Dinner parties are a fabulous way to gather friends and family, and enjoy an evening of good food, good drinks and great conversation. But as the host, pulling off a seamless and entertaining evening comes with a lot of preparation and organization. Let’s take a look at a few key details you need to consider when planning your next dinner party.
While your friends and family may come to your dinner party for the great company and entertainment, it’s no secret that everybody’s thinking about the amazing food they get to have. When creating a menu, it’s important to note that you’re hosting many people with different tastes, so it’s always a great idea to stay simple but delicious. You also want to think about your own night as well — do you want to be in the kitchen all night preparing numerous little appetizers and spending time on complicated sides? Stick to meals that can be prepared before your guests arrive, are easy to serve and cater to large groups; pastas, salads and casseroles are always useful suggestions. For dessert, think of something that everyone can dig into like a big cake or tiramisu, rather than individual tarts or something that you’ll have to serve for each person.
Whether you’re going for a theme or just a traditional evening, placing the right decorations both on your table and around the living area is vital to taking the evening from a regular meal to a celebration. If you’re going for a theme, then the decorations are relatively self-explanatory, but there are a few basic recommendations that should always be included for ambiance. For around the house, fresh flowers are usually nice, along with scented candles.
Make the evening a festivity by putting a real effort into the dining table. Use a full dining set that includes a tablecloth, matching mats and a prominent centerpiece. You could have cutlery for each course, different beer, wine and alcohol glasses for each type of drink, and fold the napkins in a decorative manner.
With social media such a big part of everyone’s life, invitations are often overlooked and replaced by digital invites or Facebook event requests. But there’s still an opportunity to put some effort into your invitations and successfully set the tone of the event. If you’re looking to stay traditional and send out your invitations through the mail, you can use Adobe Suite to design and create a unique invitation. If you’re sticking to digital, there’s still opportunity to be creative; for example, you could create a short video or design a digital invitation. Either way, make sure the invitation is true to the style of the evening you have planned and provides all the necessary details.
While it’s usually an afterthought, the entertainment can make or break a night. When deciding on your entertainment, it’s important to think hard about the kind of evening you’re aiming for. If you’re looking for something a little more formal or fancy, a musician or raffle prizes may be appropriate. If it’s something a little more casual, you may decide to play a few fun games like Catch Phrase or Cards Against Humanity. If socializing and having great conversation is the main focus of the evening, you may just decide to keep it simple and have some background music playing while you enjoy the evening.
Dinner parties may take a little time to organize, but they’re worth the effort. Be sure to read through these few suggestions and take them on board when planning out your next event.