dinner party flowers

When you get an invitation to a dinner party, one of your first impulses should be to ask what you can bring. While you aren’t the host — and are therefore not responsible for key items like food and drink — it is still good dinner party etiquette to bring a contribution or gift. Sometimes, your gift can be a helpful item that will be used or consumed during the party. Other times, your gift will just serve as a friendly gesture and a polite “thank you” to the host or hostess. Below, we’ve outlined some etiquette tips for bringing flowers or other gifts to parties.

Should I Bring Flowers to a Dinner Party?

Bringing flowers for the hostess can be a terrific gift if you’ve been instructed to “only bring yourself” to a dinner party. No one will say no to flowers, and they can add some extra elegance to the décor. If you decide to bring flowers, make a point of bringing them prearranged in a vase rather than in a bouquet. Your hostess probably has a lot to do to get ready for the event, so giving her an extra responsibility — trimming and arranging flowers — could cause your gift to backfire.

bring flowers to the hostess

If you know the host or hostess will be especially busy during the party, you can also choose to send your flowers a day early with a note expressing how you’re looking forward to the party and thanking them in advance for hosting.

How Do I Decide Which Flowers I Should Give to the Hostess?

Different arrangements of flowers inspire different feelings and moods. A bouquet of a single type of flower elicits a classy, elegant, and simple feel. A more traditional arrangement brings in more color and variety while remaining a go-to that never goes out of style. You can also bring a centerpiece-style bouquet for the host to place on their table, but it might be wise to check with them first so you don’t end up in an awkward situation with two centerpieces.

traditional flower arrangement

Types of flowers also have different connotations. Roses are classic choices for romance, while tulips are perfect for a spring or summer get-together. Daisies also add a spark of happiness to an already joyful atmosphere. Consider the colors of the flowers you bring too — should they be bright and vibrant, deep and subdued, or neutral and calming?

tulips arrangement

How Big of a Bouquet Should I Bring?

It’s important to bring your arrangement in a vase so you don’t overwhelm your host. The bouquet should be easy for you to transport from your home to the hostess’s home. If the arrangement might serve as a centerpiece, it should fit comfortably on the table, leaving plenty of room for the dishes and for guests seated across from one another to converse easily.

bring arrangement in vase

How Can I Personalize My Arrangement?

Flowers on their own already make an elegant gift for your host or hostess’s table. You can make the arrangement even more personalized by adding a note thanking the host for having you over. Knowing your host’s favorite color or flower or a specific arrangement that would complement their home décor would be an excellent way to show them your gratitude even more.

You can also bring wine or other hostess gifts to a dinner party.

personalize flower bouquet

What Should I Bring to a Dinner Party Other Than Wine?

Next to flowers, wine is probably the most popular type of hostess gift, especially for a dinner party. Bringing a bottle of wine is an easy way to contribute to the event and can be a nice gesture even if the bottle doesn’t get opened during the party itself. If you or your hosts don’t drink wine — or if your host or hostess has said that wine for the event is already taken care of — then you should look for a different gift.

gifts other than wine

Flowers or potted plants are common hostess gifts. Other favorites include chocolates, cheeses, olive oils, or other specialty food items. For a gift with an extra touch of personalization, you can gift homemade jelly or jam in a nice jar that your host or hostess can enjoy after the party.

Wine is also not the only “adult beverage” you can bring to a dinner party. A bottle of scotch or champagne can be perfect for fancier or more festive occasions, while a mixed six-pack of specialty brews makes a can’t-miss gift for a known craft beer fan.

flowers or potted plants

It’s also not uncommon to bring a dish to pass for a dinner party. However, you shouldn’t bring food unless you clear it with the host and hostess beforehand. Unless your hosts ask you to bring a dish, they probably already have a menu planned. Bringing food in this situation can complicate matters and result in food getting thrown away or ignored.

What Should I Bring to a Dinner Party if I’ve Been Told to Bring Nothing?

If you’ve been told that you don’t need to bring anything to the party, that directive probably applies to any food or drink items. However, it is still polite to bring a gift for the host and hostess — especially if you are the guest of honor at the party. A bouquet of flowers, a box of gourmet chocolates, a scented candle, or a jar of specialty nuts are all small, easy gift ideas that will say “thank you for hosting” in a tasteful fashion.

dinner party gifts

Shop Ode à la Rose for Your Perfect Arrangement

Ode à la Rose delivers flower arrangements nationwide and in the cities of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Austin, Miami, and Washington D.C. If you want a memorable arrangement to bring to the next dinner party you attend, look no further than Ode à la Rose. Learn about our delivery routes or shop our selection today!


hostess gift

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