It can be hard to pull off the perfect party. It sounds strange because, at the root of it, gatherings are supposed to be relaxing and fun. But people often have different expectations about what makes a party successful. Some worry about costs while others wish they lived somewhere different with more space for hosting.
A new survey of nearly 1,000 Americans determines the worst party mistakes people can make in 2023. People had strong opinions about everything, from RSVPs to who should be paying for parties. Manners of the guests and hosts matter, and not everyone wants you to bring your uninvited children to their gatherings.
In this age of technology, more than 2 in 5 (41%) Americans feel mailed invitations are outdated. On top of that, many see RSVP deadlines more as… recommendations. If a party has an RSVP date, nearly half (46%) think it’s okay to RSVP late. Meanwhile, 21% even feel like it’s okay to RSVP yes to a party and not go even if it isn’t there isn’t an emergency or illness! More men (24%) than women (17%) feel this way.
When it comes to timeliness, most people think it’s okay to arrive ‘fashionably late.’ More than half (56%) said it’s okay to arrive 15 to 30 minutes later than the party’s start time.
Once the party is in full swing, the biggest mistake party hosts can make is not having enough food and drinks! More than half ranked that as the worst oversight when having guests over for a soiree. But some feel the host’s behavior can be one of the worst party killers, with 36% not a fan of the host getting drunk.
As for guests, they need to keep an eye on how much alcohol they’re having too! The worst mistake party guests can make is getting too drunk, at least according to 57% of Americans. It’s apparently a bad decision many know all too well. Nearly 1 in 3 (36%) regret how much they’ve had to drink at a party in the past.
Other major no-nos for guests include bringing uninvited guests or children, as well as bringing up controversial topics. So, maybe save your burning questions about politics for a different setting.
While some extroverted people probably wouldn’t mind partying until the sun rises, more than half (58%) of Americans aren’t a fan of parties without end times. As things start to wind down, 40% would prefer doing an ‘Irish Goodbye’ meaning they skip out without saying a word.
On average, Americans spend $259 when hosting parties, but these gatherings may be a little toned down in 2023 because of costs. More than 1 in 4 (28%) are going to fewer parties and 44% are hosting fewer parties due to expenses.
Party hosts said inflation is causing them to provide less food and alcohol, throw more potlucks, and invite fewer people when hosting a gathering.
Despite being extra focused on finances, 3 in 5 still feel it’s rude for party hosts to ask their guests to pay for food and drinks. More women (65%) than men (54%) feel this way. When looking at generations, the elder groups felt this to be a rude request versus the younger generations who don’t find it as rude.
Nearly half (44%) do not like hosting parties in their home because of how much it costs, but that’s not the only reason people would prefer not to have others over. Nearly half (47%) do not feel like they have enough space and wish they had a bigger home, while 31% feel their home is too messy! If people do bite the bullet and host, 29% tell their neighbors they’re throwing a party in advance to avoid annoying them.
One type of party that’s hitting wallets hard: weddings! 82% feel events leading up to weddings are getting too expensive for guests. When it comes time for the wedding itself, 45% think wedding guests should pay up if they RSVP yes and then are a no-show!
Unless a gathering is deemed a potluck, many Americans think it’s rude for hosts to ask guests to bring food and drinks. People also feel hosts should be conscientious about the types of food they serve. 2 in 3 (66%) believe hosts should ask about dietary restrictions. The majority believe hosts should cater and provide food for those who are gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian.
More than half (52%) feel it’s tacky when guests take leftovers without asking, and 39% find it tacky when hosts keep all the leftover food and don’t offer any to guests to take home! Other tasteless moves include throwing coats on the ground or bed instead of hanging them up, making people wear name tags, or having icebreaker games.
At the end of the day, you can’t please everyone when throwing a party. People have all sorts of opinions about what makes a party great or a bust. Our recommendation? Do what you’re most comfortable with and just have fun! That’s what a party is all about.
In March 2023, we surveyed 992 people about their party habits. 49% were women, 49% were men, 1% were nonbinary, and 1% would rather not specify. Survey respondents ranged in age from 18 to 77 with an average age of 43. 24% were Gen Z, 26% Millennials, 24% Gen X, and 25% Baby Boomers.
67% currently live in a house, 22% live in an apartment, 4% live in a townhome, 4% live in a condo, and 3% live in a mobile home. 11% have a salary of under $20,000,21% earn $20,000 – $40,000, 17% earn $40,001 – $60,000, 16% earn $60,001 – $80,000, 13% earn $80,001 – $100,000, and 22% make $100,001 or over.
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