Social Savvy: 7 Simple Tips for Being a Brilliant Dinner Party Guest

dinner party wine fancy family meal
Image by Elle Katie from Pixabay

Unless you attend dinner parties all the time, there’s a chance you won’t know what’s expected of you when you arrive at such a social occasion. Not everyone knows how they’re supposed to act, what they’re supposed to bring, and if there’s a specific set of social etiquette you must abide by. 

Fortunately, not knowing how to be a brilliant dinner party guest now doesn’t mean you’ll never be one in the future. Take note of this advice, and you’ll be well-prepared for your next social function. 

Don’t Turn Up Empty-Handed

Even if a dinner party host tells you not to bring a thing, it’s typically considered good manners to arrive with something for the host or to share with other guests. You might buy Yarra Valley wines online and bring a bottle or two to share. Alternatively, you might take a box of chocolates or a fresh bouquet for the host. The small gesture is sure to be well-received by those who have worked hard to host the get-together. 

Be On Time

Dinner parties are typically held at a set time to ensure food can be served at an appropriate hour. Refer to your invitation for information on when the host requires your attendance. Consider arriving five or 10 minutes early as a courtesy. If you’re running behind schedule and will be late, contact the host to let them know. Your tardiness might affect when they decide to start serving food. 

Dress Appropriately

If you’ve never been to a dinner party before, it’s only natural to be unsure about what to wear. If you’ve been asked to attend a dinner party by way of an official invite, refer to the invitation for mention of a dress code. 

dress sleeve buttom young girl arm
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Most dinner party hosts recommend semi-formal or smart casual attire. Short evening dresses, shirts, and dress pants can all be excellent options. Avoid wearing anything marked, creased, or stained. 

Inform the Host of Dietary Restrictions In Advance

Few things are as frustrating and embarrassing for dinner party hosts as learning about a guest’s dietary restrictions when they turn up to eat. If you have allergies or dietary restrictions of any kind, inform your host in advance. They can then consider these when preparing everyone’s meals or preparing their food separately. 

Put Your Phone Away

If you’re one of the 310 million smartphone users in the United States, there’s a chance you’ll be taking it with you to dinner parties. However, consider leaving it in your bag or pocket unless absolutely necessary to bring it out. It’s considered good manners to focus on dinner party guests rather than being glued to your device. 

Don’t Drink Too Much

Whether you turn up with your own wine or are being served it by your host, control your alcohol consumption. If you’re driving, you’ll need to remain within the legal BAC limit of .08%. Even if you’re not driving, being mindful of your drinking can be important for maintaining good behavior and ensuring the comfort of other guests.

Offer to Help

Dinner party hosts work hard all night to prepare delicious food, serve it up, and clear away the dishes. Show your appreciation for their efforts by offering to help. Even if they decline help, you can help your host by stacking plates and clearing away empty beverage bottles.

Being a brilliant dinner party guest is not hard, but it can require research. Arrive on time, bring something nice for the host, and dress appropriately. With enough practice, you can be a dinner party expert in no time. 

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Brenda Coles
I'm an elementary school teacher who became a stay-at-home mother when my first child was born. I love to write about lifestyle, education, and news-related topics.