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Host Etiquette - Full disclosure?

When you host dinner at your house and invite someone, as a host, do you normally let them know if there are also other people invited? And I don't mean provide each guest with a full guest list and menu - I just mean do you ordinarily let people know if there are going to be more people at dinner than just yourself (the hosts) and them?

As a rather introverted person, if I'm a guest, I like to know what to expect when I go to someone's house for dinner. I need time to mentally prepare myself for a group of people vs. a more intimate setting of us and the hosts. So I try to provide my invited guests with that information if it's more than just them.

I absolutely do appreciate any and all invitations I receive, regardless of the type of event - it's ultimately about spending time with my friends and I'm happy they want me there. And if I am surprised by a roomful of strangers, I can graciously roll with it and have a good time. I just prefer to have time to get in the right mindset, so I try to provide my guests with the same.

What's your general rule of thumb?

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  1. I think of it as a courtesy. I dont usually handle the 'invite' side, but I know mediums like e-vite allow this to be transparent.

    1. "And I don't mean provide each guest with a full guest list and menu - I just mean do you ordinarily let people know if there are going to be more people at dinner than just yourself (the hosts) and them?"

      Special-Introvert circumstances or no, unless it's obvious from context (ie, a "dinner party" or something), absolutely. I can't really imagine someone not saying anything except on purpose, which would be either bizarre or outrageous, depending on their motive.

      Surprise parties are a whole 'nother subject for discussion...

      1. We give an idea of who is going to be here and what the menu is.....I'll say something to the effect of "The Joneses and Smiths are coming and the Taylors are a maybe and we're going to have ribs, BBQ and fixings."

        1. i have a few friends who seem to like to know who else is coming so in the interests of their comfort i divulge my guest list. i wouldn't be having them if i didn't like them so why would i want to do anything to compromise their comfort level?

          me? i love going somewhere and being surprised by the guest list and the menu! makes it fun!

          1 Reply
          1. re: potterstreet

            Same here. When I'm the guest, I don't ask. And, one of my frequesnt hostesses doesn't tell. When I am the host, I do not volunteer it, but there are certain guests (my mother in particular) who wants to hear the run down.

          2. I would indiciate that others are invited as well...its a totally different expectation, I think if you're heading to someone's house for a "dinner party" versus a more intimate (regardless of date or not) dinner/meal. So, though I don't think you need to provide a guest list, menu and itinerary to everyone, letting everyone know that they're not the only ones invited.