Event Etiquette Tips – For Guests


Every host wants a polite and considerate guest.  And usually every guest wants to be invited back!  Here are ten tips to ensure that you are a welcomed guest, the host is happy and you get invited again!


  1. Always R.S.V.P. – Répondez s’il vous plait in French means Please respond.  The term was adapted by high society England from the French in the 18th  Anyone receiving an invitation with R.S.V.P is obligated to reply whether attending or declining-g.  In contemporary society, R.S.V.P is relied on for event logistics.  Your host needs to know how many people are attending for food, beverage and space.  So if your invitation is for you only, then do not bring a guest unless approved by the host.  Remember no response is not a response!


  1. Food to Go – This is a pet peeve of mine! Don’t ask for a “to go” plate.  If you are fortunate enough to be invited to an event, then eat, drink and be merry at the event.  If the host offers food to the guests once the event has ended and everyone has eaten, then buy all means accept.  If this does not happen and you are still hungry, then on your way home stop at your favorite fast food establishment and grab something “to go”.



  1. Thank you – Remember to tell your host Thank you for the invitation and let them know you enjoyed yourself – if you did. In some instances a nice thank you note can also be appropriate and a welcomed surprise for the host who put so much effort into the event.


  1. Time – Be on time! It is very inconsiderate to arrive late.  You may not know what the host has planned.  Maybe it’s a surprise for someone, or there may be a function that requires everyone to be on time.  Remember it’s not about you, the event is a collective and much time and effort goes into making sure that all guests and host enjoy themselves.


  1. Appearance – As my mother used to say “Dress the part”. What type of event are you attending?  Is it formal, which would call for women to wear floor length gown or knee length dress and men to wear tuxedo.  According to Reader’s Digest- stay away from jeans, shorts and tank tops for any occasion.  Where is the event being held?  Outside or inside?  Prepare for weather issues as well.


  1. Children – Confirm whether children are invited to a certain event. Often this information will be outlined specifically on the invitation. If children are not invited, don’t take it upon yourself to bring “little Billy” because you feel he is well behaved and won’t cause trouble.  Children get bored and need to be amused, an adult event is not the place.  Trust me, he will be bored, and get into trouble.  And to quote my mother again “stay out of grown folks business”.



  1. Alcohol- remember to indulge in moderation. Your host should not need to worry about the guest’s safety and social graces if they become intoxicated.  There can also be an issue of liability should a mishap occur.  Enjoy yourself by all means, but be aware of your alcohol intake.


  1. Be aware of your surroundings- What type of event are you attending? I ask this because although most of the world is attached to some type of electronic device, in many instances turning your device off or on vibrate is better. At a funeral? Your phone ringing or having a conversation during this somber time is rude and unsympathetic.  Same goes for a wedding.  If you must take or make a phone call – because you are preparing for emergency heart surgery – then please step away to a private area.  Those are the extremes, however if you have taken time out to attend an event, then be in the moment, be alert and conscious of your atmosphere and enjoy where you are!


  1. Social Media – Again being aware of your surroundings. Should this event be shared on social media?  It is always appropriate to ask the host.  Some events may be considered private.  Posting pictures of mutual friends may not go over well if someone wasn’t invited.  Also posting pictures of people’s children without the explicit permission of the parents is a definite no no.


  1. Be in the moment – Smile, laugh, mingle, meet someone. You never know who you might encounter and what wonderful things may come from a random conversation.  Bring your best self to the event and prepare for the best experience!



Stay tuned for the next TEN SPOT – Tips for hosting a great event!




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