The holidays were full of social gatherings. As you were attending each fabulous fête, perhaps you wondered...
Q: Bringing flowers or a small gift to a hostess is always a lovely gesture. Is it important to bring them to the event, or better to send them beforehand?
A: Although it takes some foresight and may seem old-fashioned, sending flowers or a small gift ahead of time will spare the hostess from last minute running around (finding a vase, putting your gift away, etc.). She'll appreciate the consideration and the extra time that she gets to spend with her guests.
Q: You have food allergies, but don't want to call attention to yourself at the dinner table. What do you do when your host serves up a plate full of pecan-crusted salmon and you're allergic to nuts?
A: There are several degrees of allergies and food intolerances, so know what will work for you. If you can, scrape off the nuts and simply enjoy the salmon. If your allergy is quite serious, simply let your hostess know (or better yet, mention it ahead of time!). When I'm attending a party and I'm not sure what's on the menu, I typically offer to bring a gluten-free dish. That way, I'm guaranteed to be able to enjoy at least one part of the meal.
Q: When is 'fashionably late' simply late?
A: Cocktail parties are more forgiving than a seated dinner, although once any passed appetizers have disappeared you are officially late. If you're attending a dinner, try to arrive within a 15 minute window of the suggested time- your hostess will likely have gone to lots of trouble to ensure that dinner is served on time, and your tardiness will only result in cold food.
I look forward to throwing many parties (and a wedding) this year, so I'll make sure to share more Kate-Spade-approved tips along the way!