10 TIPS ON HOW TO BE THE PERFECT GUEST : DELEGATE’S HELP ON PARTY ETIQUETTE
The Festive season is upon us, and as fun-filled as it is, it can be stressful and fraught with misunderstandings, irritation and hurt feelings. Jacqueline and Melissa, party planners extraordinaire, have compiled their top tips on navigating the world of modern party etiquette. Both former event planners, they are now co-founders of Delegate, an online event planning platform. Over the years, they’ve seen it all – from the greedy chatterbox who monopolized the conversation AND the wine, to that guest who was glued to his iPhone throughout dinner. Take heed party people, and read on for how to be the prefect guest.
- RSVP as quickly as possible. In the age of ignored emails, missed Facebook invites and phone call phobia, it can be hard for a host to figure out whether to plan for 10 or 20. If you delay, it you’ll hinder the host’s planning, and make it seem like you’re waiting for something better to come along. If you’d like to bring an additional guest, clear it with the host first. Do not bring someone unless the host has approved.
- If you have a food allergy or dietary restrictions, always let your host know in advance so that they will be able to accommodate you accordingly. Don’t assume that they will remember that you’re vegetarian/gluten intolerant etc, even if they know you well. A gentle reminder is always welcome, and you should offer to bring something for yourself in case your diet is extremely restrictive. Take note that preferences are not the same as restrictions!
- Be punctual! Don’t be too early or too late. Being too early will give the host additional pressure, being too late is just bad manners. In the mobile era, it seems that time keeping is becoming a lost art. A Whatsapp message at 8pm saying you’re ‘en route’ to dinner which started at 7:30pm is rude.
- Never show up empty handed! It doesn’t have to be expensive, but do bring a gift. Wine, champagne and flowers are always welcome, but why not give something a little different? A gift basket from Naiise (which celebrates Singaporean designers) or something edible, like artisanal jams and nut butters from GSH Conserves or The Hunter’s Kitchenette, will go down well and be more memorable than a bottle of Cold Storage’s finest.
- Offer to help. Does the host need someone to help with the food? Or setting of the table. Even when hosts have help at home, it never hurts to ask, especially at the end of the evening when there is a stack of dishes and dirty glasses to attack.
- Social media posting – always check with the host if it’s okay to post things online. Do they want the event to be kept private or are they okay with things being shared on social media? Is there an official hashtag to the event?
- Pace your alcohol and canapé consumption. Attacking the hors d‘oevres as if you haven’t eaten in a week or necking the bubbles will a.) leave less for others and b.) make you look impolite or greedy.
- Take the hint and never overstay your welcome. If you’re the last one nursing your whiskey while your hosts are stifling yawns, it’s time to say goodnight!
- Keep negative feedback or criticism to yourself. Even if the turkey is dry, say it’s delicious!
- Thank your host as you leave, and again with a thank you email or call after the party.
Thanks and credit for this article are passed to DELEGATE who can help you plan the most perfect event in minutes.