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The day after a party a gracious guest will follow up with a thank you note or phone call. Do this within 1-2 days so your appreciation does not seem stale. The formula for a thank you looks like this:

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!

  • Patti Hatton

The 5 Love Languages: Quality Time

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

If you have not taken the The Enneagram evaluation, I strongly suggest you do. It is very revealing regarding how we are wired. Knowing how those in your life interpret actions and words can help you communicate with them in a way that speaks to their heart.

If you are a Type 9 with a one-on-one subtype, chances are you speak the love language of quality time. If you are married to someone who ranks high for quality time, then what they most want from you is…wait for it…your time! Thirty minutes here or there, dinner together each night, and a weekend away will speak volumes to this person.

Notice the language is called “quality” time. Your attention requires the right kind of focus. Put your phone away and be fully present to meet the needs of the other person. When you are interacting, maintain eye contact and pay attention to emotional fluctuations. Listen with the intent to understand and clarify by reflecting what you have heard by asking questions.

A quality time person wants assurances that you are “with them” and they are not alone. Whatever the struggle or victory in life, they want to share it with you. If you are emotionally unavailable, whether it be because of fatigue or stress, tell them. But follow up by saying, “I would like to set up a time to listen and connect.”

The quality time person will look forward to and treasure the scheduled event if your intentions are sincere. Just like a quality time person wants you to know them by hearing their thoughts, feelings, and opinions, they are usually just as interested in learning about you and your perspectives. They need the conversations to be two-sided. If opening up does not come easily to you, learn from your quality time partner what it looks like to be vulnerable. Humans connect in deep and meaningful ways when we share our hearts, and this comes naturally to those who speak the love language of quality time.

Another aspect of this language is shared activities. Activities can range from visiting National Parks together, cleaning the garage, hosting a dinner party, or taking a walk as long as the intent of the activity is to be together and strengthen the relationship. This will tell your loved one you care for them. Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages, says one of the by-products of quality time activities is they provide a memory bank from which to draw in the years ahead. You will remember the experience when you wall papered the nursery together or took a stroll along the seaside. Quality time is not meant to be one-sided. You need to be present to fully show your love for the person in your life whose top language is quality time. Embrace it!

Patti Hatton, MA, LPC