The question you'll get when you invite someone to a party - "What can I bring"? Here are my Top 10 answers to the first question you'll get! #sweethumblehome, #entertaining, #hostess, #whatcanibring

What can I bring to dinner? (Top 10 Answers)

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What to say when asked the question “What can I bring to dinner”?

“What can I bring”? This is a question I’ve heard over and over again. Believe it or not, my answer was always “Nothing”. I wanted to be the hostess with the mostest as they say. I wanted to do it all and not let anyone think I needed help.

Well, it’s not always about me, is it? And it’s also not always about you. People WANT to bring something when they join you for a special occasion where you are putting out all sorts of effort. So now, rather than say “I’m all set” leaving guests to their own devices, because they are still going to bring something – I help both of us out and answer their question. I’m going to let you know what every guest can bring for dinner.

My suggestions for “What can I bring”? 

There is always something to bring, and many guests may simply decide to forgo asking and bring a thank you gift for the host. A token of appreciation for all that you’ve done is something that guests enjoy bringing, and there are a few reasons why that is so. First, they get to share a little of themselves. This is important for some guests. Maybe they have a little something they’ve been working on that they think you’ll appreciate. Perhaps they want to share some of the preserves they just prepared from what they picked last weekend. If your guests had a mom anything like mine you learned that it’s impolite to show to a party without something to share. So when a guest asks, help them out.

What can I bring to dinner – suggestions:

  • “A traditional dessert that your family always made would be wonderful”!
  • “I could really use some help with a fun cocktail. If you could bring the ingredients for one – along with the recipe to share, it would be super helpful”!
What can I bring to dinner? (Top 10 Answers)
  • “How about an appetizer that can be eaten cold so there is something ready to share when guests arrive? That would be a huge help”!
  • “Could you possibly put together a playlist of songs of the season that we can play that night? I can make sure the speaker is ready for you to simply hook up to when you arrive – I’d love that”
  • “I’d love it if you brought a bottle of your favorite white”! After all, the best wine to bring to a dinner party is something that the guest enjoys!
  • “How about a bottle of your favorite red”?
  • “I absolutely love the ….. dessert you make. Would you mind bringing it to share”?
  • “If you wouldn’t mind, I would love to borrow that beautiful serving dish you have”!
  • “Yes, you can! Please bring those conversation starter cards you have – we can place them on the table in case there is a lull in the action”!

And finally, if guests bringing anything stresses you out:

  • “Thank you so much for offering, but I really do enjoy taking care of it on my own – your company is honestly all I need”.

For some hosts just the idea of people coming in at different times with different offerings is more stress than it’s worth.  In the end, if they bring something anyway, just graciously accept, and thank them.  Then put what it is to the side and move on.

Entertaining doesn’t have to be stressful!

Enjoy the party.  Remember, entertaining simplified is our goal here.  Follow the simple steps in my post: 5 Steps for Easy Entertaining for tips and tricks on how to simplify the whole process.



How to answer - "What can I bring"? when you're the hostess. Top 10 answers for the question you know is coming! #sweethumblehome, #dinnerparties, #whatcanibring, #entertaining

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  1. Love this idea. Can you make a list that is seasonal, like what to say when people ask what to bring to a bbq specifically? LOL, asking for a friend.

  2. I love how it’s not always a food. The idea of people bringing in the beverage end of things helps on the pocket book and the stress of what will people want to drink !!
    The Playlist is fun idea. I always say a lawn chair..I never seem to have enough..and people dont always sit back in the same seat..
    I have had bbqs..where we have provided all the sides..some meats. But everyone brought their own meats and veggies to grill..most brought enough to pass…that was the best party ever!

    1. Lainey – Thanks for your comments! These are FANTASTIC ideas! I especially love the idea of bringing a chair if you know that you don’t have enough at your home! Brilliant!

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