This Is the Only Polite Time to Leave a Party, According to an Etiquette Expert

Admit it: At some point, we have all secretly wondered.


There are two types of party attendees: Those who count the minutes until they can go home and throw on some pajamas, and those who stay until the wee hours of morning and drink every last drop of alcohol. More often than not, you are one or the other; there is no in-between.

Regardless of which category you fall into, though, odds are you have secretly wondered about the best time to head out the door. We get it: Finding the most opportune (and natural!) moment to leave the party can be an art form in itself. (You should always practice these 50 little etiquette rules, too.) Not only do you want to avoid being impolite, but you also don’t want to overstay your welcome. Thankfully, etiquette expert Thomas Blaikie can help you out with this delicate matter.

According to Blaikie, there is a “goldilocks” time to leave the gathering without appearing rude. On a weeknight, it is best to leave by 10:30 p.m. As for the weekends? Aim to say your goodbyes at 11:15 p.m.

But if you ever want to be invited back, that isn’t the only party etiquette rule you need to follow. Blaikie recommends politely declining any after-dinner drinks, especially if they contain alcohol; chatting with a beverage in your hand can easily make you lose track of the time. And don’t worry about hurting your host’s feelings if you must turn down an offer. Odds are, they are exhausted anyway, Blaikie says. Here are a few tips to impress your host.

This advice depends on how well you know your host, of course. A good friend might be offended if you did happen to turn down a beer. They also might appreciate it if you stayed behind to help clean up.

[Source: Marie Claire]

Brooke Nelson
Brooke Nelson is a tech and consumer products writer covering the latest in digital trends, product reviews, security and privacy, and other news and features for