Monday Manners: Southern Hospitality for the Southern Hostess

I have never used wikiHow until today, and it is so neat!  I typed in “How to be a Good Southern Hostess,” and this is what I found.  Please refer here, to try it out.

1.  Remember that the guest comes first. The guest(s) should be offered the best food, drink, seat, etc. A good host doesn’t serve hot dogs to his guests while he eats steak. (Unless he knows for certain that the guest would rather have a hot dog–as in the case of a child.) If you can’t afford to serve steak to everyone, leave it in the freezer and serve hot dogs to everyone.

2.   Steer the conversation away from uncomfortable topics. A good religious or political discussion can be stimulating in the context of friends enjoying an evening together, but such topics should be avoided among mere acquaintances who have widely differing opinions. Also, the host should steer the conversation away from overly personal topics or observations and be prepared to jump into the breach if an inadvertent remark causes offense. A good host does not allow one of his guests to be made uncomfortable by another guest. It’s OK if everyone realizes you are changing the subject deliberately. They will be relieved.

3.   Make sure you are well versed in the recent going-ons of your guest’s lives so that when you lead the conversation (as a good hostess should) you do not make any uncomfortable mistakes.

4.   Make an effort to connect with every guest. Welcome each guest soon after they arrive and make an introduction to at least one other guest. As the event progresses, make sure to reconnect with each guest for a more extended visit.

5.  Make good introductions. When you introduce guests to each other, think of something they can talk about. For example, “Joe, have you met my friend Susan? Susan is just back from a business trip to China.” If Joe is a good guest he will ask Susan about her trip and you will be free to greet other arriving guests.

6.  When introducing, begin with the name of the more “important” guest. Follow the order of:  social status (as in a senator), age (as in the older person), gender (if both guests are of the same social status and of the same relative age, introduce the lady first), if they are both people of the same gender and of the same approx. age and social status, introduce the one to your right first.

7.  Ask questions and listen to the answers. The art of conversation is 90 percent listening.

8.  Do not confuse etiquette and manners.  It’s bad etiquette to use your dinner fork on your salad. It’s bad manners to comment that someone used their dinner fork on their salad. In the southern tradition, manners always trumps etiquette.


–  Your party doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate, but certain touches show your guests you thought about their comfort: a well-set table, guest towels in the bathroom, a clean home.

–  Don’t invite so many different people that your gathering gets away from you. The more people you have the more people need to already know someone there.


–  If you serve alcohol to your guests, make sure you consider their safety and others’.

–  If you can’t enter into the spirit of generosity required to be a good host, don’t entertain.

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


A proper Southern hostess sure has a lot to do while entertaining guests at a party, but I feel that it becomes easier the more you do it.  So go get some practice, and throw a party – and good luck!

Hope y’all have a lovely Monday!


Here’s a little preview of my re-cap from last week’s vacation.  This was our view from our deck in the mountains.  I took this on the last day we were there, at sunrise.  I’m planning on posting about W’s birthday party tomorrow, and the mountains on Wednesday.  Trying to get re-organized here, before I head to the beach for a week on Friday.  Don’t worry, I will be posting the entire week there.  We will have computer-access, and I don’t think I could go another week without y’all!

P.S. Did y’all hear that actress, Amanda Bynes, has retired at 24 years old?  She has one more film coming out in September, and that’s it.

20 thoughts on “Monday Manners: Southern Hospitality for the Southern Hostess

  1. Hysterical about Amanda. I didn't realize it was taking such a toll on her… with all the movies, etc she has been doing. Wonder what the next steps are for her?

    I need to check out wikiHow. Looks fun! Hope you had an amazing vacation!

  2. wow, I would love to be able to retire at 24- I'd only have a little over a year left, haha! Crazy to think about!

    Great post about Southern hospitality! I love manners and etiquette- and we somehow do it better in the south 😉

  3. I love that:
    "manners always trumps etiquette"
    I think people these days often forget that.

    I wonder what Amanda Bynes is going to do now.

  4. I can't believe AB retired?!? Lucky girl.

    I love this post! I am a firm believer in good introductions. It is alwasy so uncomfortable when they are not done properly.


  5. Amanda Bynes retired?!?! Wow!!!

    Speaking of your first "How to be a good hostess" tip, at our last party (the low country boil) we had a few guests who didn't eat seafood so my husband grilled them some steaks and I made some homemade onion rings for them. It was extra work but I love to make everyone feel welcome and have a great time! 🙂 Thanks for the great tips so I can keep them all in mind for my next party!!

    That picture of your view is absolutely beautiful!!!! Wow!!! I'm so glad you're back! I missed ya!! 🙂

  6. hey there!
    hope you had a FAB vaca!
    love the hostessing tips! although i abide by them, it's always nice to have a refresher, especially as entertaining season kicks into high gear!!

  7. You always do the best posts! I'm just going to start calling you Sweet Southern Miss Manners…Heard about Amanda B.! What a concept to retire at 24! Just hosted my first big party (a surprise for my parents 40th anniversary) this past weekend. I had so much fun planning it all. Love the pink and green republican elephant! Gotta copy that clipart! Happy Monday, Ashley!

  8. Great tips!!! You are so good with the manners!! Love the preview pic from your vaca! I'm sure you guys had an amazing time!!! News to me about Amanda but hey she has money so I guess she should do what she wants! Hope you had a great Monday in Lilly!

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