Being invited to a dinner party is a wonderful opportunity to catch up with friends and perhaps even make some new ones. There are some basic dinner party etiquette rules you’ll want to follow as a guest, no matter how casual the gathering. Even if you’re just attending a simple get-together, you’ll want to show some common manners and be respectful of the host. These simple dinner party etiquette rules are easy to remember and will ensure you make an excellent impression on other partygoers.
Understanding the use of each individual piece of silverware can be tricky. Fortunately, there’s a simple rule of thumb that anyone can follow. Just use the silverware farthest from your plate first, moving inward as the meal progresses.
A table that has been set in a more formal manner may have more than just a dinner plate at each setting. Remember, the bread plate is always on the left.
Your primary beverage will be positioned to the right of your dinner plate.
A cloth napkin should be removed from the setting only after the host or hostess has unfolded the napkin at his or her plate. Following his or her lead, remove it from the setting and place it over your lap.
Wait for your host or hostess to start eating before you take your first bite. Try to pace yourself so that you’re eating at a rate comparable to those guests around you to avoid being rude or finishing the course long before others.
It’s best to thank the host or hostess in a number of ways. First, arrive with a gift. Wine, champagne, or flowers are all timeless gifts that will surely be appreciated. Also, be sure to thank the host or hostess before leaving the dinner party. Etiquette experts also recommend sending a thank you card in the mail following more formal gatherings.