Proper time to schedule a dinner.

by Hungry

My husbands family drive me nuts. They decide when we are going to eat. If we go to Mel's house, she will say come at 5:30. She doesn't begin to cook until you arrive. Dinner is then around 7-9 pm. This is a common occurrence. Her wedding she scheduled dinner for 7:00pm. This was so she and the dinner party could go drinking after the service. No fault of hers but dinner was over an hour late. Im wanting to bow out of a dinner due to it is scheduled at to meet at hotel at 6:30. By the time all arrives and you go restaurant, look at menu then order food and receive it. It will be about 8:00. This really bothers me. I feel if you are scheduling to have people over or meeting at restaurant then it should be at a more reasonable time.Is it ok not to attend family functions? Also what is a reasonable time?

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General Guildelines
by: Ms P Etiquette

Dear Hungry:

If this is an etiquette question, the answer is 45 minutes to 1 hour after the time on the invitation is a reasonable time to serve dinner. Allowing time for conversation and mingling before being seated at the dinner table is perfectly good manners. It is actually considered poor etiquette to invite guests to arrive at the actual time dinner is served.

If this is a question of personal preference , then you will have to answer that yourself. Some people enjoy an early dinner, which is their prerogative. However, the host of a dinner gathering cannot satisfy each individual's preferences. The host sets the time dinner is served.

As I see it, you can chose to attend these gatherings knowing dinner will be later than you prefer. Perhaps having a snack beforehand can ease your discomfort. Of course, you can always decline the invitation. Or you can discuss this with your husband's family so they understand how you feel.

You cannot change people to suit your needs, however. If this family enjoys eating later, socializing first and is not too concerned with timing, your choices are limited.

Bon Appetit!

Ms Practical Etiquette

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