Party Etiquette Tips and Tricks

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September 11, 2009

Party Etiquette Tips and TricksThis isn't a tip but a reminder. When you receive an invitation to a function, and it reads to RSVP or any other type of a request to respond, please reply accordingly.


In the past six months, I have been involved in organizing two large parties with over 50 people. My main responsibility was to help cook for the party. In order for anyone to make any food you must know how many people will be there so you can buy and cook/prepare what is needed. Not only the food but plates, flatware, drinks, etc. must be known so people can plan. Planning a party can be quite expensive. Some people work within a budget.

I was very disappointed that more than half of the people who were invited did not respond in any way. I do not understand it. In order to get a head count, we had to make phone calls. The host/hostess make the effort to print and mail out invitations, so the guests should have the courtesy to reply. In was time consuming and frustrating to make the calls.

At one of the parties, party favors were involved. There were quite pricey but it was a party for a special person. Even though there were extras, some who were courteous enough to reply, did not get one because unknown to us, a few people were bringing their own guests, so that left us short. It would have been polite for the uninvited guest to refuse but of course they didn't.


It has been years since I was involved in organizing a party and I was not happy with the guests who did not reply to the sent out invitations. Now, no one minds calling Aunt Theresa who is elderly and forgets at times, that is something quite different. And it is understandable that people sometimes do forget but this was over half of the invited guests.

If you want to bring any extra people, please let the hostess/host know. These two parties for the most part did not have the same guests. If we would have known current e-mail addresses that may have helped the situation but it was impossible to know all of them.

So this is just a reminder to be polite and courteous and don't forget to reply to a party. You were special enough to receive an invitation so please be kind to the hostess/host of the party and respond as requested. It will make it so much easier and less stressful for them so they can enjoy the party, too.


By it' from NE PA



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August 8, 20120 found this helpful
Top Comment

I always RSVP but besides it being polite there are reasons for this people! The last invite I got was to a bridal shower where the bride to be had personalized engraved favors for each of the ladies. If you came but had't RSVP'd you didn't get a favor. These same people had to be squeezed into tables that were already seating 10 people which really wasn't fair to anyone at the table. If you don't want to talk to the person and give reasons why you can't come pick one of the numbers on the invite of the person you don't know. If it is only given by one person call and leave a message when you know they are at work but please be polite enough to RSVP! As far as mailing back an RSVP there is no excuse under the sun for not doing it!

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January 9, 2008

When preparing for a party - either for a large group or just some friends over for dinner - it is sometimes hard to remember what beverages people enjoy, especially with the huge variety of soft drinks now available.


7 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

April 27, 2015

I am talking about a jewelry party or any kind of party where you offer food and stuff to buy. What kind of food did you serve? How did the party go? Thanks.


April 28, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had a Mary Kay cosmetics party, and it was fairly successful. It was hot summer weather, so I served a cold fruit and dip tray, cookies and lemonade/wine coolers for those who wanted them.


This was in the evening after dinner.

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December 6, 2009

I have an etiquette question. If you are invited to a party where the host is selling things (you know like Tupperware, Lia Sophia, Pampered Chef) are you expected to bring something? Normally I would bring a bottle of wine or a snack with me to a party, but I am assuming that instead I should expect to buy something and the host will provide drinks and snacks.

Am I right?

By Pam from Boston


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December 6, 20090 found this helpful

You are correct. If you know beyond a shadow of a doubt it is a "sellers' party/gathering you don't need to take anything and shouldn't e expected to either. Now if it's a party for some other reason, baby, birthday, bridal, bachelor- you should probably take something. Unless it's a surprise party for you. Then sit back and enjoy. :)


But back to the "sellers" party, go with an intention to be open minded. There may be something you are impressed with for yourself or for a friend. If so go ahead and buy it but don't feel obligated to buy something to help you friend out if it's not something you ever have a reason to purchase. The hard road of sales is just as important as the easy one.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
December 9, 20090 found this helpful

Ditto with Suntydt!

December 10, 20090 found this helpful

Even if it's a baby, birthday, etc., there is no need to take food - only a gift if it's a shower. If it's a sales party like tupperware, jewelry, etc., you do not take anything - it's the hostess' responsibility to provide refreshments (and they're generally light). She is wanting to sell you something. As the previous poster wrote, do not feel obligated to buy if you're not interested. I've been to parties where I've bought and not bought. I've had parties that were great and parties that flopped - it's just the way the ball bounces.


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 407 Feedbacks
December 10, 20090 found this helpful

No need to bring anything, but don't feel like you have to buy something either if there is nothing that appeals to you. These days are about being thrifty, not spending money on something you didn't want or need anyway.


A good host knows this as well.


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December 11, 20090 found this helpful

The others are right. No need to take a host/hostess gift to a sales party. Instead of bringing anything, you'll be asked to either buy something or host a like party yourself. As previously stated, though, don't feel obligated. If there's nothing that strongly appeals to you (especially if you can't realistically afford it,) and if hosting a like party wouldn't work for you, don't. I couldn't host a sales party if I wanted - I'm disabled and live in a small house with a hermit hubby and three large dogs.

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May 22, 2013

I have been organizing a surprise party for my mom. It's been a lot of work finding the emails for her many friends and emailing them all, many of whom I don't know. I have invited roughly 60 people. I gave people about a week to rsvp. I wanted to send invites out early (about a month and a half before the party) so I will have time to plan. The rsvp date is this Friday, and so far fewer than half of the invitees have bothered responding.

My question is, should I re-send an invitation to the other people who haven't got back to me? And if so, would Saturday be a good re-send date?


By n/a


May 24, 20130 found this helpful

I've gotten invitations to events, block parties, and more, from E-vite. This lets you click Join-Maybe-decline, sends reminders at intervals. I'm sure there are other applications for this, as well. This will make it much easier on you.

May 24, 20130 found this helpful

Does sending an E-vite require you to have all the email addresses of the invited guests?

May 24, 20130 found this helpful

Some people might not recognize your email address and not have opened the email. In the subject line I would put surprise party for "Mom's name"...also Sat. is not too soon to send out another email. They may have been waiting to make sure nothing clashes with your event. Good luck.


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May 24, 20130 found this helpful

People are notorious for not responding on time. Sat would be a good day to send out another reminder. You will likely get a few more by then. And then a flurry of replies right after you send out the reminder. If there are some close friends who you think would want to come who are not responding, perhaps you could give them a phonecall. Sometimes, especially if these are older people, they need to be phoned to get them to pay attention to things.

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December 8, 2013

When one hosts a home sales party, the products that everyone purchased are delivered to the hostess. Is it proper etiquette for the hostess to deliver the items to her guests, or should the guests expect to go to the hostesses house to pick them up?



December 8, 20130 found this helpful

Any time I have been to a party where you are expected to buy stuff, the hostess has delivered the items to the guests. That being said it seems like I have heard that some of the selling parties, the merchandise is shipped directly to each guest. Thank heavens I no longer know anybody that has that type of party.


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December 10, 20130 found this helpful

I think that most usually the hostess delivers the gifts to the purchasers. It is part of her job, for which she has received considerable discount on her purchases or hostess gifts.

April 27, 20150 found this helpful

I am having my party this month. I will be letting everyone leave with their paid items on hand. I am selling what I purchased already the night of the party. The table will be set up something like this.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 11, 2009

Don't people RSVP to invitations anymore? I have yet to hear from 13 people that I sent invitations to (out of 19 sent). Should I get on the phone and track them down?

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