questionsis there a certain ettiquette to hosting a…

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Not that I'm aware of. We threw ours a few months later when the weather was nice, so people could hang around outside. Provide basic food and drink, at least, or you could request people bring a dish/beverage, and play some decent music. Party planning complete. :)

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There is indeed (there are always rules of etiquette for everything).

One way you can word an invitation is to say something similar to the following:

"Please join us in the celebration of our new home. The pleasure of your company is the only gift we really need, and we are looking forward to seeing our friends and family sharing our happiness."

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etiquette says it should be done in the first 12 months-allows you to get unpacked, after repainting and remodeling. have variety of drinks and food-carbonated and non for the people that have sworn off caffiene (alcohol is your decision on yes or no) and you get to decide whether to have a sit down meal or buffet style snacks.

even if you tell people to not bring presents (i like @shrdu suggestion on how to phrase it) people will bring presents. be gracious about accepting and setting it to the side so it is not an attention getter to those that respected your wishes for no stuff.

btw: congradulations

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Make sure it's your house.

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What sucks about this situation is you are inviting people whom you are concerned about whether or not you use proper etiquette.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could just have a hassle free party and everyone can hang out and have a good time?

This isn't a criticism of the people you associate with, but of all of us in general.

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We just threw a BBQ at the first summer holiday. It was our Memorial Housewarming Extravaganza. Laid back, no formal invitations, no etiquette concerns, just a party. We did receive some gifts and well wishes, which we opened after the party died down - no one even blinked.

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@wootbretz: it's a cultural tradition to bring gifts to celebrate someone's new home.