Party Etiquette!


I am a sucker for hosting and coordinating events. I just love being busy and feeling productive.
Once I plan a party, you know it won’t be like any other. There’s nothing more gratifying than to have satisfied guests, to have accomplished the vision you had in mind.
However, people are people. Having different expectations and backgrounds, some parties aren’t as predictable as one can imagine them to be.

My experience has allowed me to develop a keen eye on what I’ve noticed in several events that I’ve attended.
So I thought it would be useful to share 3 hints for hosts and guests:

For Hosts

1 – I despise showing up to a dinner/party and realize that the host is still cooking.
Once a guest shows up, as a host, you want them to be happy.  There’s no saying if they had something to eat before reaching your home (They may have been running errands or working prior to attending your event). It’s your duty to make them feel comfortable.
I find it important to actually have all your table set with all the food that was planned for that day. Meaning, once a guest shows up, you must offer them a drink or something to eat.

2 – Some guests might not be acquainted with others. It’s the host’s responsibility to make sure that everyone mingles with each other. Introductions are a must! Not only is it good for networking, but it will definitely impact the atmosphere for the rest of the night.
I’ve always hated finding a guest sitting alone.
Even at weddings, parties, gatherings, I find it selfish to not reach out to someone who is sitting on a table all by themselves.
I’ll just start a conversation with them out of nowhere. That’s just plain “savoir-faire”.

3- You do not leave a party right after finishing a meal. That is simply improper. This is the reason why, to avoid this sort of occurrence, I insist on food/appetizers/drinks being served at the beginning of the night.
Think about it! If you serve your guests at the end of the night, they become tired and exhausted and all they want to do is just eat! The minute it happens, you lose your guests. They leave!

For Guests

1- It’s ill-advised to bring a plus one (+1) to an event/dinner/party without fair notice to your host. This is no place for the element of surprise. It’s even worse if the message is passed on by a friend of yours ” Oh, by the way, this person will be coming”.  What if there was a pre-existing friction between the 2?
Manners are crucial in this situation. Don’t ruin the night with a lack of tact.
Once you bring a plus one (+1) , there’s no way a host will kick them out. They will be going out of their way to accommodate them.
The inconvenience is that there might be some activities involved that require a set amount of people. There might be only a specific amount of plates, chairs, servings.
Be fair to your kind host.

2 – Don’t forget to thank your host. A small get-together does deserve a little gratitude, imagine for a holiday party!
The food, the drinks, the games, the preparation. That takes more than one day to put together.
The most important part is that they thought of you. They wanted to cater to you and have you in their presence. That means more than you can possibly imagine!
So say thank you! You have no idea of the value held within these 2 words! It requires much less than the amount of work they put into entertaining you!

3- Offer to help when you can. Not to brag, but as a guest, I’ve always found myself cleaning up after other guests (even if I was one myself).
That it be from picking up a few used cups here and there, washing some dishes or simply bring in a dish. Helping to clean afterward or helping the host serve some food, all this can be considered as gestures of kindness.

So, there you go! Happy holidays !


Published by Nathalie JB

Bonjou! My name is Nathalie Jean-Baptiste. Yes! I know, my last name doesn’t get any more Haitian than that! Who am I really? I consider myself a renaissance woman. I looooooove learning new skills in any field possible: Culinary, baking, painting, crafting, designing, writing, knitting, sewing. You name it! I often joke while saying “ I’m a tout bagay”. Which literally translates to “I’m everything”. Most say I'd make a great surgeon due to the agility in my hands. Sure, I can manage any tasks requiring detail and precision. It drives my audacity to venture in the kitchen with absolutely no experience. What better motivation than to share my culinary journey with you? To help you get better at things you probably thought you couldn't do. At least, that was my drive! I guess by now, you’ve already figured out that I'm the cook and photographer behind “Pilon lakay”. This blog started 8 years ago as I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about Haitian cuisine. Back home, I was never taught how to cook nor was I ever interested in being in the kitchen unless it involved baking. Instead, I loved preparing cakes and cookies. (Shhhh! I still do). After a couple of years in the US, like most of us immigrants, I missed food from home. The good stuff, you know! So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make of this a personal exploration of Haitian food. Boy what a journey it has been! While cooking up a storm in the kitchen, I wanted to encourage others like me to actually learn and explore Haiti’s gastronomy. I made sure my instructions were personal and beginner friendly. My recipe directions contain a lot more details than any other regular recipes. With a personal touch, it's a depiction of my thought process when I do these many tasks. I'm sure you can cook anything on here! If I can do it, you can too! Come experience Haiti through your taste buds! Meet you in the kitchen! Love, N.

2 thoughts on “Party Etiquette!

  1. I used to hate getting to a party 2 hours after the stated time (you know how we do lol) and the person is still in the kitchen cooking. Everybody should study these rules lol

    1. I think it’s really an endless circle. Guests arrive late because they think the host will take forever to prep. And hosts take forever to prep because guests take forever to come. Let’s break the cycle!

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