Parties need great hosts and great guests. For tips on how to be the latter, we turned to Marja Wade Barrett of Fort Mitchell, whose new etiquette book Business Manners for Success (Cincinnati Book Publishing; $23.95) hits stores Thursday.
Respond to invitations promptly and with enthusiasm. E-mail is fine if the address is on the invitation or if it's from a good friend.
Arrive on time. If it's a public space, it's OK to arrive a bit early and mingle. If it's a private home, it's not OK.
Mingle and converse. Think of a few topics in advance but avoid gossip (you never know who's listening); sexist, ethnic or disability jokes; politics and religion (unless you know exactly where people stand on issues).
Dress appropriately. If it's black tie, wear black tie. If it's casual or business attire, dress that way. But nothing risque.
Greet the host and hostess and express appreciation before food is served.
Don't over-imbibe. Alternate soft drinks and cocktails.
Hostess gifts are appropriate at private homes only.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
The sounds of chamber music
Cincinnati boasts century of music
Chamber CD starter set
Where to hear it
Grier Taft Artist-in-Residence
Have a bite with Jane Seymour
Symphony's label named No. 1
Brothers' play just the way they like it
Jones/Zane troupe will dance a short story
New this week
'Select' showcases winners
Get the party started
The art of being a perfect guest
Pretty places to party
Put on that Golightly look
Boutique Chic: Fancy this
Beaux Arts Ball
Dream Makers awards
Canoe Bay the Wright place to relax
Spend the night in a Wright
Canoe Bay among Midwest's best little resorts