What you Should Bring to a Party

what should you bring to a party

So you’re going to a party soon but not sure what you should bring? Maybe the hosts haven’t said much about guests contributing. Or they’ve even said that guests don’t need to bring anything. But you still feel like it’d be strange to show up empty handed. Whether it’s a casual house party or extravagant New Year’s Eve Bash there are  there are still some things you should bring to a party. Or at least consider bringing or mentioning to your hosts before you show up on the day.

We think that it’s a great idea to bring at least some things to a party that you’ve been invited to. The best ideas are food, drinks or a gift. We’ve put together a list of the best things you should bring, that your host will appreciate!

What Should you do When the Host says Dont' Bring Anything

We think that in most occasions, a host will appreciate you bringing something to a party. Although some hosts do actually mean it when they say don’t bring anything, just bring yourself! Sometimes they don’t want you to bring food because they have an exact menu ready for their party. Other times they just want you to focus on enjoying yourself and not worry about the host. However, in most cases it’s a good idea to at least bring a small gift or a drink. Some hosts might get a bit flustered if they’re trying to welcome guests to the party whilst being handed loads of gifts. That’s why it can be a good idea to send a gift the day after as a thank you.

What Food Should you Bring to a Party?

Food is definitely something you should consider bringing to a party. Some hosts will ask their guests to contribute by bringing some dishes or snacks. Others will feel too shy to ask, even if they know it’s really help keep their budget down. We don’t think you should bring food to a party unless specifically asked though. Some hosts are very select about what food they want to serve, and may have a menu already lined up. If you bring a dish without asking, chances are they’ll politely accept, but they won’t appreciate it in every case. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask though beforehand.

You should definitely offer to bring something soon after being invited. This is of course if you yourself have enough time to prepare something. If not, we’ll get onto drinks and gifts later. But bringing food to a party is a great way of thanking the host for all their hard work putting the event together! But what food should you bring to a party?

First, ask what they’re already serving, and if anyone else is bringing anything. This way you can make sure there’s a variety of food at the party, and not just trays upon trays of sandwiches! It’s great to consider the theme as well. If the party has a set theme, try and make some food that goes with it. It’s a great way to make the most of a party theme! For example, if someone is hosting an Arabian Nights themed party, bringing a tagine or some koftas is perfect. Or if it’s a Hawaiian tropical beach party, why not go for some kebabs or a pork roast dish. 

Always make sure you tell your host what you’re bringing before preparing it though. You don’t have to go all out and prepare a dish either. Snacks, dips and desserts are all great ideas! So what are some examples of foods you can bring to a party to be a great guest?

Best Main Dishes to Bring to a Party

Pasta bake

A pasta bake is a perfect batch meal for a party. It’s really easy to make lots of it, and it doesn’t take too long either! There are some great variations too. Go for a classic Italian chicken pasta bake, or a lasagne. You could even try a fajita style pasta bake with peppers and a spicy Mexican sauce for a Fiesta themed bash!


Curries are perfect for parties. They’re popular with pretty much everyone and again are great to make in batches. You can make a vegan friendly vegetable curry that’s sure to go down well with the other guests. Try not to make it too spicy though, unless you know that’s what everyone likes. Go for a classic Masala sauce if you want a safe but popular choice. Homemade curries are the best, but using a jar or paste will still make a great dish to take to the party.


Enchiladas are great to make for parties because you can easily make loads of good sized portions in one go. They’re super popular and there are plenty of variations you can try. It’s a bit different than a pasta bake or curry, so you’ll get bonus points for being a bit more creative!


Another classic option that’s perfect for making in batches. You can choose any type of casserole too, there’s loads of variation. From breakfast casseroles to a spicy beef taco casserole, there’s plenty of choice! You can make them pretty cheaply too, so it’s a perfect dish to bring to a party.


If you’re looking for a healthier option, salads are the perfect choice. Most hosts will appreciate someone making a salad that can either be a main dish or great side. They’re really easy to make, pretty cheap and can be made in large quantities. You also don’t have to worry about keeping them warm either.

what should you bring to a party

Best Snacks to Bring to a Party

There are plenty of great snacks that you can bring to a party. Again, it’s nice to consider the theme. For example, classic 80’s sweets like space dust, love hearts and flying saucers are perfect for a retro 80’s party. Sandwiches are always a safe bet. They’re easy to make, very cheap and you can make a variety. But they’re a bit of an obvious choice. Here are our 6 favourite snacks to bring to a party!


Sliders are the perfect snack to serve at a party. You can go for classic cheeseburger sliders, pulled pork or fried cheese sliders for a vegetarian choice.

Pigs in Blankets 

Pigs in blankets, or sausage rolls, are a classic party food snack. You can get them really cheap at supermarkets so barely any effort is required. Or you can make your own if you want to make more of an effort!


Bruschetta is a great idea for a cocktail party snack. They’re a vegetarian friendly choice, taste great and look fantastic too! They don’t take too much effort to prepare and are a really popular party snack.

Baguette Pizzas

This party snack can be served hot or cold. It’s another really easy to prepare snack and there’s loads of toppings to choose from so there are plenty of options!

Deviled Eggs

A classic party food snack. They’re a popular choice to bring to a party. They look great, are super tasty and don’t take long to prepare. They’re also perfect because they don’t need heating up at the party!

What Desserts Should you Bring to a Party?

Every great party needs some delicious desserts. Puddings are a great idea to bring to a party and are a sure-fire way to make your host happy. Here are out favourite desserts to bring to a party! They’re all really easy, cheap cold-desserts that’ll go down well at any event!


Vanilla cheesecake is a safe choice. But you can also try something different too. Go for a Black Forrest cheesecake or a splash a bit of Irish cream in to make a tasty alcoholic party dessert!


Fruit or chocolate tarts are always a great idea for a party dessert. You can make lots in one go and bite-sized options are always popular!


Cupcakes are a classic choice for a party dessert or sweet snack. Bonus points for creative theme inspired icing and decoration!


There’s lots of options you can choose to make and bring to a party. Chocolate is a classic choice that tastes great and is easy to make lots of servings. Eton mess A really easy to make and popular party dessert option. It’s great for guests who aren’t a fan of chocolate and is another cheap and simple option that tastes great.


The ultimate indulgent party dessert. Serve them warm if you can with pouring cream or vanilla or salted caramel ice cream. But they’re also a popular choice too as a cold sweet snack.

what should you bring to a party

What Drinks Should you Bring to a Party?

Bringing a drink to a party is usually a good idea. It’s nice as a gift to the host, and can be a way of contributing that’s not over the top. So what drinks should you bring to a party? Wine, Prosecco, beer and spirits are all safe choices to bring to a party. If you’re feeling fancy, you could also bring some Champagne!

But what if you want to bring something a bit different to the party? You could always make some batch cocktails or mocktails. It’s a great way to make more of an effort and be a bit more unique! Here are two great batch drink recipes, but if you’re looking for some more ideas, check out our list of the 10 best party drinks!

Refreshing Raspberry Lemonade Recipe (Non-Alcoholic) – Makes 12 drinks


  • Lemonade 4 litres
  • Small handful of Raspberries
  • Sugar syrup 200ml
  • Juice from 4 Lemons 

Simply mix the raspberries, lemonade, lemon juice and sugar syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice, strain and serve. You could also try garnishing it with raspberries and a lemon slice. 

Mojito Recipe – Makes 6 drinks


  • 400ml White Rum
  • 100ml Soda Water
  • 200 ml Sugar Syrup
  • 8 Lime Wedges
  • 20 Mint Leaves

Muddle the lime wedges, mint leaves and sugar syrup. Add the white rum and fill the glass with crushed ice. Top with soda and garnish with mint leaves and a lime wedge.  

what should you bring to a party

Should you Bring a Gift for the Host?

It’s always a great idea to bring a gift for the host of a party. The perfect party guest always offers a thank you gift, no matter how big or small. Think about the type of party you’re going to when choosing the gift. If it’s a house warming party, it can be a lovely idea to buy something for the house. Or if it’s a seasonal party, try and get something that fits the holiday too.

When should you give the gift? Most people think you should give a gift to a host when you arrive at the party. This is usually when everyone else gives them right? Although it’s the obvious choice, it’s not always the best. Think about it, the host is always really busy at the start welcoming the guests, so they don’t have much time to sort out any gifts. 

Sometimes it can be a good idea to send a gift, for example flowers, before the party. You could always send a party gift to the host after the event instead of on the day. If you’re worried this might look like you forgot on the day, then you can always post it the day before the party so it arrives shortly after. This way it arrives before they think you just forgot to give a gift!

So what are the best gifts to give to a party host? Here’s out list of the best 8 party gifts!


Flowers are a classic choice that pretty much every host will appreciate. You can easily send them before the party and add a personalised thank you message.


Chocolates are a classic gift for a party host. They’re good if you’re on a budget and don’t know the host that well. They’re a safe but popular gift choice.

Potted Plants

House plants are all the rage at the moment so can be a great gift if you know your party host is into them. Garden plants are also a great party gift too!


Another classic party gift choice. They’re pretty safe but generally very well received. Yankee candles are a good choice. You can even go for a gift set option if you’re willing to spend a bit more.


This is a good party gift option if you’re happy to spend a decent amount. They’re good if you know the host well and are a thoughtful gift option.


Hampers are a step up from chocolates and there are loads of options to suit any party host. From old fashioned sweet hampers to gin and mixer hampers and classic crackers, biscuits and chutneys. There’s plenty of choice!


If you know your host is really into a drink, it can be a perfect gift choice. The best drink gifts are ones that are a bit more thoughtful than a generic bottle of wine. Try and think if your host has ever mentioned their favourite drink. If not, gift sets are a good bet.

Tickets to an Event

Why not thank your host for their event by getting them tickets to another one. This only really works well if you’re close to the host and willing to pay a bit more. But it’s a really thoughtful gift idea!

what you should bring to a party

What Should you Not Bring to a Party?

So we’ve been through all the main things you should consider bringing to a party. But what are some things you shouldn’t bring to the party?

Extra Guests

Whatever you do, don’t bring another guest to the party, unless a plus one policy has been explicitly set by the host beforehand. You might think that the host will be cool with it, but it can actually be kind of rude. If the host wanted extra people, they’d have invited them themselves. Bringing uninvited guests with you just causes chaos if the host has carefully planned how much food and drink is needed. And if everyone did it, there probably wouldn’t be enough room for everyone at the party!

Unwanted Food

Although bringing food is a great example of something you can bring to a party, sometimes it’s not needed and can be a bit of an inconvenience. Feel free to ask the host if they’d like you to bring some food, but if they say no, accept it and bring a gift instead if you feel you should bring something! The same goes with drinks, and be careful with alcoholic drinks. If you know most of the guests won’t be drinking, you really shouldn’t be bringing any alcohol either.

How to be a Great Party Guest?

It’s obvious just by you being here that you want to be a great guest. So what else can you do apart from just bringing something to the party? Here are the best tips to being the best party guest!

RSVP Straight Away

Always respond to the event as soon as possible so the host can stat planning the party straight away.

Never Arrive Early

It’s super annoying for guests to arrive early. They’re in the way and stop the host getting everything ready. If it’s a formal party, arrive on time. If it’s a casual house party, arriving 15-30 minutes after the host says to arrive is fine.

Don’t Say “whatever’s easiest”

When your host asks what you’d like to eat or drink, you might think you’re being helpful, but the answer “whatever’s easiest” usually isn’t. Instead, answer straight, your host will be glad for it. 

Offer to Help

You don’t have to try and be the hero and pester the host to let you help. But asking if they need you to do anything when they look stressed is usually very much appreciated. 

Make and Effort

The best guests make an effort at the party. Get involved with the fancy dress and any games and try to mingle!

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