BBQ and Summer Party EtiquetteCool breezes, light clothing, bbq's and days at the beach - Summer for most people. Along with this comes the invitations to gatherings and picnics galore. A great time to visit party etiquette.
Invitations - again - can't state this enough - RSVP - ALWAYS - A lot of people feel that an invite for a picnic or bbq or summer gathering is rather casual and warrants no RSVP. Afterall, it's just a casual get together - right? Indeed, it is, however the host/hostess still needs to plan accordingly for food an beverages so an RSVP is quite an essential MUST.
Rule of thumb I use for any and all invites I receive - call or respond immediately upon receiving it in the mail. If you wait and put it to the side - most times you will forget and never respond. Do it as soon as you receive the invite.
Host/hostess gifts - Anything that may fit the theme of the event - a bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers, - a simple token thanking the person for inviting you in the first place. If you prefer to bring a dish - always check with the host/hostess first. A planned menu may be in the works wherein your specialty "Pickles a la Mode" may not fit the bill!! And remember - a host/hostess is NOT required to use your gift at the party.
Dress accordingly. If the party is themed - dress that way - However, don't mistake casual for "Hawaiian Punch Free for All". If the event theme or attire are not addressed via the invite, call to confirm, rather than show up in your grass skirt!!!
Hygiene - This being my biggest pet peeve and etiquette faux pas of the summer months - Toes and feet - if being displayed in sandals or open toed shoes they need to be clean, neat and presentable. There is nothing worse than attempting to enjoy yourself when all of a sudden you spot from across the room a foot that is less than pedicured!!
Summer parties and bbq's - while quite casual and simple do require our manners to be in check - so follow these steps for being the perfect guest -
2 Plan appropriate attire
3 Purchase a Host/hostess gift
4 Mind your manners
Karen A. Thomas
Certified Etiquette/Civility Expert