MIND YOUR MANNERS (PARTY DOS & DONTS)
Why is it that when we hear the word #PARTY, we automatically think there will be wild, reckless drunken shenanigans involved with it? That is because the event would probably end on that note.
But please bear in mind that when you get invited to a celebration, there are always rules to follow. Don’t worry, you can still tap into your party animal side without getting too animalistic or you can also be the party mama without being too much of the party pooper. Either way, rules must be obeyed.
Rules, you ask?
Yeah, rules! It’s a social gathering, guys! Not the quest for fire!
Fear not, my brethren. Think of me as your Moses and I’m here to present to you the 10 Commandments of Party.
REMEMBER TO RSVP
Planning parties, even small gatherings, are never easy. Confirming the guests’ headcount to set the final arrangements of the get together can be quite unnerving for the host when the invitees don’t respond on time.
The best time to reply to an invite is to reach out to the celebrant within 24 hours of receiving the invitation. Once you get a hold of the host, thank him/her for the invite and inform them if you can make it to the event. If you are still unsure of your schedule, tell them that you will be confirming a few days before the said date.
Failing to RSVP is a party etiquette faux pas.
So when you receive bidding, in the words of the French, respondez s’il vous plait.
Is being fashionably late ok?
It is possible that there will be guests at some parties who would act like Divas. (On a side note, a Diva is a noun. It’s mostly used on women who act with so much self-importance and are usually temperamental and difficult to please.) These Divas would show up at a party very late and act as if they own the room, or worse, they act as if it’s their party.
While these characters can sometimes amuse us, they not only steal the host’s thunder and they don’t just turn up fashionably late but ‘diva late’! This can be offensive and can really bum the party hard.
So, to go back to the question, is being fashionably late ok? There are different factors to consider:
If you were invited to a big event, the practical thing to do is to be there a little early since you would want to get a nice parking spot and make sure (if you’re bringing a big gift) that you won’t be lugging your gift from where you parked to the actual venue.
If you were invited to a dinner party, then you want to be there on time.
However, being too early can throw your host off especially when the whole place hasn’t been completely set up. So when the invite says for you to be there by 8 PM, arrive at the party 15 minutes after 8. That way, you know you’re not the first to get there and you’re not too late for mixing and mingling either.
So to sum up, I guess being fashionably late isn’t really a thing anymore. Respecting the host’s request for you to come on time will always be cooler than anything else.
BRING A GIFT
Whether you were invited to a birthday party or just a small dinner party with friends, you bring the host/hostess a gift as a token of appreciation. It is a simple way of saying thank you for their hospitality.
The common gifts a guest brings for the hostess is a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers. But when you feel creative and you wanted to give something more personal that you know the party-giver will love, then that’s better.
YOUR PLUS 1
When you get invited to a huge formal birthday bash, your invitation usually says ‘reserved 2 seats for you’. If that were the case, bring a date or a friend but never more than 1.
When the invitation indicates ‘The Jones Family’, then bring your whole family and have fun! Bottom line is, stick to the number of how many people you are allowed to bring.
DON’T OVER INDULGE
I must admit, aside from wanting to know who else will be at the bash, the next thing that I get excited about is the feast! But seeming like someone who hasn’t eaten for a week is something that you don’t want people to remember you by.
Always act in good taste. So before the event, have a little nosh. That way, you can graciously enjoy both the food and the people you’re eating it with.
Of course, festivities like this would mean the affair would be overflowing with booze. You’re not going to give the host a favor by gulping in all the alcohol from the party. Besides, you’re not being the life of the party when you act like a drunken clown. Being a mess at someone’s party doesn’t scream veneration. If there’s anybody who has the right to be a mess and cry if they want to, it’s the celebrant. Why? It’s their party!
You don’t have to be a social butterfly to be able to talk to people. Besides, it’s possible that the party is already swarming with these flutterbies – exchanging interesting thoughts with one circle after another. That’s mingling at its finest.
But what if you were one of the quiet types? How do you enjoy these happenings when all you want to do is stand in one corner and clutch your drink?
Parties are supposed to be the time when you let loose and have fun. So go and remove yourself from the corner and scan the place without looking so scared. Walk around and look for that person you think you can chat with. If nobody catches your eye, your best bet is to go to the host and have a chat with her/him. The best thing that could happen next is that you’d get to be introduced to someone and there goes your chance to mingle.
What’s a party without games or some fun antics? It’s what makes the guests in the party really interact and have fun! So if the host calls for you to participate in the games, do it without thinking twice. Be the game! The last thing we want is to be the downer of the night.
Another way for you to be fully present during the whole evening is to avoid checking in on your social media accounts. No matter how much of a snooze fest the whole party is, be there. Show the host that you appreciate being invited. So by tucking your phone away to keep yourself from scrolling down your newsfeed shows just that.
DON’T LEAVE TOO EARLY
One way to tell the host without saying the actual words that the party blows is leaving early. You come in, make an appearance and take off. Who are you? The queen?? Do you have more important things to do than attending some measly party?
That’s exactly the message you deliver when you ditch the party early. The next thing you’d know is that you won’t get invited ever again when you keep up with this attitude. Be happy that the host thought of inviting you and that just means that you are special enough to be a part of this celebration.
THANK THE HOST
I have mentioned earlier that the first thing you do after receiving an invitation is to thank the celebrant for inviting you.
When you arrive at the event and greet the host, thank him/her again for having you. Present your gift as a token of appreciation and for their hospitality and when you get home after the night ends, send a text message or call the next day. Thank them yet again for a great night.
It’s a simple way of making the party-giver feel extra special and because of your gracious vibe, you will definitely be one of the first guests the host will invite over again.
When leaving the party, it’s important to look for the host before heading out. Doing a disappearing act is simply saying that these people, especially the host, aren’t important enough to inform them that you need to go. Say goodbye and thank them for the evening.
If the party you attended is a huge event and you can’t find the host anywhere, leave a message that you badly need to get home and send a thank you message for the evening.
These are some of the basic principles when attending a party. Minding your manners don’t have to be done when you are in the presence of the polite society. Proper etiquette and decorum will always be important to everybody no matter how much we have all evolved into becoming very informal. Even if we know that it’s the new norm. Still, know your place and have fun just the right amount without making a fool of yourself. Other than that, in the words of Prince, ‘Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1999 (or something to that effect)!