How “NOT” To Embarrass Yourself At A Dinner Party!

It is my distinct pleasure to introduce to you today the witty and fabulous Wendy from The Canadian School of Protocol.  Ever wonder how you should respond to that awkward e-mail?  Need to brush up on those interview skills, want to know how to get through a Dinner Party?  Look no further then that sweet little logo on the right!  Do me a favour and give her a click, pop on over and say Hello, but wait!!  Not until you read these tips on how “NOT” to embarrass yourself at that next dinner party!

Hello! I thought today I would talk about (how not to be the boring and indulgent dinner party guest ) dinner party etiquette . Even amongst friends, how we behave at a dinner party can influence how people see us, whether we get invited back, and can make or break a friendship. (note on last point….don’t get drunk and flirt with my hubby)! So here is a list of do’s and don’ts for good dinner party etiquette.

1. RSVP within 48 hours of receiving the invitation. Ya, I know it is easy to hold on to the invite and wait to see what your weekend is going to look like or whether there is a babysitter available but the reality is that I am going to bust my butt making you a dinner that takes awhile to prepare (I love to cook) and I want to know if you are coming so I can prepare enough food for you or move on and invite someone else.

2. Bring a bottle of your favourite beverage (cabernet sauvignon please…) and/or a small hostess gift. If it is a formal dinner party, a hostess gift is a definite must. These can be a small package of cocktail napkins, plant/flowers, homemade fudge brownies (not to be shared with guests), the sky is the limit. Find out what the hostess likes and pander to that for eternal gratefulness from her especially if she is a busy mom who never buys herself anything, you can be assured of a return invite!

3. Leave your bitchiness bad mood at home. Nobody likes a Debbie downer. If you can’t shake the bad mood and you feel that your hormones are not going to respond accordingly, send your significant other with a bottle of wine, hostess gift and a small note of apology for your absence. Better yet, if you can hold it together, phone her and let her know that you cannot make it…..but don’t start ragging about your bad mood on the phone, she doesn’t have time talk.

4. Don’t overindulge on “spirits” before dinner, during or after dinner especially if you are someone who goes from Ms. Congeniality to Ms. Train wreck in under three glasses. You don’t want to spend the next day on the phone apologizing for your behaviour.

5. Eat slow and engage in conversation. Enough said.

6. Don’t complain about the food. If you absolutely cannot eat brussel sprouts, cut them up, move them around your plate, force feed yourself a couple of bites and call it a day.

7. Don’t ask for seconds unless first offered.

8. Offer to help clean up. Most gracious hosts will decline your offer leaving the dirty dishes for their partner (you know the one who has had a lot to drink and has been suspiciously absent during the planning and prepping of the meal!)to finish. My friend invites her hubby to participate in the clean up by telling him that choreplay puts her in the mood!

9. If you are taking pictures of the evening DO NOT POST ON FACEBOOK OR TWITTER without first gaining permission of those who you have photographed. I don’t think I need to go into why this is important but what is funny to you might be embarrassing and career limiting for someone else.

10. Last but not least, differentiate yourself from the crowd and send a handwritten thank you note to the host especially if this is a work related dinner party. Not only will they be touched but you will be on the top of the next invite list!


  1. rather life eating slow and enjoying….and def not a fan of mixing debbie downer with drinking too much either…kinda avoid that one like the plague….oo the handwritten thank you, for sure…

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  3. Oh a big YES to the RSVP!! My pet peeve, people who can’t bother to respond to an invite. Just Rude!

  4. I hate the feeling that someone is holding out hoping for a better invitation elsewhere! And yes, to not arriving empty handed. I don’t even do that for an informal dinner with good friends.

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  6. There is this tv show called Come dine with me …. man do these people need to read your blog. Can’t believe how rude some people can be!

  7. Oooh – this is really good advice! I follow almost all of these, but I won’t embarrass myself by telling which one I don’t.

    Okay, okay – it’s asking for seconds. 😉 I thought it was a compliment!

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