Dinner party etiquette in 2023—an expert shares what you need to know

Emily Post’s presence was felt throughout my childhood home (my mom proudly displayed her etiquette book on our bookshelf). from How do we set the table? to dinner party etiquette The respect we showed each other—These “rules” have guided much of my younger life. They also played a major role in Who I Grow Up To Be. Yes, while you might be hooked on the idea of ​​etiquette—and an elementary-age girl cares a lot about the subject—it’s back in a big way. And because we all crave more gatheringsCommunication and Teamwork In 2023, knowing dinner party etiquette is more important now than ever.

Featured image by Michelle Nash.

photo by Riley Reid

Dinner Party Etiquette: Everything You Need to Know for 2023

In the words of an etiquette expert Heather FizzyEtiquette “is a path to sympathy, consideration, and even sympathy.” When you pose this way, how can you Not Do you see the need for more etiquette in our world today?

To get a better idea of ​​what is expected of us (both guests and hosts), I spoke with Heather about all the etiquette. We talked about what the concept means in 2023, how to navigate hostess gifts for every occasion, and the complex issue of dietary preferences. Be sure to read to the end—Heather shares the ins and outs for perfecting your dinner party etiquette.

Michelle Nash’s photo

‘Etiquette’ in this day and age may seem outdated. What does that mean for you in 2023?

That’s a great question. What is outdated in etiquette is the idea that etiquette is outdated. I love that there is a new buzz about reformulating our ideas and ideals of protocol. Behavior is the elephant in the room and no one can avoid it. We may all make fun of it and learn to handle it well. Modern etiquette tips are the tools you need to realize what is not usually obvious to you. Frankly, these revelations make the difference between being seen as generous and impressive or perhaps lacking the ability to communicate or act well in a given situation.

Michelle Nash’s photo

How can etiquette be used as a tool to help us act more respectfully and thoughtfully towards others?

Reprogram your idea of ​​etiquette. It is a word that many of us need to revisit and redefine in our minds in order to see its true value. If you’re using etiquette to feel more elite or a single person, you’ve totally missed the boat (and you can assume everyone saw the big kick off the self-sucking abyss). Etiquette is a path to empathy, consideration, and even sympathy when used as intended.

Reprogram your idea of ​​etiquette. It is a word that many of us need to revisit and redefine in our minds in order to see its true value.

Michelle Nash’s photo

What are some good examples of host gifts to bring to a dinner party? Do you always have to bring a gift?

The key phrase here was “a dinner party”. Yes – always contribute. If you help out at the dinner itself, there might be a little something in addition that you can bring that says, “I appreciate you having me.” However, when you arrive as a carefree guest, a modest but thoughtful gift is a huge yes.

I’m going to give you some scenarios from the last few weeks. During the holidays, I invited my parents’ friends over for a casual dinner and to watch football. They have prepared dinner. He has a wine collection that I’m going to scare away with my last minute local buying process. Instead, I brought a nice desk calendar from my collection.

There are only two rules: think about the host, contribute something in some way.

I picked up some funny cocktail napkins, a cute candle, and some gourmet chocolates at various events for similar parties. Last week I was invited to the home of someone I don’t know very well. I had no idea about their style. I got a gift card from my stash and a fresh orchid on the way to the gala dinner. Last night I headed over to a friend’s house at the last minute for an impromptu dinner. I grabbed a bottle of wine from my stash so I didn’t come empty handed. There are only two rules: think about the host, contribute something in some way.

photo by Bellathe Photography

Food preferences are very common these days. What are some ways to navigate this as a guest? What if you were the host?

If you’re the guest with real dietary restrictions, you’ve been doing this dance for a lot longer than any of us have ever commented on. I commend you for showing up and doing your best to be sociable and relatively detached in a difficult situation. Everyone I’ve encountered has always handled these issues well. They communicate with the host in the future, sometimes bring their own food, and make everyone feel at ease as they navigate their crucial requirements. Seeing that done with kindness is really impressive.

Hosts, it’s always a good idea to ask if anyone has any dietary restrictions and if you feel good if anyone has any preferences – although the latter isn’t necessary. If you have someone who needs special treatment of food, ask them for advice and take it. Take it as an opportunity to learn from someone’s experiences.

photo by Julie Pointer Adams

It’s 2023 – what’s new and what’s up in the world of dinner party etiquette?

What’s in:

  1. Good manners and thinking. Knowing how to set the table is by no means out of style. If you are really interested in entertainment, knowing some of the recent trends to present is always a good thing.
  2. Get to know the source. Sustainably grown, responsibly and locally – they’re all growing in popularity and are a great conversation piece at a dinner party. Be prepared for fun meals that bring conversation to the table.
  3. Mocktail. True! They aren’t just for moms anymore. Creative juices and flavors flowing and so much fun. There is now a trendy way to stay healthier, better regulate yourself, or simply avoid alcohol altogether.
  4. Mushrooms, roots and fodder. The unique fruit isn’t quite out, but the earthy elements and treey backstory make their day.
  5. expertise. Maybe it’s because we’ve all come out of our cages with a new vision of life, friends, and celebration. Whatever the reason, planning themes, bringing in a professional, or setting up a demo environment is definitely a snap.
  6. Etiquette! Later. People arm themselves with modern civility and manners for no other reason, just to have a fun night out of the ordinary. Come sound educated on this little movement with questions to spark conversation like: How do you know the host? How do you like to spend your free time? Can you travel, or if you can, where would you like to go? Are you watching a good series or reading a good book?

What came out:

In general, a dinner party is about people getting together and having a good time. This is the buzz you should always avoid, especially now.

  1. Bring purchased food When everyone contributes a homemade dish.
  2. Bring your grievances or divisive conversations to the party.
  3. Cooking with canned foods that are loaded with preservatives.
  4. Only talk to people you know And no asking questions to get to know new topics or new people (just a few hours, you can do that!).
  5. Mention how much something costs Or how much someone earns, including you.
  6. Arrive early. Give your hosts time to do their thing. Don’t show up early and shorten their schedule.
  7. coming fashionable Brazenly late. Let’s be real, dinner parties aren’t business meetings — unless they are. A good guideline is 5-10 minutes grace from the host’s recommended start time.

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