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Decline a Party Invite Without Insulting Your Host

Decline a Party Invite Without Insulting Your Host

What to do when there are too many parties to go to, and too little time

Every week, our resident experts Mindy Lockard and Coryanne Ettiene answer etiquette questions from modern day hosts, offering advice from both traditional and contemporary perspectives.

Have a question you want answered? Send us an email with your dilemma, and then check back every week for new tips and advice.

This week’s question:

I have been invited to three parties, all in one night. How can I manage to attend some parties, maybe none all, without insulting my hosts?

Mindy: One gift that any gracious guest can give to a host is to arrive on time and to be present. This means that sometimes we simply cannot do it all! So it’s better to truly commit to one party, two at the most, than to be making an appearance at many. You’ll enjoy the parties more, and the guests at each of the parties will enjoy you more. Trying to take on too much might just communicate that while you are showing up, you have better things going on. Even though that’s not at all how you feel.

Coryanne: Be it during the busy summer or winter party months, every host knows what it's like to be busy and will surely appreciate the guest who does make an effort to turn up, even if it’s just for one drink. Let your host know in advance that you have a packed night ahead but would not want to miss their party. Then, extend an invitation to coffee for the following week to discuss the party and catch up on your own time.

About Our Experts: Mindy Lockard is The Gracious Girl and offers traditional etiquette advice with a modern, gracious twist. Coryanne Ettiene believes entertaining at home should be an everyday affair; she shares contemporary advice for modern living at Housewife Bliss.