6 Etiquette Tips to Keep in Mind this Labor Day Weekend

Potluck Etiquette_Jules Hirst Etiquette Expert

If you are ask­ing your guests to bring a dish, you must be clear.

 Labor Day week­end, the unof­fi­cial end of sum­mer, is one last time for a get-together with fam­ily and friends to cel­e­brate what I hope was a won­der­ful sum­mer.  If your week­end plans con­sist of a potluck or if you are host­ing, here are six eti­quette tips to keep in mind.


1. If you are ask­ing your guests to bring a dish, you must be clear as to what you are pro­vid­ing and what your guests should bring.  I know some peo­ple have a hard time with this one.  But, to be the host­ess with the most­ess, it is your respon­si­bil­ity to make sure you have a vari­ety of dishes and not an over­flow of plates and napkins.

2. Com­pli­ment the food whether it is true or not.  Always try to com­pli­ment the guests on the dishes they pro­vided espe­cially those who are not com­fort­able with cook­ing.  If they made an effort, let them know you appre­ci­ate it.  Not only are you show­ing your appre­ci­a­tion but you are also giv­ing the inex­pe­ri­enced cook a vote of con­fi­dence, which I am sure they will appreciate.

3.  Greet all of your guests.  Whether you are hav­ing a small gath­er­ing or a large party, it is your respon­si­bil­ity as host to greet all of your guests as they arrive and to make sure every­one knows each other.  This is a per­fect time to put into prac­tice your intro­duc­tion skills.


1. Bring a dish; a bot­tle of wine is not a dish!  If the host does not ask for a spe­cific dish then offer suggestions.

2.  If you are plan­ning to bring a dish that needs to be heated or refrig­er­ated, don’t assume that you may do so.  Con­tact the host ahead of time to make sure there will be room.

3. Bring a host­ess gift.  Although you are never required to pro­vide a gift, the host has opened their home, cleaned before the party, will clean after the party and although every­one is bring­ing a dish, the host still spends quite a bit of money to put this party together.  I often hear, “I am bring­ing a dish, isn’t that my gift?”   No, it is not.

Regard­less of what your plans are this week­end, I wish all of you a happy and safe Labor Day week­end.  One last thing, if you do spend time with your fam­ily and friends, they deserve your full atten­tion.  Turn off your cell phone.

Office Holiday Party – A Road Map to Success

The first rule of the office holiday party is attendance is mandatory

The first rule of the office hol­i­day party is atten­dance is mandatory

.  Even if you hate the hol­i­days or hate par­ties, this is a busi­ness oppor­tu­nity that can’t be missed.  As such, you need to step out­side your nor­mal group of co-workers and talk to as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble.  Your next oppor­tu­nity for advance­ment may be right around the cor­ner and the more peo­ple who know you the bet­ter your chances.

Although you are work­ing the room for a pro­mo­tion, make sure to keep the “shop talk” to a min­i­mum.  This is your oppor­tu­nity to learn about the peo­ple you work with.  Find out what their hol­i­day plans are.  Ask about their kids.  Talk about movies, sports or travel plans.  As with any func­tion, keep away from the tra­di­tional con­ver­sa­tion no-no’s — sex, reli­gion and politics.

Finally, here are some obvi­ous tips that need to be repeated because peo­ple make these mis­takes every year.  Don’t drink too much.  Don’t flirt with your co-workers.  Dress appro­pri­ately – this is still a work func­tion.  Make sure to say hi to your boss, so that he/she knows you were there.  Also, don’t leave too early – you send the wrong sig­nal that your life is more impor­tant than spend­ing time with your co-workers.  Nobody wants to work with some­one like this.

Fol­low­ing these tips, should help you suc­cess­fully nav­i­gate your office hol­i­day party and maybe your wish for the cor­ner office will soon come true.

Etiquette for Dinner Parties

Here is a great video by Australia’s top enter­tain­ing experts reveal­ing their din­ner party suc­cess secrets.Dinner party etiquette

*Fifty years ago there were clear eti­quette rules. For exam­ple, don’t remove your sports coat or smoke your pipe around women, and never dis­cuss per­sonal affairs in pub­lic. But things have changed.

Today, peo­ple air their dirty laun­dry on Twit­ter and the sexes are rel­a­tively equal in rela­tion­ships and business.

You can no longer be sure whether you’ll be scoffed at or thanked for open­ing a door for a woman.

But that doesn’t mean man­ners have no place in the mod­ern world – in fact, if you want to make a good impres­sion, eti­quette is still the best way.


* Writ­ten by: Fiona MacDonald