The arrival of the holidays also means it is houseguest season! Whether you are hosting friends from out of town, staying with family for Christmas, or anything in between, these helpful houseguest etiquette tips will help to ensure it goes off without a hitch!
Etiquette Tips for Hosting Houseguests
As a host, your role is to make your guest feel as welcome and comfortable as possible. This starts with preparation prior to their arrival. Make sure to clean your home thoroughly and get a grocery shop under your belt beforehand.
Before Guests Arrive, Ask These Important Questions:
- Do you have any allergies? If your guest is allergic to cats and you have three, this might be an important thing to disclose to each other. Perhaps you can confine the cats to a section of the house your guest will not be entering and spend some serious time with your vacuum in preparation for their arrival.
- What are your favorite foods or beverages? If your guest only drinks white wine but you stocked up on red, this might merit a trip to the store.
- What time do you plan to arrive and do you need help with transportation? If they are flying, ask for their flight details so you can track if their flight is delayed or early.
Furthermore, if you have certain events or occasions during their visit you simply cannot shift, communicate your schedule in advance so your guests can make plans if they would like to.
Prepare your Guest’s Space
Whether you have a dedicated guestroom or guest house, or you are shuffling some things around to accommodate them, take time to prepare their space.
- Add fresh flowers
- Place a carafe of water and a glass by the bed
- Provide a stack of fresh towels.
- Write or print your wifi information on a card for your guest’s convenience.
And one quick tip from the brilliant Flightess that must be shared: place a pop-up laundry basket in the guest room. If your guests are staying for more than a day or two, they are bound to have some dirty laundry. This way they have a place to put it without having to mix it in with their clean clothes in their suitcase.
As we are still in Covid-times, take extra care to sanitize door handles, tv remotes, and other high-traffic spots.
Etiquette Tips for Being a Good Houseguest
As a guest in a person’s home, you are entering a very intimate and sacred space. Whether you are staying with friends or family members, practicing good guest manners is a must.
Keep Your Hosts Informed
If your flight is delayed or you have hit serious traffic on the way, take care to let your hosts know. They are likely preparing for your arrival so it is best not to keep them guessing. Conversely, if you are running ahead of schedule, you may want to find something to occupy your time. Your hosts may not be ready for you and you could cause unnecessary stress by arriving two hours early!
Be a Tidy and Considerate Guest
For both communal spaces and your guest room, you should be as tidy as possible. Make the bed each morning, unpack your suitcase or keep everything neatly contained, and clean up after yourself wherever you go.
Offer to help out with daily tasks or at mealtimes. Set the table, clear dishes, and offer assistance where you can. However, if your hosts refuse your help, respect their wishes but be sure to continue offering where appropriate.
Limit noise during “quiet hours.” These would be the hours between bedtime and waking, roughly 9pm to 7am. This means no loud phone calls to people in other time zones, no streaming without headphones, and certainly no showers. Keep noisy activities to normal waking hours out of respect to your hosts. The only exception to this would be if you are in a guest house or in a space that is quite far from your hosts and their family.
Respect the Privacy of Your Hosts
As a guest in someone’s home, you have been invited into a private space. Be respectful and avoid snooping, prying, or eavesdropping. And, it should go without saying, do not gossip afterward about anything you have seen or experienced.
Clean Before You Leave
Take a moment to do some mild cleaning before you leave. Wipe the sink basin, rinse the shower, make the bed, and pick up anything that may have fallen on the floor.
Show Gratitude Before and After
Bring a gift with you when you arrive and send a thank-you note after you leave to show gratitude to your hosts for their generosity.
Whether you are hosting or attending, holidays such as Thanksgiving should carry certain formalities and courtesies. Following good host and guest etiquette leaves a lasting impression and ensures that fun can be had by all.
Thanksgiving Etiquette Tips for Hosts
Taking on the role of the host is quite the responsibility. Whether you are catering to a small group of four or a large extended family and friends, organization and firm boundaries are your friends here.
- Ask about dietary requirements in advance. It is crucial to check whether your guests have allergenic, religious, or personal dietary requirements. If a guest is vegan for example, and you plan to put pork in the green beans, you will need to take care to not only make a separate batch but ideally use separate cooking utensils to avoid cross-contamination too. Respecting a guest’s dietary requirements is a great courtesy that requires prior planning.
- Have your guests arrive an hour before you intend to serve the meal. This allows time for mingling and a cocktail while you put together final touches, and accounts for anyone who may be running behind.
- Ask for help if you need it to get dinner out on time. There is no award for martyrdom when it comes to hosting! No one wants to be the frantic, frazzled host (nor do guests want to experience this).
- If a guest refuses alcohol, do not pry or pressure them to partake. Likewise, apart from asking about dietary restrictions and accommodating them, do not ask for the “why” behind their personal choices.
- As a host, it is your role to guide table conversation when necessary. If a controversial topic comes up, be direct and change the subject before things get out of hand. Maintaining and communicating a rule of no politics at the holiday table will ensure everyone stays comfortable despite differing viewpoints.
- Apart from clearing the table, wait until after guests have left to begin cleaning up. Nothing spoils the fun faster than the clanging of dishes!
Thanksgiving Etiquette Tips for Guests
We all want to be good guests when attending an event or visiting a person’s home. Keeping these tips in mind for Thanksgiving and the holiday season alike will always leave a positive impression.
- Arrive on time. This goes for any occasion. As a guest, it is important to arrive on time for any event, but particularly when someone is cooking for you. Arrive early and you may catch your host during last-minute preparations. Arrive late and you may cause everyone to wait for you. Your host is working hard on multiple dishes and timing them so they are all ready at the same time. It is a balancing act in itself, try not to create added stress by arriving too early or late.
- Ask what you can bring. If your host declines, bring a small hostess gift such as a scented candle. If you opt to bring flowers, make sure they are in a vase. The last thing your hosts need as guests are arriving is to be finding a vase for flowers.
- Do not get into a conversation around politics or any other controversial topics. This is mentioned above but it applies to guests too! Leave the tricky subjects for another time (or never!)
- Know when to take your leave. Thanksgiving is a marathon for most hosts to prepare and after you leave they will have to clean up and likely do other chores. Do not overstay your welcome.
- Send a handwritten thank-you note within a few days of attending to show your gratitude to your host.
I hope you have found these Thanksgiving etiquette tips helpful. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend full of good manners and good cheer!
With a wink and a smile,
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Halloween is one of the most celebrated and party-hosted holidays of the year, which means it’s time to don that hostess hat!
Of course, preparation and presentation are key, and this recipe will yield plenty of deathly delicious cocktails that are sure to bite back!
I am always a proponent for greeting your guests at the door with a cocktail to set that proper party tone, and since you’ll have plenty on hand, pouring some in a lovely decanter will most certainly amp up your sinister presentation!
Don’t forget a saucy song-set! This Halloween playlist from Popsugar will keep your toes tapping and fancy tickled all night long! (Also available on Spotify!)
Cocktail Images: Abby Liga
Mirror Tray and Candelabra: Target
Martini Glasses, Decanter, and Skulls: Home Goods
While Marie Antoinette may have been the one to dub the famous phrase, “Let them eat cake,” by all means allow me to be the one to advocate the celebration of Bastille Day by way of cocktails! *wink
The Kir Royale is the perfect light and refreshing, classic French champagne cocktail, which is bound to draw out even the teensiest francophile in you!
Simply add 1/4 oz of Chambord to a flute or coup of champagne with a garnish of a raspberry or lemon twist, and you will be celebrating like a true French girl! Here, I garnished with blackberries because I loved the darker look with the Chambord, (it’s always okay to take a little creative license with your cocktails!) and I couldn’t forget the baguette and the cheese, of course.
Care to celebrate by way of brunch? This grapefruit infused and *tart* cocktail is elevated with the Eldeflower, and can certainly count as an effective way of getting your daily Vitamin C intake in, right?
Allow me to introduce you to The French Tart!
I love that The French Tart didn’t immediately jump to mind for a Bastille Day celebration, but it’s refreshing for the middle of July and so very French!
I found my inspiration from Emily and Matt Clifton with Nerds with Knives, and love their story behind it too!
- 2 oz vodka (gin would work too)
- 1 oz elderflower liquor (recommended: St. Germain)
- 1-2 oz fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice, strained
- ¼ oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ oz rosemary simple syrup*
- *For the rosemary syrup, add two medium sprigs of fresh rosemary along with 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water to a small saucepan. Bring to simmer and stir until sugar dissolves. Turn off heat and allow it to steep for 30 minutes until it cools. Remove rosemary and store in an airtight jar in refrigerator.
- In a mixing glass three-quarters filled with ice, combine all liquid ingredients. Stir until chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a small slice of grapefruit or rosemary sprig.
Lastly, at the risk of being a *total girl,* how could I not include the ever-popular Frosé? It’s about as hot as I can take out there these days darlings, so anything that can reduce my core temp to under 110 degrees in the form of a cocktail will forever have my vote!
I took a *healthier* and simple apprach with this recipe and quite frankly, just winged it! In this case practice made perfect, and I certainly enjoyed the research!
I simply combined one bottle of Rosé wine and used my favorite, Whispering Angel. I combined 3 tbsp of Agave nectar and about a teaspoon of fresh lime juice. (You can certainly use lemon juice as a substitute!) I put this in a long baking pan in the freezer and simply scraped it with an ice cream scoop to serve. It couldn’t be any easier, and the simple mint and lime wheel garnish made this unbelievably effortless and chic.
Over the course of my adult life, I have become an avid fan of French fashion, lifestyle, and sophistication. That all being said, all I can do is humbly emulate and inspire, as I hope you will too! I’ll see you tomorrow, pinkies up and with my stripes on!
À votre santé
With a wink and a smile…
All Images: Abby Liga
Floral: Lana Faulkner Designs
Jewelry : Quest Stones
Linen: Lettermade Linen
There are BBQ’s, parades, concerts, 5K’s and later-evening firework displays, but if you’re looking for an option for something in between, consider this chic alternative to celebrating Independence Day.
I was feeling like celebrating in a more subdued manner this year, and after I caught the morning patriotic concert in Central Park and bicycle parade down Park Ave. in Winter Park, I had some of my favorite dames celebrate with a little bit of rose, white and blue with me. *wink
Smaller gatherings with girlfriends like these are so manageable when you can pool together your resources to make the celebration equally as festive as it is fun.
Malia bought her chic monogrammed linen napkins, Lana some bright and beautiful blooms, Jessica shared some stylish jewelry, (I mean, it was a girlie-party, after all!) I had some fun vases and pillows to add to the décor and Abby always has her trusty camera and expert eye on hand!
After we previewed what we had all brought to contribute to our fun gathering, it was time to set the table!
After foraging in her own backyard, Lana showed up with a bucket of beautiful red blooms, then swiftly got in her element, and started to arrange them in the vases I had brought.
Using chinoiserie vases with clear vases with blue twine was an unexpected but elegant touch as was mixing floral and striped patterns with the pillows. Mixing patterns isn’t always easy for me all the time, but once I started to lay everything out on the table, I was thrilled with the look and filing this under “must try again!”
Since the heat here in Orlando rivals that from the surface of the sun, brunch was particularly delightful indoors, where we al agreed to get a little bit fancy and save our tank tops and short s for the fireworks show later!
To compliment the Rosé, (ha!) we opted with summertime, Southern favorite morsels like fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles, courtesy of Hamilton’s Kitchen.
PS: Diets start TOMORROW!
Who doesn’t love to feel fancy?
Wishing you a fun, safe and Rosé-filled Independence Day, darlings!
*Post in collaboration with Hamilton’s Kitchen*
Images: Abby Liga Photography
Floral: Lana Faulkner
Jewelry: Quest Stones
Monogrammed Linen: Lettermade
Vases/Plates: Home Goods