Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dining etiquette rules

Follow whatever dress code is requested on the invitation or suggested by the host/hostess.

Arrive at least 10 minutes early unless otherwise specified. Never arrive late!

It is proper to bring a small hostess gift, one that the hostess is not obliged to use that very evening. Gifts such as flowers, candy, wine, or dessert, are not good hostess gifts, as the hostess will feel that it must put it out immediately. You must not never expect your gift to be served at the dinner party.

At a dinner party, wait for the host or hostess sits down before taking your seat. If the host/hostess asks you to sit, then do. At a very formal dinner party, if there are no name cards at the table, wait until the host indicates where you should sit. The seating will typically be man-woman-man-woman with the women seated to the right of the men. 

A prayer or 'blessing' may be customary in some households. The dinner guests may join in or be respectfully silent. Most prayers are made by the host before the meal is eaten. 

Sometimes a toast is offered instead of a prayer. Always join in with a toast. If the host stands up during the toast, also stand up.

Serving tea or coffee signifies that the formal part of the evening is over. Guests may now feel free to leave, or linger if the host or hostess encourages them to do so. 
 
After a formal dinner party, a thank you note should be sent to the hostess.




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