Parties & Entertaining

What is hostess gift etiquette?

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Ever attend a party and wonder what is hostess gift etiquette?

For every occasion and special event, for every birthday and wedding, every shower and party, there are certain etiquette rules that one should live by, even if you aren’t the rules type of person.

Following them will ensure that no “faux pas” are made, and a smooth evening will be in your near future, with loving thank you's and more invitations!

We're all invited to endless social events and gathering, some entailing you bring a small token of appreciation for the invite and event. You also want to tell you host that you are grateful for them hosting such event and what better way then with a present that will be practical, beautiful, edible or thoughtful?

So, what is hostess gift etiquette?

When invited to an event or party, ask for a few specifics:

  • What will you be celebrating?
  • How many people are invited?
  • Is there a theme to the party?

Knowing a few details will help you gift the perfect hostess present! If you already know the person doing the event or for whom the event is being done for, you’re in an even better position!. This will make your gift personable, as well as well-received by your hostess, who in turn will appreciate the thought.





A hostess gift, depending on your relationship with the person, should be something you’ve put thought into. It shouldn’t be anything re-gifted or something you had under the boxes in the closet, no matter how gorgeous that watercolor set is.

Guidelines for Picking the Perfect Hostess Gift



Are you attending a birthday party?

Although it is customary to just gift the birthday boy or girl, a small token is greatly appreciated for the hostess. Obviously try to make the birthday gift larger or better, as to not overshadow the event. A perfect hostess gift could be a small item of home décor, or a certificate to a local restaurant.

Are you attending a casual dinner party?

Ask that hostess if she needs a dessert or maybe some passed appetizers. Anything that makes their night go smoother will be appreciated, but always ask. Another great gift is wine, which can either be opened that night or saved for a later occasion.

Were you invited to a formal dinner party?

Formal dinner parties normally celebrate engagements and milestone birthdays, so be sure to first of all dress the part. Ask your hostess if there will be a dress code (this should also be on the invitation).

To these dinner parties, you don't want to bring any edibles unless they are chocolates or something they can save for later. Formal dinner parties tend to have a pre-set menu that would not appreciate interruptions. Also, a great gift for this hostess is monogrammed stationery, to later use as thank you cards!


Whichever situation or event you are invited to, always remember it is "the nice thing to do". Your hostess will remember you not only for your present, but for your attention to detail and thoughtfulness.

Also, it might score you some extra invitations to the next party!


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