"If you think business and manners don’t mix, try talking with your mouth full.” - Diane Gottsman, Modern Manners & Etiquette Expert, Author, Media Resource

Housewarming Party Etiquette

July 7th, 2017 by

Dear Diane,

My husband and I are moving into our first house and I’d like to throw a housewarming party. Is it appropriate to have a registry, so guests know our preferred colors and wishlist?

Many thanks,

Housewarming Party

Dear Janet,

Housewarming parties are a fun, exciting way to share your new home with friends and celebrate the milestone of owning a house. However, registering for or requesting gifts is a definite no-no; it’s tacky and can seem greedy. When you send out invitations to your friends and family, don’t mention gifts—leave the specific requests for when your bestie asks what color you’re painting the living room. When you’re planning your housewarming party, consider these tips.

Keep It Simple

Don’t stress about everything looking perfect. You are christening your new home and celebrating with people you care about. Your house will continue to unfold with paint and decorations as you go and grow. Concentrate on making your guests feel welcome. A lovely charcuterie tray, a build your own taco bar, a simple dessert table and a large ice bucket of moderately priced wine and bottled water makes the event fun and easy. Don’t be afraid to accept help if someone wants to bring a side dish.

Give the Dime Tour

Everyone will want to see your new digs, so be prepared to give multiple tours. Give the master bathroom a good tidying up, keeping your closet floor free of dirty clothes, and clear off your nightstand. You know it’s coming so start to prepare in advance. Pick up the socks off the floor, fold the towels, make sure there is plenty of toilet paper in the powder room and shine the mirrors. People are interested in seeing how you live.

Make the Details Work

Bring fresh flowers into your kitchen for instant impact, use cute paper plates and napkins to minimize cleanup and hang a few on-trend decorations to brighten up your living room.

Get Yourself Ready

When entertaining, it’s easy to forget your own hair, makeup, and outfit in the rush to clean and prepare. Half an hour before you expect your earliest guest, take a moment to look in the mirror and smooth down any fly-aways or change out of a stained shirt. Turn on the music, open your wine bottles, and relax. Make sure your guests will open the door to a calm and gracious host instead of a harried, stressed-out new homeowner.

Best of luck,

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