The Fourth of July is a great time for outdoor barbecues and parties by the pool with neighbors, families, and friends. Hot weather, cool drinks, and delicious food are the perfect ingredients for this summer holiday shindig. Whether you’re the host or a guest, learn the do’s and don’ts of summer party etiquette.
Planning the Party
First, figure out how many people you are inviting and ask them to RSVP. Nothing’s worse than having to stand up while everyone else is sitting comfortably, or if one of the grown-ups has to sit at the kid’s table. Also, a polite way to ask guests to bring something is to mention that it is a potluck dinner. If you don’t want guests to feel obligated to bring anything, then write a polite note on their invitations or tell them over the phone “No gifts please.”
Learn from the host what kind of party this is, and dress accordingly. Summer parties are usually very casual, but if it’s a sit down dinner you might need to dress a little more formally. Be considerate and ask your host first if you can bring anything: beverages, side dishes, etc. If this is a housewarming party, bring a bottle of wine, desserts, hand soaps, or anything that you would want for your own home. Also make sure that guests or children are invited before you bring anyone along.
Make sure that all of your guests are okay with the food options in case someone has allergies, is a vegetarian, etc. Provide accommodations for everyone and make sure they are all comfortable. If the party is outside, offer them a shaded seat underneath the awning. If half of the guests want to enjoy the summer sunshine outside, and the other half want to enjoy your cool air conditioning inside, make sure you are tending to both groups.
The host is already welcoming you into their home, cooking for you, and trying to cater to your needs. Don’t abuse the privilege by wandering off, looking in the rooms throughout their house, or getting barbecue fingers on their nice furniture/things
When dinner is over, don’t ask the guests to clean up after themselves. If they offer to or if they insist, then that is perfectly acceptable. Otherwise, make sure all of your guests are content and able to get home safely (especially if there was alcohol at your party).
Always clean up after yourself. Yes, it’s not your house, but act like it is. You don’t have to go as far as doing the host’s dishes or taking out their trash, but you can help by throwing paper plates or cups away, putting your dirty dishes in the sink, or helping to wipe up any little messes or big spills you create.
These tips will help your summer party run smoothly, ensuring both party guests and hosts have a very pleasant experience. Also remember basic manners: don’t talk with your mouth full, no elbows on the table, and don’t get intoxicated on alcohol (unless it’s that kind of party), and make sure to thank your host for a lovely evening, and thank your guests for their company/gifts! Happy barbecuing and everyone have a safe holiday!