Thursday, July 29, 2010

You're a Great Guest, Vol. 2: Arriving

You have already said yes to your host's invitation, so you're going to the party.  You heard: You.  Are.  Going.  What time should you arrive?  

Arrive a few minutes after the start time on the invitation.  The FruHo arrival time table looks like this:

If you are Really Good Friends, arrive not more than 15 minutes after the stated arrival time, but preferably 5-10 minutes late.  Your hostess is beginning to worry that no one will show up to this extravagant mess, so help her feel better by getting there a teensy bit late to let her finish applying deodorant, but no more than that, and earlier than everyone else.

If the party is cocktail or reception style, and there are fewer than 30 invited guests, arrive no more than 30 minutes late.  If there are more than 30 guests, you can expand that to 45 minutes, but no more.  (And, yes, friends of The Frugal Hostess in real life, it might indeed be a good idea for her to practice this rule.)

If you are going to be more than 30 minutes late, you must call or text.  Emailing does not count, and forget about a Facebook message.

If there is dinner involved, do not be late.

Fellow hostesses of the world, do you agree with this time table?  What would you add or subtract?

Photo by alexkerhead

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  1. I arrive a few minutes past the stated invite time every time. Usually I am the first person there. This is annoying of me. I am now re-adjusting my life based on your helpful arrival time table.

  2. I am habitually late to everything. I suck about this. But if dinner is being served (as opposed to cocktail style nibbles) then I always make sure to get there on your preferred timetable. I usually figure even a dinner party would involve an initial drinks and hors d'oeuvres phase of at least 30 minutes, so that gives a little bit of a cushion but not much.

    It is 100% disrespectful to be knowingly late to a dinner party, when everything has been carefully planned and choreographed to happen at specific times. Boo on people who do this.

    However, if it's just a regular ole party, I may be an hour late or more. I will try to be better about this in the future.

  3. I am overwhelmed by these complicated rules. I tend to be puncutual. Luckily I am seldom invited to parties. Could my lack of knowledge of ettiquette have anything to do with the lack of invitations?????

  4. Depends on the type of party. Dinner - get there at the start time and stay for the duration, no exceptions. I feel like most other parties are more "open house" style in which case I guess you get there whenever and stay until whenever. If it's a party celebrating a certain occasion, say a birthday or...I don't engagement, call me a pollyanna, but I always assume that if a party is called for at 7:00 I better get there at 7:00. If the host wants you there at 7:15 they would have put 7:15 on the invitation, no?


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