Do I Have to Bring a Hostess Gift?

Bringing a hostess gift is a great way to show your gratitude and possibly even score you a follow-up invitation. Hey, its always nice to bring a little something to thank your host for his or her hospitality. But you dont have to get your gift on forRead on to get the inside scoop on when and when not to gift.

Formal functions:For larger, more formal functions (such as black-tie events) it isnt mandatory to bring a gift, especially if you arent close friends with the host.

Recurring get-togethers:Likewise, if you and your host often go to gatherings at each others homes (such as a casual dinner or poker night), a hostess gift isnt necessary, though a bottle of wine or an offer to bring a dish for a dinner is a nice gesture.

Holiday parties, housewarmings, dinner parties or girls/guys night:If youre attending a party hosted at home, bring a hostess gift as a show of thanks.

Potlucks:If youre bringing food to share, no need to bring an additional hostess gift. That said, you can never go wrong offering your host something small to show your gratitude.

Birthday parties, showers, graduations and other-gift giving occasions:If youre attending a get-together where youre already expected to bring a gift for the guest of honor, you arent required to bring something extra for the hostess  particularly if the party has several hosts or is held outside the home, in which case a simple thank-you note will suffice. If the party is being held in someones home or has only one host  a small gift (think flowers or a bottle of wine) would be lovely, but its not mandatory.

You dont have to bring something elaborate or expensive wine, flowers, stationery or small items for the home are all great hostess gifts (check out ourhostess gift guidefor more gift-giving ideas). Keep in mind that your host may choose to open your gift at another time. Similarly, if you bring wine, dont be surprised if your host chooses not to serve it that evening remember, its a gift, so your host gets to decide when to enjoy it. Also know that if you plan to bring food, it should be something the host can enjoy later (think chocolates, cookies or cheeses), not something youre expecting to be served during the party (no rice pilaf, please). As you hand off your hostess gift, let your host know that your gift is intended to be enjoyed at his or her discretion. If you bring flowers, bring them in a vase not only is too hard for hosts to deal with a brand new bouquet as guests are arriving, but it shows that youve gone the extra mile to show your appreciation.

When in doubt, bring a little something. Running late and dont have time to pick something up? Dont sweat it. You can always send a gift after the party, along with a handwritten ordigital thank-you card. Or make it quick and easy by sending a gift instantly when you RSVP using Evite Instant Gifts all it takes is one click of a button. You can even view recent invitations and send a gift for an event that has already passed!

Start inviting friends to your next get-together by sending thefree Evite invitationbelow or another one of ourhostess party invitationshousewarming invitationsbaby shower invitationsorpotluck invitations.

NEXT: Get moreetiquette tipsor check out ourhostess gift guidefor great gift-giving ideas!

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