Rules of EtiKate: Hostessing

Now that we have all learned how to have a flawless table setting, we can start hosting fabulous dinner parties! Whether it is a small get-together, a swanky cocktail party, or a five-course formal sit-down dinner, here are some etiquette tips on how to be a gracious and regal hostess.

  • Send out invitations far in advance to be sure that people do not have other plans. Require an RSVP so you can get a good sense of the number of people who will be arriving. This will help in your food preparation.
  • Greet each person as they come in the door. It is your duty as the hostess to make each guest feel comfortable in your home or wherever you are hosting the party. Oftentimes, it is best to introduce guests to each other so they can begin to have conversations.
  • Prepare as much of the meal and appetizers as you can ahead of time. This way, you are not running back and forth to the kitchen and you can focus your attention on your guests.
  • Make sure there is plenty to eat and that you are comfortable with each recipe. Nothing can ruin a dinner party like messing up the entree. So be prepared and comfortable with each food item you are serving.
  • Make sure that you create a mood. This can be done through lighting, flowers, decorations, and music. Creating a mood helps the party flow seamlessly from room to room.
  • Do not let awkward silences occur. Have a couple of conversation topics on hand in the back of your mind just in case the conversation lulls in the middle of the party. You can always mention Kate and how fabulous she looked at her last event or how adorable Prince George was at the Royal Christening!
  • If you are ready for your guests to start heading home, the best way to do it politely is to ask your guest how they are planning to get home. This sends the message that you are ready for them to leave but also shows you care.

Of course there are countless other tips in hostessing great parties but these are a few to get you started. Once you start hostessing, you’ll develop your own system of excellence. While Kate has her hands full right now with Prince George, I can only imagine she hosted some pretty classy parties before his birth and she will be doing so again soon.


Kinsey is a contributor for What Would Kate Do? and a college student studying marketing. She has loved all things British since her family went on a trip to England when she was eight. Since then, she has had royal ambitions, fueled by The Princess Diaries, Disney World, and, of course, Kate Middleton. Her guilty pleasures include rap music and bad reality television. She resides in Boston.