Rachel Wagner Etiquette and Protocol
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As another year comes to a close, I want to thank you for your loyal support as a subscriber to my newsletter. My first love is helping people like you gain the critical etiquette skills that give you greater professional presence and a competitive edge.
My second love is getting to come to your corporate training room and work with your executive staff, sales teams, or leadership teams in person! There's nothing like getting a group engaged in training and having fun at the same time. I have met the most wonderful people this way...from attorneys and CEOs to engineers, financial planners and support staff. It gives me such pleasure to finish a training session and feel I've made a practical and positive difference in someone's professional development...that they can go out there in the business world empowered to do something better, more confidently, and more effectively than they could before the training.
To that end, I hope you find this month's article helpful as you attend holiday dinner parties...or dinner parties any time of the year!
I wish you the happiest of holidays!
To your professional success,
P.S. I invite you to visit the Rachel Wagner Etiquette and Protocol Facebook page. And, be sure to click on the "like" button!
Dinner Party Guest Etiquette
Holiday dinner parties are just around the corner. You will set yourself apart as a savvy and thoughtful guest if you follow these tips for a dinner party any time of the year:
- RSVP. Call the number on the invitation to let the hostess know whether or not you plan to attend. The hostess needs to know how to plan food, beverages, and seating. Never take uninvited guests with you.
- Arrive at the time stated on the invitation, or within 10 minutes of it. If the invitation is casual, and says arrive between 6:30 - 7, then split the difference and ring the door bell at 6:45. If the invitation says cocktails 7:00- 8:00, dinner at 8:00, then arrive anytime during the cocktail hour, but at least 15 minutes before dinner. You don't want to arrive just as everyone is being seated.
- What about a hostess gift? A hostess gift is a nice gesture for a small party, especially when you know the host well; it's a way to show appreciation for the dinner invitation. But this ritual varies in different parts of the country and in various circles of friends. So, learn what's appropriate where you live and with your friends. You don't want to be the only one not taking a gift, and you don't want to be the only one who does.
- Appropriate hostess gifts include flowers, food, or wine. While flowers are lovely, they do obligate an already busy hostess to find a vase and arrange them--so take them already arranged in a vase.
- Take a bottle of wine only if you know the host and hostess's wine preferences. The host and hostess are not expected to serve the wine at the dinner, as they will have already planned wine pairings for the meal.
- Better yet, if you do take something, make it personal, for example monogrammed paper beverage napkins, a jar of hummus and a spreader, or homemade jam and bagels for your host's breakfast the next morning.
- If it's a large formal party--and especially if you don't know the host well, do not take a hostess gift.
- Enjoy mingling with other guests if there are cocktails and hors d'oeuvres before dinner. Introduce yourself to those you don't know. Make small talk by asking how they know the host and hostess and about their holiday plans.
- When dinner is announced, if there are several tables set up with place cards, find your spot and stand behind your chair until the hostess sits down. If there are no place cards, the host will indicate where you should sit. Men should help seat the woman to their right.
- Do not "eat and run."Generally you'll want to stay an hour after dinner. It's hardly a compliment to the host and hostess if you exit just after the meal is finished. At the end of the meal, the hostess rises from the table and may suggest going into the living room for coffee and after-dinner drinks. A good indication that the evening has come to an end is when the host is no longer refilling coffee cups and drinks.
- After getting your coat, thank your host and hostess and leave. Don't be one of those guests who take 30 minutes to leave after getting your coat!
- It's not necessary to send a thank-you note to your host and hostess if you thanked them verbally, but it's a nice gesture and makes you stand out as a thoughtful guest. Instead of a thank-you note, you may phone the hostess the next day to again express your enjoyment of the party.
WANT TO REPRINT THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR COMPANY NEWSLETTER, BLOG, OR WEBSITE?You can, as long as you provide the following text and hyperlink on the same page as the article:
By Rachel Wagner, Certified Corporate Etiquette Consultant, and founder of Rachel Wagner Etiquette and Protocol. www.EtiquetteTrainer.com. Subscribe to Rachel's FREE business etiquette tips newsletter, The Savvy Professional, at www.EtiquetteTrainer.com. Follow Rachel on Twitter @EtiquetteRachel.
|Rachel in the Media |
I'm always honored when the media reaches out to me. I hope you find these recent articles and TV segments helpful!
Ask the Etiquette Trainer
A: Traditionally, a woman steps into a revolving door ahead of a man if it is already moving. If it is stationery, he steps in first and gets it moving slowly so that she may step into the section behind him.
Q:When entering a revolving door, should a man proceed before or after his female companion? --Oklahoma subscriber
In a business situation when you're hosting a guest (ex: picking up a guest at the airport and going through a revolving door), the host goes through the door first, whether the host is a man or woman. The guest follows the host.
You've got important business etiquette questions!
The Etiquette Trainer has the right answers for you!
and look for answers in upcoming issues of The Savvy Professional. Be sure to put Ask the Etiquette Trainer in the subject line--Thanks! _________________________________________________
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