1. BE ON TIME – whether it’s a wedding, gathering or summer day out, time management is a key part of arranging an event. As much as it’s frustrating when people are late, it’s also important not to be too early either. Hosts are often preparing for your arrival on a schedule so too much of an early appearance might make them flustered – up to 15 minutes early is generally considered acceptable.
2. DON’T WEAR WHITE TO A WEDDING – it’s the age old drama of wedding guest dress shopping but, to be on the safe side, white is best avoided. Black, however, has become an acceptable addition to the wedding wardrobe. Dress up with vibrant colours or statement metallic to soften the look.
3. PHONE FREE-ZONE – Even having your phone on the table can be seen as rude by many people, as it suggests you’re not fully engaged with your social event and, in turn, the people you’re with. Take the opportunity to be in the moment and put your mobile on silent and out of sight.
4. DON’T OVERINDULGE – this goes for both food and alcohol and especially if it’s a big or formal event.
5. MAKE CONVERSATION – if it’s the type of gathering which involves lots of mingling, be aware of tactfully starting and ending conversations. Finding a common ground or topic of general interest is the best way to open whilst a simple ‘Excuse me, it’s been really great talking to you’ ends your chit chat without an awkward trail off.
6. EXITING EARLY – finding the balance between leaving on a high and appearing hasty can be a fine art to perfect. If you have to leave early for a reason, be upfront from the beginning.
7. TAKE A HINT – if either the music is off, lights are on and stuff is being cleared away, or all of the above, then that’s a sure fire sign the party is over, and it’s time to go home.
8. SAY THANK YOU – it may seem obvious but a thank you on the day/night, and a follow up thank you the day after, reaffirms your gratitude for your hosts’ hospitality.