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Some dinner parties require a more formal protocol. For example, a military dinner will have strict guidelines as to where personnel will sit. If you are hosting a client dinner, you might also prefer a more formal arrangement. Even in a casual setting, you can choose to follow protocol to honor a special guest. The below description is based on a social party (vs. business), a rectangular table, and includes both men and women:

When hosting a dinner party, where you place your guests around the table is a crucial element for the success of your event. You presumably put thought into who you invited to the gathering. Do not stop there. The placement of each person around the table is something that should not be thrown together at the last minute.

I love entertaining friends and family in my home, especially during the holidays. But I must admit, it can be a bit overwhelming hosting a dinner party in the stage of life with little ones running around. The cooperation I receive from my toddlers is a significant factor in how efficient I am on a daily basis. Add in hosting a party, and it can be overwhelming. If you find yourself wanting to gather friends for a festive evening, here are my tried-and-true tips for entertaining with young children:

Planning a party can be fun, but do you know the best way to ensure everything runs smoothly? Have a rehearsal for your party. Yes, you heard correctly. You have spent a great deal of time planning your theme, creating your guestlist, and delivering your invitations. Now is the time to do a mock rehearsal which will allow you to create an action list of outstanding items around your home that might need attention. It also helps solidify any last-minute details.

These thirteen tips will get your through any dinner party. Here is a quick refresher. 

1. Leave The Cocktail Glass Behind:

If you are attending a dinner party, there may be cocktails offered before the meal begins. When the hostess signals it is time to head to the dining room, leave your drink behind. Why? The dining table has been pre-set with the glasses you will need and adding another to your place setting will only clutter the minimal real estate in front of you. Your palate is another reason to leave the cocktail behind. Many hostesses go to great lengths to pare wine with the food being served. Once seated at the table it is time to switch to wine or water.

You just received an invitation to a party, and the attire says: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture. What??? Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for a party, make it clear. We do not want our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

Table manners are the area in which I receive the most questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in managing an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction. Even if you are unsure, most people do not care.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food, drinks, a clean bathroom, and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest. When a hostess plans a party, a great deal of time is spent deciding who she will invite. What group of friends go well together?

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party looking scared, so unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screamed, “I wish I was anywhere but here!”

You are invited!!! There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP. Follow the six steps below and the hostess will be singing your praises!

  • Lisa Lou

Do’s and Don’ts When Planning a Vacation

Updated: Nov 6, 2020



I asked a friend who owns a travel agency to give me some quick Do’s and Don’ts when planning a trip. These tips were on the top of her list:

DO:

  • Travel with a trusted source. A cruise line, tour operator, hotel, etc. Whoever you do business with needs to have a proven track record. They should be financially sound so you know they will still be in business when you plan to travel.

  • Use a travel advisor to elevate your trip. Depending on the type of vacation there is usually a small fee attached, but you will save this in multiples due to the global connections they have that you do not. Not to mention the VIP treatment they receive that they can then pass along to you. Your advisor will serve as your advocate during the planning process, while you are on your vacation, and when you return home. If something goes wrong, they are there for you. Your advisor takes the stress off you so you can enjoy your vacation. They will also help you prioritize your interests based on your budget. Their expertise will save you time and money.

  • Have a plan and a backup plan as well!

  • Be sure you have all passports up to date. These need to be valid 6+ months past the date you plan on returning from vacation.

  • Be sure you have all necessary visas for your destination based on your citizenship along with any necessary vaccines required for travel.

  • Be sure you have considered travel insurance to cover you in the event of cancellation or medical emergencies.

DON’T:

  • Try to cram too much into a short vacation, especially international destinations. Example: you need 10-14 days just to see New Zealand, not New Zealand and Australia!

  • Make decisions based solely on reviews from websites and anonymous sources that you cannot verify. This is where you need to rely on your travel professional. She has vetted these places and will help you make good choices.

  • Select a destination based solely on lowest price during rainy season and then be disappointed when it rains every day of your vacation! As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

  • Pick the wrong tour operator or destination for your travel style. You want a shopping trip? Then choosing a small town in a remote state, because it fits your budget, is probably not the best fit. Partner with an advisor that will listen to your needs and desires.

  • Eliminate cruising as an option for your family because you do not want to sail on a big ship. There are wonderful cruise lines with smaller ships including river cruises. These can also be great vacations when traveling with multi generations.

  • Go to Walt Disney World or Disneyland without a plan! You will be frustrated and waste time and money! (This was a bonus for our friends with children! 😊)


Cristina Buaas

Owner and Travel Advisor CSB Travel

cristina@csbtravel.com

713-807-0722

https://www.virtuoso.com/advisors/11363383/cristina-buaas#.XxnMcJ5Kgps