It seems like every life event both big and small requires a party in today’s culture. Whether you’re hosting a baby shower, bridal tea, housewarming party, birthday party, or even a book club meeting, follow these tried and true etiquette rules to ensure guests will want to return to your next event.

1. Clean the venue.

Whether you’re hosting at home or a central location, a clean venue is an important start. 

2. Decorate to match the theme.

Make sure you have decorations, plates, pillows, et cetera in the correct colors. When in doubt, go with simple and elegant. 

3. Greet guests at the door.

Entering any event can be intimidating. Make sure you make your guests feel welcome by greeting them at the door.

4. Meet anyone you do not know.

There’s nothing more awkward than entering the home of a stranger and being ignored. Make sure you get to know any attendees that you may not know yet.

5. Wear an outfit that matches the decor.

This allows for guests to easily spot the hostess. Bonus points for the how adorable you’ll appear in pictures.

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6. Know food allergies of guests.

Make sure you stray away from any allergens that will cause any guests to have to skip out on food or even leave the party.

7. Offer an array of beverages.

Make sure you have a beverage option for guests who may not like typical party drinks, such as punch.

8. Maintain a laid back attitude.

Your attitude will affect the entire party. Try to remain calm in the chaos.

9. Write thank you letters.

Hand written letters never go out of style. 

10. Be flexible.

Things may not go perfectly according to schedule. Be prepared to make sudden changes.

11. Provide entertainment.

Make sure guests have more to do than sit and talk to each other.

12. Set event start and end times.

Mak e sure your event has start and end times so guests can know to expect.

13. Assist with jackets, bags, and gifts.

Make sure these items have a set location, like a coat closet, and offer to help guests with their items.

14. Show guests around.

No one should have to worry about finding the kitchen, restroom, et cetera. Make sure guests know their way around the venue at the beginning, as well as any house rules. 

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15. Buy more than enough supplies. 

You may have gotten 15 RSVP cards back, but 30 guests may arrive. Even if there was only a set number of invitations, be prepared for +1s. You’ll also have enough supplies if an accident occurs allowing for a stress-free party.

Being a hostess can be both fun and overwhelming. Making sure you’re prepared is an important part of the job. Stick to these etiquette rules and rest assured that you will host an event that guests will rave about.

Whitney E

Whitney is a senior majoring in communication at Mississippi State University. When she's not preparing for law school, you can find her online shopping or planning a trip to Disney World. She loves Ronald Reagan, traveling, and all things preppy.