Basic Etiquette Rules for a Dinner Party

Easy To Follow Etiquette Rules

There are some basic etiquette rules every woman should follow. After all, respect is earned. It seems that manners and proper etiquette are things of the past. Sure, times have changed quite a bit since the 1800’s when women wore corsets and were to behave like the real ladies (as in be seen and not heard). But just because we have made progress, doesn’t mean we have to lose sight of the proper manners and respect.

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If you are looking for fun dinner or birthday party ideas, you also need to remember proper manners for the host and guests. Rules of etiquette apply on a daily basis, but there are also rules for various special events.

And an important thing to remember as a lady is that you need to be aware of a “resting bitch face.” Sometimes you don’t mean to have a “nasty” expression on your face (and it’s just a part of who you are). However, it is essential to keep in mind that people often pick up on facial expressions and body language as their first impression of us. So, it is better to express a pleasant demeanor.

These simple etiquette rules are common courtesy and will help you make a great first impression. So, we are going to give some helpful advice on how to behave at a social gathering where a meal is served. Like at a fancy dinner party or an evening out at a fancy restaurant with friends, family or co-workers. They may not apply in every situation, but it’s important to remember the basic manners and common courtesy.

Remember Your Basic Manners

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The basic manners such remembering to say “please” and “thank you” are mandatory. If someone offers to take your coat or escort you to your seat, do not forget to thank them politely. And always, take a few moments to thank the host. If you are going to a party at someone’s home, it is advisable to bring a small “host gift” such as candies or a bottle of wine. And it can’t hurt to send a thank you note after the event! Good manners will never go out of style!

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Put Your Cell Phone on Silent and Put it Away

You should have your cell phone on silent, if not turned off. And you should definitely not have it out in plain sight. Keep it in your purse or coat pocket. If you are expecting an important call, you should let your host know upfront, so you will be able to properly excuse yourself when the time comes. Otherwise, your phone should be out of sight. It is rude and unsociable to be constantly checking your phone for texts and notifications. Focus on the moment and enjoy the company.

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Be Familiar with Table Settings

Source: Good Housekeeping

You should be aware of which fork and spoon should be used for the proper course. Always remember to work from the “outside in.” Start with the utensil that is farthest out from your plate and work your way in. Also, your water and wine glasses should be to your right and your bread plate to your left. You don't’ want to accidentally steal your neighbor's wine or rolls!

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Do Not Reach Across

Do not reach out and serve yourself unless the plate is passed to you or directly in front of you. Always wait for the food to be passed. And you should always pass to the right and offer to hold the dish for your neighbor as they serve themselves. If you need something that is across the table, ask for it politely if it is not in the process of being passed around. And don’t forget to say please and thank you!

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Cut and Eat as You Go

Source: Good Housekeeping

When your plate arrives, do not cut your food up before eating. Cut and eat as you go, as this is more polite. Plus, it prevents your food from getting cold before you can eat it.

Taste Before Seasoning

You should always taste your food before adding salt. You don't want to over season everything, nor do you want to insult the chef. So, take a small bite of your food before adding extra seasonings. As well, if you have any food allergies, you should let your host know beforehand so that you both will not be left feeling awkward in case of an allergy issue.

Do Not Put Your Elbows On the Table

As a general rule, a lady should never sit with her elbows on the table. However, if the table has been cleared and everyone is sitting around chatting, it is then okay to do so. However, you still want to remain ladylike and not flop all over the table like you’re in a lounge.

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Excuse Yourself Politely

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If you have to leave the table for any reason, you should give a brief but polite explanation. The dinner guests don't need a play-by-play detailed report of your whereabouts. A simple “Excuse me for a moment, I’ll be right back” will suffice. And place your napkin on your chair rather than the table as you excuse yourself. When you come back, simply return to your seat and resume eating. You don’t need to provide an explanation of your absence. Never leave without saying “excuse me”, as people will think you left abruptly because you were upset.

If you remember these simple etiquette rules, you will be the belle of the ball! Always be polite, respectful and gracious. You will leave a lasting impression, and you will be sure to be asked back for a return visit! Treat others as you would like to be treated if you were hosting the event! And most of all, relax and be yourself, but your most polite self! Have a great time!

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