The invitation says the party starts at 8 PM, but does that mean you actually have to be there at 8, or can you be fashionably late? The short answer: It depends.
For dinner parties, children’s birthday parties, showers and other intimate gatherings, you should plan on arriving within 15 minutes of the start of the event. While you don’t want to be the first to the door, you also don’t want to leave your host wondering about your whereabouts.
For cocktail parties, New Year’s Eve blowouts or other large parties, you should expect to stay for at least an hour, but your arrival time is more flexible.
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