The Rudest 11 Things to Ask Guests to Bring Etiquette Experts Say

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Planning a gathering or hosting a party can be a delightful experience. From choosing the perfect menu to decorating your space, there’s a lot to consider. However, one aspect of hosting that often causes confusion is whether it’s appropriate to ask your guests to bring something along. While the idea of potluck-style gatherings or BYOB (bring your own bottle) can be convenient and enjoyable, there are certain boundaries to consider. In this blog, we’ll delve into the etiquette of asking guests to bring items and explore the rudest 11 things to request, as advised by etiquette experts.

  1. Main Course Dishes

It’s generally considered impolite to ask guests to bring the main course. While potluck dinners are common, it’s best to host such events with the understanding that guests may voluntarily offer to bring a dish, rather than explicitly requesting it.

  1. Alcohol

While BYOB (bring your own bottle) is a well-established practice for some gatherings, it’s considered rude to insist that guests bring alcohol, especially if it’s a requirement for entry. If you’re worried about having enough drinks, plan ahead and purchase what you need.

  1. Expensive Ingredients

Asking guests to bring costly ingredients for a specific recipe can be seen as inconsiderate. Not everyone can afford premium items, so it’s better to prepare for these expenses yourself.

  1. Party Favors

Expecting your guests to bring party favors for themselves and others can come across as tacky. It’s your responsibility as the host to provide a welcoming and enjoyable atmosphere.

  1. Decorations

While it’s fine to request assistance with decorating, it’s rude to ask guests to bring all the decorations themselves. Consider purchasing or creating decorations that fit the theme of your gathering.

  1. Extra Seating or Tables

If you’re expecting a large number of guests and don’t have enough seating or tables, it’s your responsibility as the host to make arrangements. Borrow or rent additional furniture rather than putting the burden on your guests.

  1. Cleaning Supplies

Hosting a party can get messy, but asking guests to bring their own cleaning supplies, like paper towels or trash bags, is generally considered impolite. Ensure you have these essentials on hand.

  1. Disposable Dinnerware

If you prefer to use disposable plates, cups, and utensils, it’s courteous to provide them yourself. Expecting guests to bring their own can be seen as a cost-saving measure taken too far.

  1. Party Games and Entertainment

While it’s great to engage your guests with games and entertainment, asking them to provide these elements themselves can be off-putting. Organize activities or provide the necessary materials.

  1. Specialty Cookware

If you plan on serving a dish that requires unique or specific cookware, it’s best to either borrow it from a friend or invest in the necessary equipment yourself. Requesting guests to bring it is generally considered inconsiderate.

  1. Charitable Donations

While it’s wonderful to encourage charitable donations at your event, it’s not polite to ask guests to contribute a specific amount or bring a donation as their entry fee. Allow your guests to make voluntary contributions if they wish.


Hosting a gathering is an art that combines hospitality, consideration, and etiquette. While it’s perfectly acceptable to seek assistance from your guests in various forms, it’s essential to do so in a way that respects their comfort, resources, and goodwill. By avoiding these 11 rude requests, you can create an inviting and memorable experience for your guests, making them feel appreciated and valued. Remember, being a gracious host is about making others feel welcome and cared for, and these guidelines can help you achieve just that.

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