Every year my husband and I throw several large social events at our home. Some for simply gathering good friends, others for networking with colleagues and fostering professional relationships. Over the years, we have adjusted our guest lists and removed those that became socially challenging for us to ‘manage’ during various events (i.e. basic rudeness, over-indulgence, or any socially inappropriate, embarrassing behavior that may reflect poorly upon us.)
On several occasions, guests that were removed from our invite list called or emailed to ask why they didn’t receive an invitation, or worse, showed up uninvited with the assumption they were welcome. This has proven to create an awkward situation for us. Is it just me, or is it the height or rudeness to assume you are invited to an event, even though you didn’t receive a formal invitation? Are we duty-bound to entertain people simply because they had the privilege of attending one of our gatherings previously? Please Matilda, share with us your sage wisdom on this matter…
– Irked in Arkansas
My Dear Irked,
I am most pleased you called upon me for counsel on this issue of etiquette, as it is a particularly sore point for me when others do not heed the basics of courteousness and social decorum. Let me assure you that you are not the one lacking in manners in this given situation. Anyone that would assume to be welcomed at an event they were not invited to has no place at your gatherings, period. The host is most certainly free to adjust the guest list to their choosing without explanation or question.
On a practical level, here is my very best advice for ‘Uninvited Guest Management’.
Upon their classless arrival, approach with a polite yet puzzled look and simply say:
‘My goodness, I had no idea you would be stopping by for an unannounced visit today. As you can see, this isn’t a good time. Perhaps we could meet for lunch next week…?’
Follow this with a warm hug and a big smile as you escort them out the door.