9 Etiquette Tips for Hosting a Memorable House Party
Everyone loves a good house party, mainly for the cosy, personal touch that is difficult to replicate in external venues. Everyone except for the actual hosts, that is, who often find the experience of planning and delivering such gaiety stressful. To be fair, there is only so much one can do and, inevitably, some guests will drink too much, argue about politics and assume they are welcome to come late and stay until dawn. Despite the required effort, a gentleman knows the importance of entertaining at home and will work on the necessary skills to do so successfully.
To help you on your journey, we’ve put together a list of what you can do to ensure the evening goes well so you can have as much fun as your guests!
How to be the perfect party host
1. Map your battleground
How many people can you reasonably fit in your house so it looks full but not crowded? Is there a garden or balcony that guests can spill out to, weather permitting? You may decide to move furniture for a makeshift dance floor, but always leave some chairs for guests to rest their feet. Finally, think about décor: fairy lights, candles etc.
2. Respect thy neighbour
Any large gathering will probably generate some noise so spare a thought for your neighbours. If you are aware of any circumstances that would cause awkwardness, e.g. a newborn or a recent bereavement, consider postponing. Otherwise, let them know it’s happening or go the extra mile and invite them, if you think they’d fit in.
3. Draw a guest list
Guests can really make, or break, a party and a lot depends on numbers. If you plan to have a few people over, it may be best to stick with those that are all bound to get on well or already know each other. For larger parties, where people are likely to break into smaller groups, you can be more creative and mix things up.
4. Cordially invited
Send invites at least two weeks in advance and set the tone of the event, e.g. if there is a dress code, if it will be a quiet meal or a drinks and dance sort of thing. You may want to invite a few more people than the actual number of guests you are hoping for, as some will inevitably decline or not turn up.
5. Plus ones
If you are aware that someone is in a relationship, you should extend an invitation to the partner as, otherwise, it might appear like you dislike the partner. If guests themselves ask to bring a friend or date, it is entirely at your discretion to accept but it is perhaps wise to accommodate those guests that won’t know anyone else.
6. Prepare in advance
Plan ahead so you are calm and ready when your guests arrive. The playlist is one thing you can tick off early as well as the shopping list, which should allow for dietary requirements to avoid panic-googling “vegan finger food” on the day. Whatever you do, don’t leave cleaning and cooking until the last minute and stick to recipes you know.
7. Dress up
Your guests will make an effort to look their best, possibly even buy new clothes for the occasion, and so should you. A suit is always the best choice for a gentleman but, since you’ll be in your own home, you can opt for a more comfortable combination of dress shirt, waistcoat and trousers. Check our 3 piece suit collection for ideas and bear in mind that all our waistcoats stand out, with or without the jacket.
8. Work the stage
Welcome your guests at the door, offer them a drink and introduce them. Some may not know anyone or feel uncomfortable mingling so take a look at our blog on how to do introductions and get people talking. Take part in conversations, interrupt heated debates and refill glasses and bowls. Command the room but don’t try to be the centre of attention.
9. Bid farewell
At the end of the evening, show your guests to the door and thank them for coming. If they look tipsy, suggest calling a taxi. You may also want to ask unaccompanied ladies if they want one. Do not send people home with leftovers and do not offer to return any unconsumed drinks or food they brought along.
All in all, your guests will be taking their cue from you. If you seem to be enjoying yourself, they will also relax but, if you are buried in the kitchen or fretting over dirty ashtrays, they will feel responsible for your misery. Always remember that it’s all about the company and no one expects 5-star luxury or cooking skills worthy of a Michelin star.
Now that you have some tips on how to host an amazing house party, let’s start thinking about your outfit. What’s your go-to style for when you have people over? Do you ever find yourself worrying whether you have something for the occasion? Sign up to our newsletter for style tips and special offers, to give you that extra incentive to revive your wardrobe, and do keep reading our blogs for more suggestions on etiquette and style.