The etiquette rules you’re breaking & when you should NEVER drink during a toast

WHEN you’re a guest at a special event, experts warn you might be making some missteps in your attempts to behave politely.

From drinking during a toast to announcing your departure from the dinner table, these common mistakes are actually major etiquette errors.


An expert warned against common, little-known etiquette mistakesCredit: Getty

The warnings come from etiquette expert Lisa Grotts, who detailed some little-known faux pas to Reader’s Digest.

For example, whether you’re at a restaurant or in someone’s home, you don’t need to give too much information when you leave the table.

“Announcing where you are going during a meal, such as to the bathroom or to make a phone call, is uncouth,” Grotts said.

Don’t worry about confusing your fellow guests with a sudden departure – simply excuse yourself, and everyone else at the table will get the message.

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If the event or party is being held in your honor, and people are toasting to you, don’t drink from your glass until the toast is over.

Drinking during your own toast is equivalent to bragging. Simply smile, be grateful, and wait to drink until the toast is over.

Remember, too, that you shouldn’t get overzealous during your toast, and you don’t actually need to touch your wine or champagne glass against anyone else’s.

“One never clinks a glass in a toast – just raise it,” Grotts instructed.

Grotts warned against another dinner party mistake that can make you look boorish.

Avoid “bringing a bottle of wine as a hostess gift and then expecting it to be opened during the party because it’s your favorite vintage,” Grotts warned.

The host or hostess should enjoy the gift as a way to relax and unwind after their guests have left, or on a quiet evening in.

Expecting your host to share defeats the purpose of bringing a present. “It’s a gift,” she explained. “Not a gift to yourself!”

When you’re making introductions, be sure to include the individuals’ titles. If your guest is a doctor, senator, or holds a rank in the military, make sure you note it.

“It’s poor etiquette to disregard rank in introductions,” Grotts said. “Use it; they earned it.”

Once you get to the table, there are a few rules you need to keep in mind during the meal.

If someone across the table asks for salt or pepper, hand both shakers down to them.

“Salt and pepper are always passed together, just in case someone five seats away wants both,” Grotts said.

And as you eat your food, cut one piece at a time, she added.

“Cutting all foods on your plate at once is a food crime,” Grotts said. “You’re an adult, not a baby.”

If you’re invited to a party that you can’t attend, you might be tempted not to RSVP and let the lack of response speak for you.

But no response is actually bad manners, Grotts warned.

It’s better to respond in the negative, which also opens the door to making alternative plans with your would-be host in the future.

“RSVPs are for accepts and regrets,” Grotts said. “Never leave your host hanging.” 

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