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What To Bring To A Party

Whenever you are invited to a party, you may want to be a good guest and bring something to the party for the host to enjoy as well. However, it can be difficult to find the perfect item to bring along with you.

Luckily, we have the perfect list of things you need to pick up on your way to any special event!

What To Bring To A Party

What To Bring To A Party: The Quick List

  • Bottle Of Wine or Beer
  • Party Game(s)
  • Extra Ice or Drinks
  • Plant or Flowers
  • Candle
  • Side Dish
  • Gift Card
  • Dessert
  • Candies
  • A Thank You Card

Do You Need To Bring A Gift To A Party?

Even though it isn’t always a necessity to give a gift, there may be times when it is expected that you give a gift. Housewarming parties, Christmas parties, graduation parties, and birthday parties are some of the most common occasions that guests are expected to bring a gift.

What To Do If The Host Asks You Not To Bring A Gift

As a guest, you may sometimes be asked by your host not to bring anything other than yourself to the party. But what if you really want to do something nice for your host?

Typically, it is best to abide by your hosts wishes if they ask specifically not to receive any gifts at the party, but if you’d really like to do something nice for them, you can offer to host them for dinner or give them a small item after the party is over.

Bottle Of Wine

If the hosts drink, it is always a reliable choice to offer a bottle of wine as a gift. If you know in advance what the menu for the party will be, you can even pair the wine with the dishes. You can choose a light and refreshing white wine to go with seafood or fish, or a full-bodied red to pair with a rich and flavorful red meat dish.

Party Game(s)

When the occasion calls for it, games can often be a great way for people to break the ice at a party and get to know more about one another. There are many companies that create card games for adults – such as Cards Against Humanity, For The Girls, and We’re Not Really Strangers. Also, you can bring board games like Jenga that you can put your own spin on. If you’ll be spending time outdoors, lawn games are always a great idea!

Extra Ice or Drinks

This is an item you will have to ask your host about on the day of, but bringing along some extra ice or drinks to the party might be an appreciated gesture. As with the wine, if you know the menu in advance, you can bring along drinks that will pair well.

A Plant or Flowers

Especially for a housewarming party, a plant can be a nice gesture for your hosts. Unless your host is an expert plant parent, it’s good to choose a sturdy plant that can’t die easily – such as aloe vera or a money tree. A bouquet of flowers is always a nice gift as well.

A Candle

Another reliable choice for a gift is a candle. Candles provide a warm and inviting atmosphere and come in an array of scents, styles, and sizes. Plus, they can last for a long time, making them a gift that the host can enjoy for quite some time.

A Side Dish

If asked for by the host, a side dish can be a great thing to bring along with you. The only time you should do this is if it is a potluck party or if the host has given you the go ahead as it could cause a faux pas if you bring a side dish that is not requested.

A Gift Card

If you are meeting the hosts for the first time or if you know your hosts would be more appreciative of a gift card rather than a physical item, then you should consider bringing one along. This can be as simple as a Visa gift card that can be used anywhere, or something specific from a store you know that they love.


If your host doesn’t already have a dessert for the party, this can be a great thing to pick up on your way to the party. No matter what it is, a fruit tray or cake will be greatly appreciated (it does, however, follow the same rules as bringing a side dish).


A wonderful way to show your appreciation for the host is by bringing along their favorite candy or a small assortment of candies. This is a small gesture, yet one that will be appreciated. This is a great way to show your appreciation because it is a personal gesture that shows you took the time to find something that the host would truly enjoy.

A Thank You Card

Taking the time to send a thank you card to your host may seem like the simplest gesture, but it can go a long way in showing your gratitude to them. It’s much more personal than a text or a phone call and is sure to be appreciated and remembered.

What Not To Bring To A Party

As much as there are a number of ways to show your appreciation to the hosts of a party, there are a few items that tend to go unappreciated both by the hosts themselves, and those attending the event.

Uninvited guests

Most times, uninvited guests won’t be appreciated by anyone. The hosts might also find that the food that they have prepared might not be enough, or that there is not enough seating in the room to accommodate everyone.

Main Dishes

It is common for the hosts to have prepared the main dish ahead of time, so it creates an awkward situation when a guest surprises them with a dish that they had not planned. Potlucks are the biggest exception of this rule since it can sometimes be expected for everyone to bring the equivalent of a main dish.

Overly Expensive Items

There can be some exceptions to this rule if you know the host well enough to know that it would be appreciated. But oftentimes, overly expensive or flashy gifts can give the host a feeling that they’re indebted to you, as well as other guests feeling that their gift wasn’t good enough.

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Morgan Mulac
Morgan is an avid writer about her journeys and enjoys sharing the beauty California has to offer. She is dedicated to using her writing skills to share her passion for travel with others and to help them discover the best places to eat while on vacation, no matter where she is.