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The New Dinner Party Etiquette

The New Dinner Party Etiquette

It’s been nearly 50 years since Emily Post wrote, “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”

So much of her original etiquette wisdom still holds true. But we now have a lot more to navigate at parties, from cell phones to social media. Here a few new manners for modern partygoing.

RULE #1: DON’T LEAVE THEM HANGING

Whether it’s via Facebook, Evite, e-mail or snail mail, respond to a party invite sooner than later—and most definitely by the noted RSVP deadline. There’s nothing more frustrating for a host who’s planning a menu, renting a space or coordinating an activity to be waiting on a few flighty guests. Make them aware of your intentions either way with a note thanking them for thinking of you.

Also, make sure you put the event into your calendar right away so it doesn’t pass you by. If you’re not sure where you are going, search directions and check the traffic just prior to leaving so you’re not late.

RULE #2: BRING A GIFT

A bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers or a special something (keep reading)—a token of thanks goes a long way in the eyes of your host. Keep the gift as personal as possible. Scour their Facebook page for clues. Do they love microbrews? A seasonal six pack would be fun. What’s their favorite football team? Consider a bottle opener in their team’s colors. Are they a foodie? A spice mix or serving platter, such as the CORELLE® LIVINGWARE™ OLD TOWN BLUE 12.25” PLATTER in festive emerald green, would be a great host gift.

RULE #3: TURN OFF YOUR PHONE

That’s right…OFF. Most likely your host put countless hours into planning, cleaning and cooking so you could have a good time. The least you can do is give them a few hours of your undivided attention.

If you’re waiting for an urgent call or your kids are with the sitter and you want to remain accessible, simple put your phone on vibrate and hide it away. Just be sure to step outside or into another room to take a call.

RULE #4: KEEP THE CONVERSATION FRIENDLY

In today’s age of say whatever’s on your mind, it’s important to remember that you’re talking to real people here, not just venting on Twitter or Facebook. Obviously, if you’re among close friends or family, you know how far you can push topics like politics, money and religion. But if it’s a mixed group, be a good guest by steering clear of conversations that can sour the mood (your hostess will thank you). If you find yourself in a sticky situation, just listen and avoid being confrontational. Then either excuse yourself or try to change the subject…fast.

RULE #5: TO POST OR NOT TO POST?

Do not tag someone or post a shot of the evening’s festivities before the host does (or, at least, get their permission first before you do). A couple reasons: Maybe they couldn’t invite everyone they wanted to and don’t want to make those Facebook friends who didn’t make the cut feel bad; perhaps you look like a super model but they resemble Shrek in that Instagram shot you just took; maybe they just appreciate privacy more than the average millennial. Regardless of the reason, put down the selfie stick and avoid putting your host in an uncomfortable position.

YOUR TURN: What other manners would you add to our list? #corelle