Author Topic: Hosting etiquette  (Read 5714 times)

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Lisbeth

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Hosting etiquette
« on: March 08, 2009, 05:22:40 PM »
For hosts:
1. Don't be the diet police.  Even if you're a doctor or a dietician, it's not your job as a host/ess to monitor the calorie, fat, cholesterol, or carb intake of your guests or give unsolicited advice about weight loss or gain.  If you think someone is not eating healthy at your event, keep it to yourself.  Also, don't let any of your guests act as the diet police either.  If your guests are on restricted diets, don't monitor them to see that they are adhering to their diets.  As distressing as it may be to find that they are not, it is ultimately not your business.

2. Do inquire of your guests about their dietary needs and preferences when inviting them, but don't feel that you need to be a short-order cook or tailor the entire menu to their needs.  If your guests choose not to consume something you have offered, keep your disappointment to yourself.  Don't urge them to eat or fret about not having something for them to eat-it is their choice not to eat.  Respect that without fuss or melodrama.

3. Don't allow guests to dominate the conversation at the expense of other guests.  If you see that other guests have tuned out because one or more of your guests have turned out to be really windy, step in and pull non-participating guests into the conversation.  If your windy guests refuse to stop talking, ask them discreetly and quietly to shelve the subject and allow others to participate.

4. Don't allow the conversation to get really aggressive to the point that guests are looking uncomfortable.  If it starts to get really heated, step in and ask your guests to ratchet down the volume and/or change the subject.  Don't let anyone go on ranting.

5. If the conversation stalls out, be the person to get it restarted.  Make sure all your guests are properly introduced.  If you are aware that a topic of conversation is really uncomfortable for a guest, change the subject for that guest's benefit.

6. If the occasion is to be a potluck, indicate that at the time you extend the invitation.  Otherwise, it is your duty to provide all the food/drinks to be served and the utensils, plates, cups, etc. with which they will be eaten at your own expense.  Don't send your guests out to do your shopping for you.

7. While it is gracious of guests to offer to bring things, don't take them up on their offer unless they can realistically bring something you would like.  And don't "expect" them to offer-if they don't do so, don't ask them to bring anything but themselves and good spirits.  Graciously thank your guests for any host/ess gifts they bring, but don't expect them.  However, you are not required to serve consumable host/ess gifts.

8.  Don't delay the meal to wait for late guests.  Provide a realistic arrival and starting time, and if this has to change before the event takes place, notify your guests.  Serve the meal at the stated time.  If you wish to offer prayers before or after the meal, don't pressure your guests, especially those who are atheists or of different religions, into participating and if the prayers are not of fixed wording, try not to be long-winded.

9. Set the table and make whatever other preparations are necessary before the stated arrival time for guests.  Don't expect guests to assist you with setting up or with clean-up, but if they volunteer, feel free to allow them to assist (moderately).

10. If guests are assisting with setting up or with clean-up, remember, they're neither slaves nor hired help.  Don't expect them to do all the work.

For guests:
1.  If the host/ess hasn't indicated that the occasion is a potluck, don't bring any food or beverages with you that won't be served to other guests.  Tend to your specialized dietary needs before or after the occasion, or very, very discreetly if you absolutely need to do so during the occasion.  If that isn't possible, decline the invitation.

2. While it is gracious of guests to offer to bring things, don't do so if it isn't practical.  A guest who makes such an offer that is accepted by the host/ess should be prepared to follow up.

3. Arrive on time, not late or early.  If you know in advance that this isn't possible, let the host/ess know that.  Apologize sincerely for your untimely arrival.

4. Unless the host/ess has indicated that you should go ahead and eat, wait for everyone to be served before you begin.  If the host/ess wishes to say prayers before the meal begins, but you do not wish to participate, remain silent and do not eat until the prayer concludes.  It is not necessary to leave the table, but do not indicate through speech or body language that you do not endorse the prayer.  If you wish to pray before beginning to eat and no prayers are said, do so quietly and discreetly. 

5. Do not comment about foods or drinks served that are not to your taste or do not meet your dietary needs-simply decline to consume them.  Also, don't expect your hosts to act as short-order cooks.  They are the ones who get to decide on the menu.  They should inquire about your dietary needs when they extend the invitation to you, but in the event that they do not, keep them to yourself and eat whatever is served that you can.

6. It is not your job to act as anyone's diet police.  Keep your opinions about veganism, free-range meat, or any other facet of nutrition or health to yourself.

7. It is a kindness to bring a host/ess gift, but if it is of a consumable nature (food or drink), do not expect the host/ess to serve it.  If your host/s do not serve your offering, keep your disappointment to yourself.

8. Do not smoke without the host's permission-even then, it is best to do it out of doors.

9. Stay out of private areas-do not go into rooms with closed doors or open cabinets, closets, drawers, etc. without the express permission of the hosts, and do not handle anything they do not offer you, including their electronic devices.

10. Do not engage in private behavior at the occasion-save that for your own home or hotel room.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 11:29:15 PM by KeenReader »
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FoxPaws

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Re: Hosting etiquette
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2009, 07:10:55 PM »
Hosts

Please let new guests know if you have pets in case there are allergies or other issues. Please keep said pets under control when guests arrive.

When organizing an event at a restaurant or other venue, be crystal clear on whether you are hosting or it's dutch treat. If it's the latter, provide the establishment's phone number and/or website so that other participants can make an informed decision about whether or not to attend.

If something is spilled or broken: clean up, accept any apologies graciously, and move on. Do not allow a broken lamp or wine stain to dominate the rest of the event - it's sometimes the price paid for hosting. If you have valuables you cannot bear to lose/have damaged, put them away prior to your guests' arrival.

Give clear directions and a phone number to the party site. Include parking instructions and indicate whether or not there is a fee.

Guests

Either accept or decline, and do so in a timely manner. Don't keep the host hanging while you wait for a better offer, or double book.

Respect the boundaries of the host. Do not enter rooms that have been closed off during the party. Ask permission before using the TV, stereo, gaming system, camcorder, etc. If particular objects have been removed for the event, don't ask to have them brought out.

If you offer to bring a dish or help with set up or clean up and the host declines, please respect their wishes.

If you break or spill something: help clean up, apologize profusely, then move on. Do not allow your faux pas to dominate the event. Call the next day with an offer to pay for the damage, but accept graciously if the offer is declined.

Use MapQuest or a similar program to supplement the directions and get an estimated travel time, or call the day before to clarify directions. Please obey any specific instructions concerning parking.
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TylerBelle

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Re: Hosting etiquette
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2009, 07:44:51 PM »
Hosts

Most if not all guests realize you have gone through usually a substantial amount of trouble and effort for the dinner, the overnight stay, etc., and are very appreciative of your actions and hospitality. Please refrain regaling your guests with all the pains you have experienced for the event, lest your guests feel as though they are more burdensome than anything else.
 

Guests

When engaging in dinnertime conversation, don't bring up unpleasant happenings from prior gatherings, especially to others who weren't present then. Say for example the last time you all gathered for dinner and the hosts' oven overheated, and the asparagus and blue cheese torte was burned and smoked out the entire kitchen, it really needs not to be mentioned further in front of everyone.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 07:46:54 PM by TylerBelle »
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Lisbeth

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Re: Hosting etiquette
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2009, 07:48:48 PM »
One more for each:

For hosts:

Clean up thoroughly and put away anything you don't want guests to handle before they arrive.  Make sure that there is a clean bathroom for your guests' use.

For guests:

Refrain from commentary on the host's housekeeping and don't make a mess in the bathroom.
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Hawkwatcher

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Re: Hosting etiquette
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2009, 10:52:48 PM »
Guests

1. Treat every member of the hosts' household with respect.  These means greeting every human member of the household. 

2. It is always a good idea to knock before entering your host's home if you are an overnight guest and if your host has dogs.  You may want to give your host, hostess, or related family a chance to restrain the family dog. For example, I remember having to restrain my family German Shepard when my parents' overnight guests should up unexpectedly before my parents.  Even more egregious was the fact they ignored me when I told them to back off so I could get the dog under control.   I was sixteen-years-old at the time.

3. If you offer to do something, do it.  Don't offer to to help with dishes and then sit down and watch the football game.  If you do not wish to help, simply do not offer.

4.  If you stay at your hostess or host's house for more than one night, try to treat your host or hostess to at least one meal.

Hosts and Host Families

1. If your spouse, significant other, parent or child has a guest or guests, be polite to them.  You do not have to engage in a long conversation with them but you should greet them.

2. If you are hosting a mixed group, consider the sensibilities and views of your guests.  Unless you all share a similar views of about a controversial or sensitive topic, you might want to avoid that topic.  Politics, religion, and medical topics are examples.


snowball's chance

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Re: Hosting etiquette
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2009, 10:06:22 AM »
It's nice to offer your guests leftovers, but don't insist, and offer leftovers to everyone, don't assume that a young, single person wants leftovers more than anyone else.

Have extra rolls of toilet paper available in plain view in the bathroom.  Let guests know if there's anything special re: the bathroom, i.e. the door doesn't lock, or you have to hold the handle of the toilet down for 5 seconds to get the toilet to flush.

Introduce each guest who doesn't know everyone, even if it's just "Everyone, this is Kimmy, Stu's cousin".  Introduce yourself to each guest you don't know.

TylerBelle

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Re: Hosting etiquette
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2009, 12:22:52 PM »
(Remembered another one)

Hosts

Regarding pets in the house, if you regularly or occasionally supplement their diet with what you eat from the table and have guests over for a meal or overnight, be mindful some of them might not be used to animals about. Therefore your visitors may be somewhat uncomfortable while trying to enjoy their meal with your pets looking to them for food.
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Black Delphinium

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Re: Hosting etiquette
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2009, 12:43:28 PM »
To all parties involved: a party is not necessarily a performance venue. Unless you're getting together for Karaoke or charades, a party is not the time to regale people with your Mariah Carey tribute, Mike Myers impression, or little Tammy's tap dance routine.

Guests: an invitation is only for the person(s) indicated. If the invitation is vague( Mary and family) one may politely inquire as to how many people "and family" includes. Otherwise, don't invite extras.

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misha412

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Re: Hosting etiquette
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2009, 04:56:01 PM »
Hosts

Please be aware that not all of your guests may agree with you on various topics (examples include -- but are not limited to-- politics, religion, sports teams). While you may enjoy those topics with some of your guests, other guests may become uncomfortable because they have differing opinions.

Guests
Please be aware that your hosts or the other guests may not agree with you on various topics (examples include -- but are not limited to-- politics, religion, sport teams). While you may enjoy conversing on those topics, the host or the other guests may become uncomfortable because they have differing opinions.


matf

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Re: Hosting etiquette
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2009, 12:28:01 PM »
Guests and hosts: It is polite to reciprocate invitations. The reciprocation does not need to be an equivalent events. If you are invited to someone's house for dinner, you can reciprocate by asking your hosts to attend the county fair with you, or to go for a hike, or to see a movie, or even to go out for ice cream. It is rude to not attempt to reciprocate.

If you decline three or more invitations in a row without iniviting the potential hosts to some other event, you have indicated to your potential hosts that they are not a priority in your life at the moment. Invitations may no longer be issued. (This is to the discretion of the hosts, of course.) This is a perfectly polite way to inform potential hosts of their status in your life. It is then up to the potential guests to let the potential hosts know when and if they want to resume frequent contact. They do this by issuing an invitation. (I'm not sure I was clear on this -- should I rephrase it with names?)

Pinky830

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Re: Hosting etiquette
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2009, 04:09:23 PM »
Guests and hosts: It is polite to reciprocate invitations. The reciprocation does not need to be an equivalent events. If you are invited to someone's house for dinner, you can reciprocate by asking your hosts to attend the county fair with you, or to go for a hike, or to see a movie, or even to go out for ice cream. It is rude to not attempt to reciprocate.

If you decline three or more invitations in a row without iniviting the potential hosts to some other event, you have indicated to your potential hosts that they are not a priority in your life at the moment. Invitations may no longer be issued. (This is to the discretion of the hosts, of course.) This is a perfectly polite way to inform potential hosts of their status in your life. It is then up to the potential guests to let the potential hosts know when and if they want to resume frequent contact. They do this by issuing an invitation. (I'm not sure I was clear on this -- should I rephrase it with names?)


This this this!!!

If you have friends who have done a large amount of hosting, and none in the rest of your circle have ever reciprocated, and the "hosty" couple have slowly stopped having people over...they may be discouraged and hurt.  :(

sparklestar

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Re: Hosting etiquette
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2009, 02:14:36 PM »
Hosts: Even if you enjoy hosting, let guests reciprocate.  Even if you end up eating takeaway pizza and signing Mariah Carey.  Whilst your house may be the height of sophistication and culinary genius, let other people return the hospitality, don't dismiss it as "Oh well you know you don't have the space/don't enjoy cooking/I have better taste in music.  Why don't you come over to ours again?"


JoW

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Re: Hosting etiquette
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2009, 02:45:15 PM »
Guests

.....
Use MapQuest or a similar program to supplement the directions and get an estimated travel time, or call the day before to clarify directions. Please obey any specific instructions concerning parking.

MapQuest, Google Maps, TomTom, and most other mapping programs are not perfect.  If possible drive past the location of the event several days before the event to confirm the location.  When you leave for the event carry your cell phone and the host's phone number so you can call if you get lost.
(I have had several minor indicents when those mapping programs sent me or others to the wrong place.)

mechtilde

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Re: Hosting etiquette
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2009, 06:20:22 PM »
Guests

.....
Use MapQuest or a similar program to supplement the directions and get an estimated travel time, or call the day before to clarify directions. Please obey any specific instructions concerning parking.

MapQuest, Google Maps, TomTom, and most other mapping programs are not perfect.  If possible drive past the location of the event several days before the event to confirm the location.  When you leave for the event carry your cell phone and the host's phone number so you can call if you get lost.
(I have had several minor indicents when those mapping programs sent me or others to the wrong place.)

As a colloquy,

Hosts- if you live somewhere which is hard to find (for example my road is not easily visible from the main road and people do drive past, and have been known to get horribly lost) please make this clear to guests and give specific instructions on how to find the place.
NE England