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Guest Blogger: A Guest's Best Accessory

Mindy Lockard, nationally recognized etiquette expert and editor of Manner of the Month and her own personal blog is today’s guest blogger.  Enjoy her insights into lovely, mannerly living. 

One of the number one questions asked before an event or party is, “What should I wear?”  As we approach the Labor Day holiday here are a few extra accessories to remember as you are select your soirée attire.  The best guest always wears her gracious best…

Gracious accessories to keep in mind…

Gift for the Host / Hostess Arriving with a token (hostess gift) of thanks for the party invitation is a staple accessory for the gracious guest. For casual events a gracious guest always inquires with the host/hostess a few days in advance regarding what they can bring.  When the hostess takes the guest up on the offer bring something, a hostess gift is not required.  However a small token of thanks is always welcome.  For larger events, formal parties, or when the hostess declines the offer to bring something, a hostess gift doesn’t have to break the bank but should be a bit more substantial.

For larger events or if the hostess declines the offer to bring an item a more substantial hostess gift is a most kind gesture. 

What to Wear? When in doubt, ask. One of the best ways to gauge the attire is to find out what the host or most importantly the guest of honor is wearing. Although we always want to look our best when attending a party and it is the perfect time to invest a bit more into the process, we should never intentionally or unintentionally upstage the guest of honor. Knowing what he or she is wearing will help you not to over- or underdress.

Arriving in style. When a host has gone to great lengths to prepare for a party, it is rather rude to “make an appearance.” Just stopping by communicates that although they are important enough to make your social obligation list, they are not important enough for you to stay.

When you RSVP, plan to actually attend the event out of respect for the host and/or the guest of honor.  If you have multiple events, it is always best to choose one and stick to it. Even though we want to try to attend everything, it is important to keep in mind that this party is not about you, it is about honoring another person. So choose to attend the entire event or graciously decline.

If you do have to leave early, let the host know when you RSVP, and make an effort to also communicate your early departure with the guest of honor.

Saying Goodbye. When it comes time to depart an event, say good-bye to the host and guest of honor before heading to the door even if they are in the middle of a conversation. Wait until they are at a breaking point in the dialogue, then thank them for the effort of throwing the party or for including you on the invitation list.

Say Thank-you in writing A thank you note wraps up the gracious guest’s best.  As a rule of thumb, the manner in which an invitation is extended is the manner in which a thank-you should be sent (example: phone, web, writing.)  That said, a hostess will always appreciate a tangible token of thanks in a handwritten note.

Wishing you a fabulous weekend of wearing your very best guest!

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