The Goods The Goods

You've accepted the invite, now here's how to be a gracious guest

A checklist to save you from awkward party introductions, cold casseroles and much more

March 08, 2018

(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

Being a great party guest is just as important as hosting a great party. But between finding the perfect hostess gift, to figuring out what to wear, being a guest can be just as stressful. Thankfully, our favourite hosts answered some viewers' questions on how to be a gracious guest in a party edition of Get The Goods. Here are their tips and tricks for a no-stress soiree.

"I'm invited to a party – what's the best hostess gift to bring?" - Sarah from Richmond, BC

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Aside from wine and flowers, Steven's big go-to is a great quality scented candle. But don't bring a big pillar candle or tapered candles – they're too specific to be practical for everyone. Don't buy a candle just because it's on sale! If you wouldn't put it in your house, don't buy it for someone else, but it is ok to stockpile when your go-to candle is on sale. As a rule, avoid artificially scented candles, which are lower quality and less likely to agree with the receiver.

Steven's favourite scent is oud. It's considered liquid gold and is one of the most expensive scents in the world! Oud comes from the tropical agar tree that has been infected by a specific mould. In response, it produces a fragrant resin to protect itself, so oud comes from the resin-embedded heartwood of the tree. It smells sweet and deep, but it's still a very balanced fragrance. If you don't pick oud, try to pick another scent with a unique story behind it to share with your hosts.

Candles can be given as is when they're already packaged beautifully, such as in glass or in a box. If you do want to wrap your candle, here's a very simple way to wrap a cylinder!

Here's what you'll need:

Here's how to do it:

1. Cut a piece of wrapping paper to fit the size of your candle. It should surround the candle when rolled on its side. For height, if the candle was placed on its side in the middle, the paper should be able to fold to just over half of the top of the candle.

2. Attach the paper to the rounded side of the cylinder with a piece of tape.

3. Roll the candle until it is surrounded by paper. Tape the seam.

4. Placing the candle on its base, fold one edge of the paper downwards, one edge at a time until you've gone around the whole candle. Secure with tape.

5. Flip the candle over and do the same with the other side.

6. Attach a pompom on the top with tape, and voila!

"I've been dating this girl for a month, and I have a friend's birthday coming up. Should I take her?" - Mark from Manitoba

If you can answer yes! to these questions, then you should bring her. Here's a checklist from Andrea.  

She'll be comfortable on her own

Are they social enough that you don't have to be with them all night? Can they mingle on their own? Or is she the type of person who isn't comfortable chatting solo? If so, you might not want to bring her along this time.

You've discussed your relationship status

You're going to be introducing this person to all of your friends and she's going to be listening for those keywords before you say her name. For example, is she just "Andrea," or "Andrea your friend," or "Andrea your girlfriend?" There's a big difference. Words count.

You trust your friends

Are your friends going to be kind and welcoming to your date? If you have the type of crew that likes to roast new partners, tell them to lay off before you introduce them to the new person in your life. If you aren't confident that they can behave, don't take her.

"I'm going to a potluck and I'm bringing a hot dish. What's the best way for me to transport it?!" - Barbara from Nova Scotia

If you want to bring your food in your own dish, give it a "caterer's wrap." Here's Shahir's tips for the perfect transport.

1. Wrap the entire dish twice around so it's nice and secure.

2. Then top the dish with the cover and place on a large dish towel.

3. Take the opposite corners of towel and tie a knot.

4. Done! A perfectly secure dish that will stay nice and toasty.

"I have a question for Jessi. I'm going to a party tonight, and my ex is going to be there and I need help finding an outfit that will... well, make him regret breaking up with me. Can you help?"

Jessi says to skip the tight or revealing dress and opt for comfort instead. You never want to be the most overdressed person in the room, and the easiest way to do this is with a great jean that you can dress up or down. Think layers – Jessi recommends wearing a great white tee or tank top with a great layering piece like a motto jacket.

No matter who's going to be there, think of making a statement with your accessories. Wear pieces that help in creating great conversations with other guests at the party. You can do this with bold earrings, colourful pumps, whatever you think is unique and represents a little of your personality.

Jessi's last tip is to put your best foot forward. Plan for a great shoe, and if you're wearing pumps or shoes without socks, pack a pair of socks or sockets with you! You don't want to be barefoot in someone's house because the host has a "no shoes indoors" policy.