How to get invited to parties; proper etiquette tips

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT)- If you love holiday parties, and want to make sure you are invited back year after year, you'll want to make sure you are using proper etiquette for those gatherings.

WECT News asked Tracee Meyer, the owner of Cape Fear Cotillion, for some tips. She says it all starts the moment you receive the invitation, whether its by mail, email or text.

RSVP promptly, usually within a day or two. The host/hostess will need to know how many people are coming so she can properly plan, so the sooner you let them know, the better. Don't call last minute and tell them you are coming.

If you have to decline, still thank them, and never say you have "too many other parties." You don't want to make them feel unimportant or insignificant.

Don't ask if you can bring other guests. Usually whoever's name is on the invitation is who is invited. Don't bring extra siblings along or a plus one unless the host has given you permission.

Don't be a no show. If you RSVP'd "yes" then you are expected to be there. Even worse, don't say yes and then decide to go somewhere else last minute.

If you are a guest to a party:

  • Arrive on time, don't be any later than five minutes. Usually the host has activities planned and if you are late, you will slow up the whole party as they wait for you.

  • Thank the host when you arrive and leave, keep the conversation light and offer to help clean up.

  • Don't show up empty handed. Ask if there is anything you can bring, such as a bottle of wine or some appetizers. If they tell you they have it covered, bring a small gift, such as a hand towel or ornament this time of year to thank the hostess.

If you are hosting a party:

  • Introduce the guests to each other, maybe mention how you know each other so they can spark a conversation.

  • Offer to take their coats and ask if they would like a drink.

  • If someone brings a dish, be polite and put it on the table for people to enjoy.

Properly setting the dinner table can make all the difference. On Monday's Carolina in the Morning, Meyer showed viewers how to do it.

Watch the clip on this page to learn how.

Meyer teaches etiquette and dancing to children ages three and up.

Registration is currently open and on a first come, first serve basis for the Winter/Spring 2012 Classes.

Classes are held at the Wrightsville Beach Rec center.

Tuesdays, January 17-February 14
4:00-4:45 p.m.
For more information or to register, call 256-7925.

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