Friday, April 15, 2011

You've Been Invited to a Dinner Party

You've been invited to a dinner party.  Your hostess is known for how much she loves to cook, entertain, and being your only friend that has a dining table that extends to seat 12 comfortably.  It's a major religious holiday, and she's stressed several times that she'd like you to bring wine.  Wine only.  Please, please don't bring anything but wine.  I'm serious, all she needs you to bring is wine.  You know that stuff that they mostly make from grapes that's got an alcohol content and comes in a pretty bottle?  Yeah... that stuff. 

Do not bring:
  • Any side dish
    • She's probably got that covered
  • Any appetizer
    • Chances are this hostess already has appetizers planned
  • If you've asked her if you should bring it, and she says no, don't bring it
  • Anything to be consumed that night that she hasn't specifically requested
When someone invites you to a dinner party, it is lovely and thoughtful to bring a gift to your host and hostess.  Chances are, they've spent a fair amount of money on food, flowers, candles, etc., and it's a lovely gesture.  Chances are also good that they've spent weeks planning their menu and they don't really want you to bring anything else for people to eat, because it can be perceived as a bit insulting (What?  You don't think I'm going to serve enough that you like or want to eat?  You think I'm not going to have appetizers, or enough sides?).

Flowers Brought to me for Thanksgiving - Great Idea!
 The things you can bring as a hostess gift to a dinner party are pretty simple
  • A nice bottle of wine or champagne for them, not something you're going to drink at said party, but actually a gift for your hosts
  • Flowers.  Flowers are always welcome and nice
  • A gift basket - you can bring them cheeses, crackers, jams, coffee, etc in a gift package for them - JUST NOT TO BE SERVED AT THE DINNER PARTY
  • A thoughtful gift for their house
  • If you must bring something edible, bring a dessert.  Italian cookies, brownies, etc.  Something simple.
I had a conversation with B this morning about this.  I don't understand if people just weren't raised the way we were to know these things, but I am always shocked when someone informs me that to Easter they are bringing wine, and like 6 kinds of cheese to sample before dinner!  Just say no, and practice safe dinner party etiquette. 


mm said...

The only possible exception I could see to this, is if someone has specific dietary needs - i.e. - vegan, gluten allergy, etc... that they don't expect you to accomodate when you're serving a large group of people. In which case, I would still think they should ask and explain why ahead of time, just in case you do, in fact, have that covered too! :o)

Little J said...

Totally agree with you on that - if they have special dietary restrictions, by all means let your host/hostess know at the time when you're invited!

Lola Lakely said...

Couldn't agree more. Nice post Little J.

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