There are two questions that we as hosts receive when a guest accepts an RSVP: “What can I bring?” and “What should I wear?” Let’s talk about the first question today!
But first, let’s talk about psychology. WHAT? Yes, psychology plays a huge part in entertaining, as the best hosts realize. There are a lot of things that come into play when we invite someone into our homes for food and/or drinks and entertainment – too much to get into in one party tip. We will touch on it quickly though, so that you understand how the exchange of energy and power flows while entertaining and being entertained – so that you as the host, can make your guests feel welcome and comfortable – which is what we ALL want!
When we are invited to a party, someone else is doing something nice for us. Some of us feel as though, when extended a kind invitation, we would like to do something kind for our host in turn (hence, host gifts!). This actually evens the balance of energy and power between two people. For some guests, accepting an invitation without bringing something feels downright uncomfortable!
So, while that got a tiny bit into psychology, the answer to the question, “What can I bring?” is easy! Your guest wants to do something nice or helpful in return, so let them do it! If you’re having a sit-down dinner and will have all the food, ask them to bring a bottle of wine – ask one to bring a bottle of their favourite red and another a bottle of their favourite white. This is the PERFECT solution, because asking them to bring their favourite kind makes them feel great about sharing something they love, and we all love to do that. Also, it’s a great conversation point: “Joe, meet Jane! She brought the red wine you’re sipping – it’s her favourite!”
If you’re having a buffet, you can ask them to bring an item – perhaps a salad, or some crackers for the dip you’re making from scratch.
Allowing your guests to bring something helps them feel more comfortable accepting their hospitality, so when they offer, from now on, say yes!