Luncheon season has made its feted return to Dallas, from The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party on March 30 to Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support’s Annual Luncheon on April 14 to the Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas Woman to Woman event on May 25 and more. In ballrooms and event halls across the city, beflowered tables are filling up with philanthropists, socialites, and a roll call of Dallas’ who’s who for these dazzling—and charitable—events.
These tables of eight or 10 often cost hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. So if you’ve snagged an invitation from a host or sponsor, it’s best to send them a proper “thank you.”
But how? What is respectable luncheon guest etiquette? How do you make your “thank you” personal and meaningful?
To begin with, send a thank-you card, says Vodi Cook, who practically lives and breathes charitable events. Cook has organized many of Dallas’ philanthropic parties over the years, including The Cattle Baron’s Ball and Wilkinson Center White Party, which she helped establish nearly a decade ago.
She says some of her most treasured tokens of appreciation are simple handwritten notes.
“Personalized letters are the perfect way to show your appreciation because this requires you to sit down, take time out of your day, and carefully think through what you want to say,” Cook explains. “Words can touch people as well as the effort, time, and energy it took to put pen to paper and share your gratitude.”
However, the best way someone can thank their table host is by supporting the cause associated with the event, she says. After two hours of listening to the charity’s program during the lunch, the biggest gift is action. Get involved with the organization and its mission, she suggests. Volunteer or make a donation.
Of course, it’s always nice to have something in-hand as a small token of appreciation for your host. A small arrangement of flowers or a bottle of wine are easy choices, but we recommend picking a gift that supports that luncheon’s mission or something that’s charitably minded. To help, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite local brands supporting communities here in Dallas and across the world through their wares.
These essential oils provide dignified employment for survivors of sexual exploitation in both India and the United States. The sustainably produced aromatherapy products support holistic wellness while also elevating the lives of the trafficking survivors Savhera Oils employs. The Colleyville-based company’s goal is to create a cycle of wellness that empowers all people to flourish.
A small soap or bath product is a go-to host gift for any occasion. But Soap Hope—which already has a host gift guide—takes it one step further. The Dallas-based bath and beauty company’s mission is to promote the people with developmental disabilities in the local community through employment opportunities. The brand donates all its profits to organizations who train, place and support people with disabilities.
Dallas-based Mi Golondrina offers hand-embroidered clothing and home goods by nearly 600 women in Mexico. Each community of artisans utilizes its own techniques when crafting the brand’s pieces. Whether it’s how they make the lace or the embroidery patterns, each technique represents the identity and culture of the people who made them. For the perfect luncheon hostess gift, we recommend anything from the store’s tabletop line.
Live Love Pop
Food item is often a safe and delicious bet for a host gift. We suggest locally founded gourmet popcorn brand Live Love Pop. Each of its eight flavors is linked to a charity. From breast cancer research to hunger relief to veteran health programs, founder Lauren Mariel set out to make something impactful and delicious.
La La Land Kind Cafe
There’s nothing quite like sharing a cup of kindness … or coffee. La La Land Kind Cafe, which has four North Texas locations, is affixed on that notion. A gift card here will not only thank your table host but will also supports the mission of normalizing kindness and employing young adults who have aged out of foster care through La La Land’s nonprofit arm, the We Are One Project.