Being a good guest

We spend a lot of time giving inspiration, suggestions and etiquette tips for how to throw a great party or wedding, but we must not forget about GUEST etiquette! Sure you keep a busy social calendar so lets make sure that we cover all bases necessary to be good hostesses and gracious guests. Here are six tips from our fave, Emily Post that are applicable in any setting from casual to formal: 1) Tell your host whether you're attending. If you delay your reply, you could hinder the host's planning and also make it seem as if you're waiting for something better to come along.  Even if no RSVP has been requested, it's thoughtful to let your host know if you won't be able to be there.

2) Be on time. Arrive at or shortly after (usually only fifteen minutes) the time stated in the invitation.  Do not, however, arrive early.

3) Be a willing participant. When your host says that it's time for dinner, go straight to the table.  If you happen to be asked to participate in an activity,  accept graciously and enthusiastically no matter how you really feel.

4) Offer to help when you can. Be specific when you offer to help. Even if your offer is refused, your gesture will be appreciated.  When the party's end draws nigh, you could also offer to help with the cleanup.

5)Don't overindulge. Attacking finger foods will not only attract the wrong kind of attention, it will also leave less food for other guests.  Also be sure to keep any consumption of alcoholic beverages on the moderate to low side.

6) Thank the host twice. In some parts of the United States, a second thank-you by phone is customary the day after the party (the first having been delivered on leaving the party) - a gesture that's gracious anywhere.  If the party was formal, written thanks are in order.  In fact, a written note is always appreciated - even after casual parties.

*Photo courtesy of Real Simple