How To Be A Delightful Guest - Part One

DO your best to R.S.V.P. well before the reply date.
Also take into consideration the event in question. If it is a wedding or major event that requires a longer timeline to plan, be considerate of that and try to reply as soon as your calendar permits and shortly after you receive your invitation.

DO get permission from your host if you wish to bring an uninvited guest.
Make sure you ask well before the day of the party to allow for the accommodation.

DO offer a helping hand when needed.
If you notice your host/hostess looks a little overwhelmed, quietly offer to help clear the table, refresh someones drink, etc. but let your host/hostess decide if the assistance is necessary. Never be pushy even with the kindest of intentions.

DO bid your host good-bye and say thank you when you're ready to leave.
There are no excuses for dashing out of a party without at least saying a brief good-bye to the host, regardless of the size of the function. Make sure to say goodbye to the other guests as well.

DO write a thank you note within 48 hours.
A handwritten note has greater impact than a text or e-email but if you normally correspond with your host/hostess by text/email, this is acceptable as well. The point is to express your appreciation to your host/hostess.

DON'T forget to bring a gift for the hostess.
A nice bottle of wine, a coffee table book on a subject your host is known to be interested in or a box of fancy chocolates, etc. Whatever you may bring, don't expect it to be served or shared that night. The gift is for the host and only he/she should decide if it will be opened that evening.

DON'T act anti-social, glum or hide away in a corner.
Being a downer at a party you have been invited to is a definite no-no, regardless of what personal issues you may have. A party is not the time or place to unload your burdens on your host or other guests who have come to enjoy themselves.

DON'T make a mad dash for the food or bar.
Gluttony was not invited as your plus 1 so don't overload your plate before the rest of the guests have been allowed to make at least one complete run-though the buffet.

DON'T arrive too early or too late.
Arriving before the given time is very inconsiderate to a host who might be counting on every last minute to prepare before a party. Depending on the type of event, there is a window of time that is considered appropriate for late arrivals. Never more than 15 minutes after the stated time if it's a formal sit-down dinner and as long as 30 minutes if dinner is served buffet style.

DON'T make a habit of always being the very last guest to go.
Some people love to stand at a doorway and have a full-blown conversation with a host, even when subtle hints are being given that it is time to wrap things up. Don't let that person be you. The hosts duties do not end when the last guest leaves so be considerate that they probably still have a long stretch ahead of them before they can call it a night.

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