Dinner parties are a great way to spend time with your friends and family, but undeniably, there can be awkward moments when spending time in other people’s homes and meeting new people. We all have our own idiosyncrasies and pet hates, and at times we all feel envy or as though we are competing with our peers—we’re only human after all!
With this in mind, we’re going to air these unspoken grievances in a list of points your guests may take issue with, in the hope of preempting any uncomfortable situations at your next party. But remember its only a bit of fun, whatever small hiccups transpire at your party your guess will appreciate it nonetheless.
If you’re having a few guests over, make sure you’ve thought about parking space. Generally people don’t appreciate parking a mile down the road and walking back to the party!
If someone’s visiting your home for the first time they may struggle to find it, and being late for a social engagement can be stressful or embarrassing. Make sure your house has its name or number clearly on display, and if it is a little out of the way, give your guests directions.
It may seem minor, but if your guest can find the front door and nobody hears them knock they may end up waiting outside feeling frustrated – not a good way to start the evening.
You may be safe in the knowledge that when your enormous dog barks loudly and jumps three feet in the air it means he likes you, but your guest may not know that, or appreciate it. Try to keep unruly pets contained in their own space when you have guests visiting, or at least warn your guests before they enter your home!
Keep some emergency fold away chairs if you don’t have an abundance of seating in your home, nobody wants to be the person left standing awkwardly in the corner.
Your guests probably won’t want to draw everyone’s attention to their bathroom schedule, so make sure everyone knows where it is before they have to ask.
If you’re having a lot of guests, make sure there’s an abundance of fresh towels, toilet paper and soap in the bathroom, and spare your guest the embarrassing conversation when they run out.
An air of class and sophistication at a party will be appreciated, but be careful not to overdo the formality as your guest will want to relax and be themselves.
Refrain from using art pieces and photos as prompts to talk about yourself. By all means engage your guests on the topic if they ask, but don’t harp on about the one of a kind piece you picked up on your once in a lifetime trip to such and such a place, or the photos from your scuba-skydiving-safari trips that make you oh so adventurous.
Being waited on by their friends can make people feel uncomfortable, and allowing guests to help can make them feel more included.
Of course you can’t plan every tiny detail down to a specific seating arrangement—that would likely come across as a little odd – but be mindful not to separate guests too much and arrange the seating so that everyone can be included. A round table tends to work best.
You may have a deep and enduring love for Scandinavian metal or spoken word poetry, but it’s unlikely that all your guests will share your passion. Play it safe and stick to a more mainstream playlist.
Interesting conversation often involves a little spirited debate, but keep it light and avoid letting the subject matter get too political as it can split the room and make things a little uncomfortable.
Finally, if your home’s too nice your guests may resent you for it. Well, perhaps resent is too strong, but deep down we all feel a little envy sometimes.
Check out these amazing tips for making your house guests comfortable for more tips on being a good host.