Entertaining guests is a great pastime or many people who enjoy the company of other and opening up their home to friends and family. If you’ve hosted a dinner party in the past, you know how much work and planning goes into putting on the event.
From choosing the meal to after-dinner games that won’t bore your guests, it can be stressful to pull off a great party. Whether this is your first time hosting a dinner party or you’ve hosted several over the years, you can always benefit from a few helpful tips to make your party a success.
Choose Guests Carefully
Before you throw out an invitation to your entire friend’s list on social media, think carefully about who you really want attending your party. You don’t want to fill your table with people you otherwise wouldn’t socialize with just to have a full party, nor do you want to have too many people show up at once causing your home to feel cramped. Consider your friends and their interests and invite people who you think will enjoy an evening of conversation and companionship with one another without any awkward moments. Whoever you decide to invite, be clear that you need a confirmed RSVP so you can plan the menu accordingly and be sure to have enough food.
Consider a Theme
If you’re not sure how to plan a menu, consider hosting a themed party which will help guide you when it comes to food and decor choices. If your party is going to be hosted around the holidays, perhaps a holiday-themed party may make the most sense. Themed parties don’t have to be tacky; in fact, they can give your party some character and added flair if done properly.
Plan Your Menu
No dinner party should be executed without a well thought out menu. From appetizers and the right wine and cheese pairing all the way through entrees and dessert, you should have food planned down to the last garnish. This can help prepare your guests to know what’s going to be served in case they have dietary restrictions or special requests. It’s best to know these ahead of time so there are no surprises come dinner time, when you’re left in an awkward situation because your guest doesn’t have anything to eat.
Be Classy with Beverages
You’re not a teenager in their first year of college anymore, so there shouldn’t be any need to get crazy with your alcohol intake at your dinner party. Alcohol should be available but not served in a fashion that would allow people to get too intoxicated. If someone has too much to drink, they may end up doing something embarrassing that could prevent them from wanting to attend your dinner parties in the future. One way to limit alcohol intake is to set out a punch bowl with a signature cocktail, and once it’s gone, don’t replenish it.
Don’t Forget to Decorate
No dinner party is complete without some nice decorations to tie the room together. You don’t have to go over the top with massive centerpieces and bouquets. A few tasteful pieces strategically placed throughout the room can attract the eye without being overwhelming. You may even want to consider a few fresh cut flowers from your garden to place on the table, which adds a splash of color and fragrance while showing off your skills as a gardener.
You don’t want to spend your entire night in the kitchen, so if there are certain aspects of your meal that you can prep ahead of time, you should do that. Not only does it alleviate stress by taking extra work during the event off your plate, but it allows you time to actually socialize and enjoy your guests.
Hosting a party is a great way to celebrate good food and great friends. With these simple tips, your next dinner party can be a huge hit that will have your friends begging you to host one again.