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The Basics: Party Etiquette

Party Etiquette is a hard topic for many Hosts and Hostesses to master. However some prior knowledge of the subject is important to have when planning and throwing your own parties. Here are some tips to help you learn the basics on guests, host duties, and menus:

The Guest List:

-Be sure to invite guests who get along well or who will get along well. No one wants an argument to ruin his or her good time.
-If youíre inviting three couples out of four who always go to parties together, you should try to invite the fourth as well, to avoid conflict.
-Try to keep the male guest to female guest ratio even. Otherwise the conversation may be lopsided.
-Six or eight guests is the perfect amount for a dinner party, if you have a standard size dining room. More would feel cramped.

Host/Hostess Duties:

-Make sure everyone is having a good time by mingling around the perimeter of your room. Incorporate any wallflower guests into areas with lively conversation.
-Visit each individual guest for a few minutes over the course of the party.
-Keep an eye on drinks and food. Make sure your guests have what they need.

The Menu:

-Take into consideration the time of day the party will be taking place and serve the appropriate amount of food.
-Check with guests about any food allergies they may have.
-If serving steak or other meats make sure you ask before or during the party (if the food is not finished upon arrival) how well they would like their meat.

The Guests:
-If you have a guest of honor at your party, make sure they get a special seat (at the head of the table preferably) and also be sure to serve them first.
-If a guest is late, you may put the party on hold to accommodate their arrival time if you choose to do so. However, waiting more than 15 or 20 minutes would be considered rude for the guests that are already at your party.
-If a guest offers to help you clean up it is acceptable at casual dinner parties only to accept help from the guests. Otherwise the host and hostess are responsible for arranging clean up.
-If your party is for children, be sure to address the invitation for one or both of the childís parents as well as the child so the parentís know they are welcome to stay.

Those are some basics to get you on the road to proper party etiquette. Part two will include even more tips to achieve great party results.

Happy Hosting!

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