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Old 06-08-2005, 07:26 PM   #1
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Party Etiquette Questions

My son's graduation party is this Saturday! I had outpatient surgery two weeks ago, but I'm feeling great now and I'm ready for it. I've got the food part under control. Now I have questions about etiquette. Having parties is new to me...I have a small house and don't entertain...I'm using a small hall in my church. There will be about 10 children and 20 adults. There will be a one-month old baby in the family whom we've never seen. My friends/co-workers don't know my relatives and vice versa.

When the first couple/family arrives, should we stand there talking with them or should we point them to a table and then follow and sit down with them?

I know each person should be greeted....if we are sitting and talking with people and someone arrives, do we interrupt and say 'excuse me' and jump up to go to the doorway to greet the newcomers?

Each time someone comes, do I need to say, "Hey everybody, this is so-and-so"? Do I take the new guest around and personally introduce everybody one on one? Or should I let them talk to people on their own and introduce themselves? (Maybe some people are shy and don't want an announcement when they arrive.)

Is it okay to have a small box on a table for cards or would that look tacky?

Thanks for your suggestions.

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Old 06-08-2005, 10:40 PM   #2
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If you are going to personally greet guests, you should hang around the entrance so you can do that easily. You don't want to be running back and forth to the entrance every time someone comes in.

As guests arrive, say a quick, "Hello." and direct them into the hall to find a spot and get acquainted.

A table with a guest book is appropriate. Guests will probably leave their cards there. You can add a box if you like. They do that at weddings all the time.

Don't do individual introductions every time someone arrives. People will automatically gravitate towards the folks they know. If you can enlist some good friends to help by chatting with people they don't know to help break the ice, that can help.
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Old 06-09-2005, 02:00 AM   #3
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Vegas, I'm impressed that you want to make this party so special for your son.
I'd say it might be good to stand at the door, to greet guests, and then it would be an easy transition to say "my son is just inside, if you'd like to say 'hello' to him". That way, you've greeted, but there won't be a bottleneck at the door, and also, this will give the guests something to do when they first arrive. It may be a good opportunity for your son to introduce those who don't know each other. For example, if he is conversating with Mrs. Smith, and he sees more guests coming to his table, he can say, "Mrs. Smith, this is my Aunt Patty and Uncle Howard from Long Island. Aunt Patty and Uncle Howard, this is Mrs. Smith, my next door neighbor". This may lead into conversations amongst the guests as well.
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Old 06-09-2005, 03:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegas Girl
My son's graduation party is this Saturday! I had outpatient surgery two weeks ago, but I'm feeling great now and I'm ready for it. I've got the food part under control. Now I have questions about etiquette. Having parties is new to me...I have a small house and don't entertain...I'm using a small hall in my church. There will be about 10 children and 20 adults. There will be a one-month old baby in the family whom we've never seen. My friends/co-workers don't know my relatives and vice versa.

When the first couple/family arrives, should we stand there talking with them or should we point them to a table and then follow and sit down with them?

I know each person should be greeted....if we are sitting and talking with people and someone arrives, do we interrupt and say 'excuse me' and jump up to go to the doorway to greet the newcomers?

Each time someone comes, do I need to say, "Hey everybody, this is so-and-so"? Do I take the new guest around and personally introduce everybody one on one? Or should I let them talk to people on their own and introduce themselves? (Maybe some people are shy and don't want an announcement when they arrive.)

Is it okay to have a small box on a table for cards or would that look tacky?

Thanks for your suggestions.
at family and friend gatherings i go to, the guests are all greeted individually and the host and hostess always come and have a conversation with each table.
my family is rather outgoing, so we tend to indroduce ourselves and shake hands with the other people that we don't yet know. i always automatically extend my hand and offer a hearty handshake to guests that i haven't yet met.
i wouldn't leave the box on the table for cards. i'd leave a card well on a big table just by the door.
if you're at a table and new guests arrive, i'd finish the conversation before going to greet them, but keep an eye on the new arrivals and greet them quite soon after they grab a seat. they'll have to settle in and get thier drinks first, anyhow.
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Old 06-11-2005, 06:57 AM   #5
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I've thrown lots of parties in my life, and this one sounds kind of formal. Everyone in the family cannot be by the door for every single person. Make sure family members know that it is a responsibility for them, and deputize at least one trusted, freindly freind. Unless you're catering it or have servants, you'll never be able to be at the door every time, but you want someone to be. I often do this at freinds' parties; as in, "Hi, I'm Claire (which brings on an introduction if I don't know the person/famiy), Vegas is busy in the kitchen (over there, whatever), and sonny boy is over there. The food's here, the bar's there, please make yourself at home." The first guests are the hardest, so you might ask some family members or freinds (a couple or three) to come a half hour early for this very purpose, making the first guests who may not have been to your home before feel welcome while you're going crazy with last minute details, making sure they have someone to talk to (in other words, making them feel that they aren't the first to arrive!). Your kid is now 18, and I hope you've instilled some manners in him, and it's his party, after all. He should absolutely help as host in this regard.
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