Basic Party Etiquette

The key thing to remember is that the work doesn’t stop once the party is planned – you have to be a great host when the party takes place:  

Decorate your home keeping in mind the theme.

Lighting and Music are equally important in livening up the atmosphere. With respect to music, make sure it’s loud enough to hear, but not so loud that it’s a distraction.

Use real dishes. It looks elegant and will complement the table setting, decor, lighting and all the effort you have made.

Greet your guests as they arrive. When they leave, ALWAYS see them to the door and thank them for coming.

Introduce guests to one another.  To encourage mingling, start off by playing ice breaker games. It works every time.

Parting Gifts are a personal choice. At the end of my parties, I shower my guests with gifts for attending my event.

table setting, fine china

Hostess Gifts are not mandatory, but are becoming more and more prevalent these days. Here, guests thank the host for offering their home, time, food etc. It is a nice gesture. It doesn’t have to be grand, but is a great compliment to the host for all their efforts.

Some ideas of hostess gifts include:

  • Flowers
  • Wine or Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Drink (keep in mind not everyone drinks alcohol)
  • Picture Frame
  • Decadent Chocolates
  • Aroma Candle
  • Stationary
  • Table Linens /Kitchen Linens
  • Any gift to do with entertaining
  • Hand-made gift – there is nothing that shows you care more than something you personally made


After the all the hard work and effort you have put in, it is important that you take some time out to enjoy the party also. Do not spend the entire party serving your guests – you’re a host, not a waiter.

And here’s my final tip on throwing a successful party – a gift from me to you: I recently discovered that you can go to a high-end bakery and convince them to letting you buy some of their equipment/supplies/decorating tools. It is not only a good investment for future parties, but your guests will be thoroughly impressed.

And these details are what take you from being a good host to a phenomenal one!

Happy Entertaining!


Shezadi Khushal is a former corporate events planner.  Some of her projects included:  Conducting Leadership Conferences, Hosting Celebrity Seminars, Orientation Conferences and assisting with Wedding Planning. Contact:

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Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of, a leading lifestyle blog for women.

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