6 Etiquette Tips to Keep in Mind this Labor Day Weekend

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.

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