As exciting it is to have your family and friends over for a party, it is also delightful to sit down and bask in your success after the gathering is over. Sitting down to relax and think about the fun you had is well deserved. Perhaps you need to clean up the food and the party space before you head to bed since you have to go to work the next day.
So, how do you end your party when your guests don’t leave at an appropriate time? You don’t want to be rude in any way, because you did invite these people over to enjoy your hospitality. However, it is acceptable to encourage them in subtle ways to recognize that the time has come to go home.
Here are some ideas for how to end a party. All of the following suggestions are meant to be handled in a very discreet way, so that your guests don’t feel you are blatantly trying to get rid of them.
• Make certain to include an end time on your party invitation, so your guests already know before they arrive what the appropriate end time is.
• Stop passing platters of food.
• Clear the buffet table of food—don’t disappear into the kitchen to put everything away, but remove the food from sight in your party space.
• Stop serving drinks
• Turn the dance or mood music off or turn the volume very low.
• Blow out your candles and turn the lights up.
• Stop initiating new conversations—let the talk wind down on its own.
• If you are sitting down, stand up.
• Tell the guests how much you enjoyed having them come to your party.
• If you are getting coats and purses from your coat closet or bedroom for some guests, ask if you can get anyone else their things.
• If someone says that he/she needs to leave, say how happy you are that he/she came and usher that person to the door—don’t encourage your guests to stay when they are ready to go.
• If all else fails, you can say politely that you really have to go to bed because of an early morning schedule. Most guests will understand this request and move on.
• If one of your guests has had too much to drink and doesn’t seem to catch on to your hints or requests to leave, ask one of his friends to take him home, call a cab or Uber for him, or drive him home yourself.