Have you ever been invited to a formal party and questioned the traditions? What is an appropriate attire to wear? Should you show up on time? Are you allowed to bring guests? What should you bring? Do you need to provide a gift to the host? These are all common questions and unfortunately, there is no right or wrong answer. The answer is that it really depends on the level of formality and the type of party that you are attending. However, these are great guidelines to follow.
Pay attention to the specifics on the invitation
Most people quickly look at an invitation and then throw it out. They decide immediately if they plan to attend or not. If you have questions later about the event, you will no longer have access to the invitation. When it comes to formal occasions, it is a good idea to hold onto the invitation. You can return to it to remind yourself of specific details. Pay attention to the specifics of the invitation. Most formal invitations will give you information about time, directions, and even attire that is required. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact the host that is listed on the invitation.
A lot of people ignore the requested RSVP date on invitations. For a nonformal occasion, this is not as important. However, for formal events, the host often has to give a final headcount. Avoid forgetting to RSVP by responding right away. Look at your schedule and then give your response. That way, the host won?t have to track you down in a couple of weeks. If you are not yet sure if you can attend, put a reminder in your phone.
Always bring a host gift
When it comes to formal events, it is always a good idea to bring a host gift. The host has done a lot of work planning the party and gifts are always appreciated. The type of gift or the value of the gift will really depend on the type of party. If the event is a wedding, a more valuable gift is expected. If the party is a housewarming party, you can simply get them something nice for their new house. If there is no real occasion for the party, consider a nice bottle of wine or one of your favorite beer growlers. You can always add a level of formality to the beer containers by getting a stainless growler.
This brings up another common debate. Is beer appropriate for a formal event? Many years ago, it might have been considered an insult to bring a case of beer to a formal event. Today, however, beer is a much more common drink and there are even formal types of beer available. According to a 2016 Gallup poll, 43% of legal drinkers prefer beer over wine and spirits. Currently, the U.S. craft beer market is worth $23.5 billion. While you might want to avoid bringing a case of cheap beer, you can always bring a stainless growler or best beer growler. The stainless growlers also make for great beer gifts. Just try to keep with the season as 84% of craft beer consumers like to choose their beer depending on the season. Buy growlers from your local brewery for the best options.
Never bring a guest unless stated
Formal events often have strict guest head counts. If the invitation states that you are allowed to bring a plus one then make sure you also RSVP for your guest. If the invitation does not state that you have a plus one, it is not a good idea to bring a guest. Bringing an uninvited guest can result in not having enough food, drinks, or seating accommodations. If you do bring a guest, make sure your gift reflects thier attendance, such as an additional stainless growler.
Getting an invitation to a formal event can be overwhelming. If you are not familiar with the etiquette expectations, it is likely that you have a lot of questions. Stick with these general rules and you will successfully make it through your first formal event.