host after a formal dinner party.
Part of the great enjoyment of going to a dinner party is enjoying the great conversation and laughter with friends and acquaintances. Be yourself and do your part to make the evening one that all will remember for a long time.
Following this simple and general etiquette rules, I'm sure you'll be invited again!