How to Greet Guests

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Make sure your guests know each other.
Make sure your guests know each other. (Image: Hill Street Studios/Blend Images/Getty Images)

Wherever you may be hosting a party, the first rule is to make your guests feel welcome and comfortable. Whether you are greeting guests at a restaurant, your home or in the receiving line of a wedding, show your genuine pleasure in their company even before they show up.

Entertaining at Home

Take care of anything distracting such as dinner in the oven, children or minor tasks before your guests arrive so that you can devote your full attention to welcoming guests. Keeping them waiting at the door even while you save the pot roast is not a good start. Be enthusiastic in your greeting and thank them for coming. Be genuinely excited to meet new friends and focus your attention on them with gentle questions. Ask your guests what they want to drink and invite them to sit. Ask guests to join you in the kitchen if something there demands your attention.

Entertaining Out

Be the first person to arrive if you are hosting a party at another location. Depending on the restaurant and the size of your group, it is perfectly fine to join some of your guests at your table while you wait for any latecomers. Stand whenever guests arrive, and greet them with the same enthusiasm as you would in your home. Make any necessary introductions right away. Let them know where to sit. The waiter will be only too glad to bring them a drink. If it is a cocktail party at a restaurant, stand close to the door or, at the least, keep a close eye out for guests. Wherever you are in the receiving line of a wedding, the job is the same: Greet your guests enthusiastically, thank them for coming, repeat their names if you are just meeting them, and introduce them to the next person in the receiving line, who may not know them.

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