Arrival and departure are often a source of angst for a guest. When do I arrive? How long do I stay? How do I make an early exit? Where exactly is the line between “fashionably late” and just plain late? Entrances and exits must be strategically calculated. While deciding when to arrive and leave is often dependent on the type of event, it is also relative formulaic. Here are the basic principles of coming and going:

Photo: Dan Barbalata / 123RF Stock Photo.

Don’t arrive at a party unannounced.

If you decide the day before the event that you want to attend, but did not RSVP, do not show up at a party without first having called the host. Apologize for not having responded in a timely manner and express your interest in attending. At this point, it is up to your host to say yea or nay.

At larger events, a finalized list is usually given to whoever is tasked with manning the door. A quick phone call will save you the embarrassment of showing up only to be turned away. Likewise, your host has enough to tend to and frankly no time to address your causing a stir at the door.

Don’t be the early bird.

A time is stated on an invitation for a reason. Your host will resent it (no matter how gracious he/she may act). And, for your own sake, nothing takes the glamour out of a party like arriving to a host scrambling in her slippers, still trying to find the perfect place for her peonies.

And finally don’t be the first to arrive and the last to leave.