If you are hosting a dinner party, you want to make sure everything is perfect. There is a lot to coordinate, and if you are not used to it, it can seem overwhelming. Here are some of our best tips for planning and executing a dinner party your guests will rave about long after it is over.
The Guest List
The first place you need to start is figuring out who is going to be invited. The number of people you invite will dictate the setting and the menu, so it is important to know that going into it. You should think about what kind of feeling you want to have at your dinner party when curating the guest list.
If you want a large and boisterous party, then you will want to invite a lot of people or people who bring a lot of energy to a given event. If you are wanting a more intimate and quiet gathering, then you will want to limit your guest list and invite people who are naturally inclined to that behavior.
You should also consider the size of your home and the size of the meal you want to prepare. The more people you invite, the more crowded your home will feel and the bigger meal you will need to prepare. You may be limited in the number of people to invite based on these factors.
You will also need to determine the atmosphere of the dinner and how you want to decorate your table and home to accommodate that. Some parties may be fine with just a centerpiece on a table. Other gatherings you may want to have the ambiance of candles or other more festive decorations to set the tone. Your guests are likely to take their lead from the feeling they get in your home, so you don’t want to underestimate that influence.
Of course, you want to pay special attention to the menu for your event. You will want to prepare something you are excited about, but try not to take too much on at once. Start with what you can do and don’t go too overboard. You don’t want this to be a stressful night for you.
If your guests are going to be at your home for a while before the meal, you may want some appetizers or snacks available for them until the meal is prepared. If you are going to be eating fairly quickly after arriving, then this is not necessary.
If you are going to be eating outside, then take that into consideration when preparing the menu. If you are going to be sitting at the dining room table, then you will have more options, but may want it to feel a little more formal. You should make sure you know about any food allergies before preparing the menu so all your guests can enjoy themselves. Don’t forget to consider drinks and desserts when you are planning your menu as well, no meal is complete without them!