Proper gift etiquette is not old-fashioned like many people portray. If you’re invited to a party or a special event, it’s important to learn proper gift etiquette to avoid embarrassing situations. This also applies to the host of the party or the event as you wouldn’t want to portray bad behavior in the presence of your guests.
So, what are those hosted and hostess gift etiquettes? This article outlines everything you need to know whether you’re hosted or the hostess. Keep reading!
Dinner Party Gift Etiquette
When you bring a hostess gift to the dinner party host, don't expect it to be served or displayed while you're there. Give the gift at the door so that the host can put it away before greeting other guests. Don't worry if it isn't appropriate for the occasion, but avoid bringing something so personal that it would be inappropriate to serve guests.
Appropriate gifts for a dinner party hostess include:
- Guest soaps
- Decorator candles
- Coffee table book
- Bottles of wine
- Potted plant
- Bouquet in a vase
- Box candies
- Tin of cookies
Holiday Parties Hostess Gift Ideas
Bring a hostess gift to help get the season off on a sweet note during holiday parties. Some get-togethers require more preparation than others, but your thoughtful gesture will make the festivities even merrier. The following holiday party ideas are sure to provide plenty of inspiration:
- Gift basket with cookies, popcorn, coffee, teas, and hot cocoa mix
- Bottle of wine
- Ornament and other holiday decorations
- Holiday-themed tins of candy and baked goods
Housewarming Gifts Etiquette
Housewarming parties are for celebrating new homes and all the excitement that goes with them. The housewarming gift shouldn't be that expensive, but it should be something lasting for the house. Try to find out the color scheme beforehand. You can also shop for things to buy for a new house to get your inspiration from them.
Housewarming Party Gifts Ideas include:
- Bottle of wine
- A holiday-themed tin filled with baked goods or candy
- Guest towels
- Dish towels
- Picture frame
- Special foods like olive oil, cheese knives
- Wine glasses
- Kitchen supplies
If the housewarming is for a neighbor new in town, introduce your new neighbor with a welcome kit containing an area map and restaurant menus.
Overnight Stay Host Gift Ideas
You do not need to bring a gift for the overnight host, but if you would like to consider bringing these gifts:
- Wine basket with a variety of wines and a couple of wine bottles
- A Gift card to a specialty store that caters to the host's taste
- Gourmet food basket
- Restaurant gift card
- Spa basket
Host Gifts for Meeting Future In-Laws
If you're visiting the home of your future in-laws, bring a hostess gift to relieve that nervousness. Make sure you know their taste before embarrassing yourself by giving inappropriate gifts. You can then set up your meeting with the future in-laws by bringing:
- A bouquet that matches the season and decor of their home
- Wine, champagne, or spirits
- Plant in a decorative pot
- Variety of potted herbs
- Coffee and tea basket
Casual Gatherings Gifts Etiquette
Nowadays, it's quite perfect to bring a hostess gift to a casual party. The hostess sees this gift as a small token of gratitude for their efforts. It doesn't need to be formally wrapped, but it can be given as an addition to the festivities.
Anything that will complement their efforts and help them in the future, even if it's a small gift, will be greatly appreciated.
Formal Celebrations Host or Hostess Gift
Whether you're attending a birthday party, a bachelorette party, or an engagement party, you have to be worried about getting a gift for the honorees. But if you're the one being celebrated, take time to write your hostess a thank you note. You can also go the extra mile and send flowers, chocolate, and something else that she loves, like a gift certificate to her favorite spa.
Gift Etiquette Tips
This shouldn't be time to brag about how you brought an expensive bottle of wine and champagne. Do not show others who might not have realized they should have brought a gift if you want to be a perfect houseguest. Don’t make others feel uncomfortable or guilty.
Don't Expect Your Gift to be Shared or Unwrapped Immediately
If the hostess is in the hosting mode, they have many things in their mind. So, avoid diverting attention from the event. Simply greet the host and tell them you've brought them something to enjoy later.
Ask What You Can Bring
Ask the host or hostess if there's something you can bring to the occasion. This tip doesn't apply to housewarming celebrations and bridal showers because the host may not be expected to receive a gift anyway.
Wrap Your Gift
Don't hesitate to wrap your gift if it feels appropriate. You can wrap it with a gift bag, a bowl, or a simple gift box. Make sure you conclude by writing a thank you note.
Now that you know how and when to give a host gift, pick out the perfect gift from these ones to show appreciation:
Candles are a great gift to thank someone for letting you stay with them. However, they're not always the best gift for dinner parties because their scent may clash with the meal.
Cheese Board and Knives
These are great gifts for any occasion. They do work well for housewarming parties, dinner parties, and other occasions.
Coasters get away with hostesses' fear of guests staining their nice wooden tables with their practical and stylish solution. They can even create talking points, thanks to their different styles and fun options.
With gift baskets, saying thank you to your host can be easy because they host a lot of items that your host may need. They also come in several varieties; for example, if your host loves coffee, you can get them a coffee-themed basket that goes above and beyond a simple coffee mug and a bag of beans.
Glasses and Other Stemware
No matter what you're celebrating, be it a fancy dinner or saying thank you to someone's hospitality, you can never go wrong with wine glasses and stemware. Decorative tea towels and dish towels can also serve well.
Flowers in a Vase
While it's not great to offer flowers to the host, when you offer them in a vase, you'll relieve your host of the duty of finding a place to place the flowers. And when the flowers die later, the host will remain with a beautiful base to remember.
Chocolate comes in many varieties, so you can do it in a creative way but still, be delicious to your host.
Provide some apothecary to your host by gifting those soaps. A collection of three to four different soap scents will ensure your hostess finds a scent to enjoy.
Coffee Table Book
Coffee table books make for a thoughtful and unique host or hostess gift. They're not only talking pieces, but your host may also be interested in them. If they need, ask their friends and family for ideas for coffee books they've been looking forward to.
FAQs on Proper Hosted and Hostess Gift Etiquette
Do you give a hostess gift at the beginning or end of your stay?
When you arrive, bring your hostess gift to the host in person. You can also give during your stay or after you return home once you've gotten a better idea of what your host likes.
Do you give a hostess gift when the party's still going on?
Yes! You can bring your host or hostess gift with you to the party and present it at the end of your stay.
Final Thought on Proper Hosted and Hostess Gift Etiquette
There you go! Avoid showing up to your friend's party, at a holiday event or dinner party empty-handed once you know what they like. At least have some gifts with you to show some gratitude and appreciation for their invite. It’s also a very nice gesture to bring a host gift if you’re visiting someone’s home for the first time.