THE rollercoaster party season, where weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and myriad of events follow one another ceaselessly is here. The ’ember’ months (September through December) parade more social events than others, and those who love to party are never short of engagements.
Some appear so adept and comfortable at these events that many wonder how they do it. Partying like a pro only requires preparation and social graces.
And everyone can learn. Here are tips on how to win at parties…
- CALL THE CELEBRANT OR THOSE LISTED ON THE CARD
It is only good manners to call the celebrant and wish them well, apart from indicating that you are attending the event.
If you don’t know the ‘celebrant’ so well, you can call those listed on the invitation card.
Certain information can be extracted from the celebrant or those in charge by these calls – the dress code, how to pay for the ‘aso ebi’, travel plans, etc.
- ASSIST THE HOST IF YOU CAN
When you are close to those staging the event, you should assist in whatever way you can manage. There are so many activities involved in staging a successful event, and hosts are only too glad if they have people helping with this and that.
Depending on how close you are to them, your level of involvement can go a long way.
You should visit the host or celebrant, volunteer to assist in whatever way you deem fit and fulfil all your promises.
If you don’t know them personally, just be a good guest and wait for the event.
- EAT AT HOME (NEVER GO TO A PARTY STARVING)
When you are not really hungry, you become less desperate and far less easily angered. That’s why you should never attend a party starving.
You should be able to carefully pick and choose what to eat and drink, and never unduly upset when your orders don’t arrive in good time.
Sometimes, you even attend a high society event where everything is available, yet your orders never arrive.
So, eat at home before attending any party.
- DRESS WELL AND APPROPRIATELY
Disobeying dress codes and appearing as if you don’t care is not only disconcerting but rude.
Once you agree to come to a party, you must obey the dress and colour code.
You should even take it many notches higher by dressing very well.
It is rare that anyone who dresses well and appropriately is disrespected.
You help elevate the event by adorning the dress and colour code.
- NEVER ATTEND ALONE
You should always avoid attending parties all by yourself, except you are meeting some friends there.
Arriving at an event alone may sometimes be overpowering – not knowing who to sit with, talk to, etc.
But when you arrive with a partner, friends or colleagues, you are starting on a good note.
So, look for friends invited to the same party and make arrangements about how to go together (if you are not attending with a partner).
- ARRIVE AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME
There is this air of disarray when you rush into a party that is almost over. Or a sign of desperation when you arrive too early.
You must time the event so carefully so you arrive just when it is about to begin or had just got underway.
Apart from being good form, arriving at the appropriate time ensures you get a good seat.
- PLANT A SMILE ON YOUR FACE
The world is very difficult, but it is not at joyous occasions you show it. Just leave all your worries at home and be as jolly as possible.
Smile and be approachable. There is nothing as disarming as a ready smile. And there’s something about a smile, it really makes you feel happy inside.
Apart from being infectious, it melts barriers and creates amity.
- NEVER SHOW HOW IMPORTANT YOU ARE
There is nothing so lacking in class and gracefulness than someone who wants to show how important they are. At events, those who are important don’t need to tell anyone. The hosts and celebrants know those who are important to them.
So, anyone trying to pull their weight may end up being embarrassed.
Once you carry yourself well, you are appropriately dressed and courteous, no one can disrespect you.
Even if they do, your reaction of calm and cool, reminds them that you are well-bred.
- BRING A GIFT
Once you know the celebrant or host, it is nice to bring a gift. No matter how inexpensive! Just ensure that your gift will be useful and appreciated.
Those who stage events have gone to great lengths to entertain you and have you participate in their joyous moment. You should reciprocate with a gift.
- NEVER DRINK MORE THAN A SHOT OR GLASS OF ANYTHING STRONG
Only sober people are good guests. Once you are drunk, you become an unwelcome and undesirable guest at any party.
No matter how tempted you are, and how lavish the tables are laden, never drink more than a shot of any strong drink or a glass of champagne and wine.
You can drink all you can at home, if that’s your drift. But at a party, a drunken guest spoils the fun.
- EAT LIKE A KING OR QUEEN
Eating in public is tricky, and you must master it if you want to be treated respectfully.
Eating elegantly, slowly, without making unnecessary sound shows we are well-bred.
Sipping, not gulping, and knowing how to hold different glasses is not as difficult as it sounds.
Usually there are three glasses – for wine, champagne and water.
And there are cutlery for starter, main dish and dessert. Master how to use them. Or copy those who appear to be masters.
- SHOW JOY, DANCE
Except you are physically unable, you should dance – if not on the dance floor, near where you are seated or at least, rock hither and thither on your seat.
Dancing is one of the highlights of many events, and participating, by joining the celebrant or the host more than qualifies you as a good guest.
We are not advocating that you ‘spray’ and show how much money you can throw around. Dance and be merry, relish the joyousness of the day.
- TREAT ALL WITH COURTESY
The hallmark of well-bred souls is how well they treat everyone, even those considered well beneath them.
They smile, say please and thank you at every turn. Social graces are what we owe each other.
From security men to waiters, ushers and more, you should never disrespect anyone.
Offer a ready smile, and obey instructions and accept suggestions.
You get far ahead by being nice and courteous.
- BEAR INDISCRETIONS WELL, NEVER GET UPSET
Sometimes, no matter how much we try, we encounter people who are plain rude, having a bad day or just difficult.
We should know how to bear ill-treatment with good form. Never get upset, or engage in loud exchange of words.
Look for a senior official to itemize your complaints.
Even if you are not well treated at an event, don’t let it spoil your fun. The host or celebrant has nothing to do with it and you are there because of them.
If you cannot bear it, leave unobtrusively.
- NEVER GOSSIP OR COMPLAIN
Never gossip about anyone at an event, especially the host or celebrant and any of their family members or colleagues. That’s not the place to gossip (there’s actually no good place to gossip).
Talking about other people negatively actually sullies us. And at a joyous occasion, we should steer clear of topics capable of damaging anyone’s reputation.
We should also never complain about anything, especially because we have not paid for any service.
- THANK THE HOST OR CELEBRANT
Never forget to show appreciation for being allowed to participate in someone’s joyful moments.
So, after the party, send a thank you text or call, stating how happy you were as a guest and part of the happy day.
The text message should be short and sharp with your name at the end.
If the host or celebrant knows you well, then you can call and express your appreciation.
– TINUKE OWOLABI