As women who seek to further God’s kingdom in our day-to-day lives, we are entrusted with the responsibility to govern the hearts of ourselves and our families. Whether you’re single, married, with children or an empty-nester, these simple and practical tips on behavior, manners, conduct and etiquette will inspire and encourage you to continue to serve the Lord with excellence. Now, grab yourself a cup of tea and let’s journey together through “The Art of Etiquette”!
… the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. | Titus 2:3-5
Etiquette Tip 1: RSVP-ing to Events
Don’t you just love receiving an invitation to an event or party? So do we! When you receive an invite (printed or electronic), keep in mind that since the host felt it important enough to send and invitation, it’s also important enough to RSVP. Typically a host is planning food and other activities and needs accurate numbers. And everyone has a different planning timeframe they work through in their head. Some of us may be planning three weeks in advance, while others won’t plan until the day before the party! But it is important to remember that you should respond with the long-term planner in mind, not the up-to-the-minute planner. Responding in a timely manner is considerate. Here are a few tips to being the best guest you can be, before the party even begins!
- RSVP as quickly as possible, because it is easy to forget about the invitation after a couple of days. Aim for providing your answer within the first day or two of receiving the invitation, if possible.
- At minimum, provide your answer by the RSVP date, if given.
- Let your “yes” be “yes”, and your “no” be “no”. If you’re responding to an electronic invitation with a “maybe” option, be sure to set a reminder for yourself to go back and change it to “yes” or “no” by the RSVP date.
- Make sure you include the number of people in your party (and if an invitation was only addressed to you and/or your spouse, make sure to clarify if you may bring a guest or children).
Etiquette Tip 2: Be a Host!
There’s certainly a time and place for casual get-togethers, where everyone is relaxed and more like one big family. But when hosting people in your home, here are some basics that our moms taught us!
- Do the cleaning basics: lightly dust, sweep the floors, straighten common areas. It’s nice when your home looks straightened and mostly clean (and don’t forget to stock the bathroom with toilet paper!).
- Provide food for your guests. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but if you choose to host people, your responsibility should be to provide the majority of the refreshments. Your guests shouldn’t be bringing the entire (or most of the entire) meal.
- Have a designated place for coats, shoes, purses, etc. as guests arrive.
- Light a candle or spray air freshener before guests arrive.
For overnight guests:
- Always put fresh sheets on a bed when a guest comes over.
- Freshly dust and vacuum the guest room.
- Place clean linens in the bathroom/bedroom so guest doesn’t have to go hunting.
- Make sure you have a clean trash can in your guest’s bathroom.
- Check the guest bathroom daily to tidy it up and restock the toilet paper.
- Have breakfast options for your guests. Try to make sure you have something they can eat (example, if they’re gluten-free), even if you don’t have the same dietary restrictions. Likewise, if you are a granola-bar-on-the-go-for-breakfast person, but you know your guest prefers something more substantial in the mornings, plan to have some eggs or another option available for them.
And, here’s a little extra something special to consider: use a decorative tray to display fresh flowers, a candle, or even a fresh sparkling juice upon your guest’s arrival!
Trays are a great way to showcase items, but also for your guests to set their keys, wallet, etc., for safe keeping. We were inspired by One Kings Lane to share our “Tray Chic Moment” with y’all!
Etiquette Tip 3: Be a Guest!
Whether attending a friend’s dinner party or visiting someone for the weekend, it is important to consider your host and their home. Here are a few tips to help you!
- Arrive on time. Did the event begin at 7pm? Plan to be there by 7pm, unless it is specifically noted as a “come and go” type event.
- If you are attending an event where there will be food, offer to bring a food or drink item to contribute to the festivities.
- Don’t sit on the arms or backs of furniture, no matter how comfy it might look. And, refrain from putting your shoes on the furniture (example, crossing one leg under your knee, etc.).
- Always leave a place as good or better than you found it (make bed, wipe counters, make sure you didn’t leave toothpaste residue in sink, etc.).