How to Politely End a Party

What to do so your guests will shoo.

Trent Armstrong
4-minute read
Episode #104

Be Honest but Be Blunt

Well, maybe your invitations have already been sent sans timeframe. What steps can you take to move folks out the door at a reasonable hour without the old "what's out there" trick? You know, the one where you convincingly point out the front door, shout "what's out there?", and slam the door when your guests go outside to get a better look. Believe me, that only works once. I posed the question to my followers on Facebook and Twitter and got some exciting responses-- things like turning out the lights and heading to bed or breaking out the vacuum cleaner. And while those are a little more tongue-in-cheek, I think they are heading toward the right idea. That idea would be honesty and simply being blunt.

I'm hoping it's not a secret that the party is taking place in YOUR home or that YOU are on the clock for whatever party room you are renting.  That means YOU are in charge, but you have to act like it.

The most mannerly thing to do when trying to wrap your party is to slowly begin clearing food items and throwing away trash. Then make the rounds and thank everyone for coming. Big smiles and hugs (or handshakes) will get the point across to most folks. Should there be a faction that just can't seem to tie up the loose ends of their conversations, you should go for the tried and true shoulder pat. That technique can get you noticed and into the conversation at which point you can say, "I'm so sorry to cut this short, but we have a big day tomorrow and need to get things closed up. We're so glad you came and will certainly do this again soon."

Bringing coats and purses to your guests is another hint, but I'm always a big fan of simply stating the facts: We're glad you came, but it's time to shut this thing down. You could even use the bar trick of announcing last call.

Be a Responsible Guest

The only other order of business here is to those who would be guests. Always check the invitation to ensure you know when the party is scheduled to end so you'll be able to very politely make your exit at the appropriate time. And if there is no time frame set, try to read the hosts. If they appear to be growing weary or trying to close up the evening, be the first to offer your gratitude for a fun evening. Making your exit before you become a nuisance should be your motto. That kind of thing gets you invited back. Oh, and so does pitching in with cleanup


Thanks for listening to this episode of The Modern Manners Guy's Quick and Dirty Tips for a More Polite Life.

Remember that if you have any comments or questions you may email me The Modern Manners Guy at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. And don't forget to become a fan of the podcast on Facebook. Drop by, join the discussions, and let us know about your manners situations. You'll find a link to my Facebook group at manners.quickanddirtytips.com.

End of Party image courtesy of Shutterstock