The meal is prepped. The drinks are ready. The table is set. The music is playing. The home is spotless. All of your party planning has come down to this, and your guests are due to arrive momentarily. But before you go into full-on hostess mode, take a moment to make sure you're not overlooking an important piece of entertainment etiquette.
"Etiquette nowadays is all about making people feel comfortable and welcome in your home," says digital cooking-show host Hilah Johnson.
Here are three ways Johnson says you can make all of your guests feel right at home.
1. Give a warm greeting.
It might sound like a no-brainer, but the reality is that it's easy to get caught up in a variety of hostess tasks once that doorbell starts ringing. So, when someone arrives, make a point to greet them warmly. "Greet them with all of your heart," Johnson says. "Say, 'Hi, hello, how are you? Thank you for coming.'"
And don't leave guests guessing what to do with their coats and purses, she adds. Offer to take these items to a closet or bedroom so they don't have to worry about carrying anything around.
2. Offer a drink.
Once you've put away your guest's belongings, offer him or her a beverage. "Put a drink in their hands," Johnson says.
Also, if you have placed appetizers out for your guests, show them where they are in case they would like to enjoy a bite before the full meal begins.
3. Make quick introductions.
Since you can't spend the party attached to one person, encourage your guest to mingle with the other people there. "Introduce them to someone at the party who you think they might like," Johnson suggests. "Give them a conversation starter."
Doing these things will help your guests feel as if they belong, which any good hostess knows is a crucial part of successful entertaining. Even as other home-related trends come and go, being a gracious host is truly a timeless art.
"The idea that you're making someone feel comfortable in your home will never go out of style," Johnson says.
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