A dinner party is an ultimate night in. It is a fantastic way to get to know new friends, reconnect with old ones, or simply have a fantastic time with the people you love. Everyone pictures their perfect dinner party, and no two parties are ever the same. But attending a dinner party and hosting a dinner party are two different things. Planning and hosting a dinner party can be a very stressful and difficult process at times, especially if you have never hosted one before. It seems all too easy to just throw some food out and let it go, and occasionally that works, but more often than not it isn’t enough. So how can you organize and host a fantastic dinner party? Below we are going to give you five tips to improve your night.
Before anything you need to decide if your dinner party will be following a theme. Themed nights are a great way to get your guests more involved and active with the party. Themes don’t have to be complex. They can be as simple as picking a country and making that the theme. For example, a Spanish themed night would encourage your guests to dress in Spanish clothes and bring food and drinks related to the country. Or your theme could be more creative. Maybe a James Bond night where everyone dresses up in fancy tux’s, drinks martinis. Picking a theme is a great place to start because it will inform the next steps of planning your party. Keep in mind, when selecting a theme, make it tasteful and respectful! If you are basing your theme on a country try to encourage your guests to avoid anything racist or risque.
The menu is important, but not as important as making sure your guests have a good time. But it plays a huge part in that. When constructing your menu look at your theme and try to plan it around that. Picked a country? Select dishes from that region. Is it a costume themed night? Maybe create some smaller dishes that tie into that. Whatever you pick, make sure your food isn’t too heavy but is enough to fill everyone up. You don’t want your guests going hungry due to small portions. Make sure you check all your guest’s dietary requirements before they arrive as well. And allergies too.
Keeping your guests entertained is important. And to this end, you will want to plan a few different party games. You might not get through to playing them all, or any if the conversation is flowing well enough, but having a backup of games ready is always useful. Some great games to try are ‘have you ever‘ or ’20 questions.’ Other games you could look at are quizzes or even classic board games such as monopoly or clue. Although these tend to take up a lot more time.
No dinner is complete without drinks! And while guests often bring along a bottle of something to be polite, don’t bank on it! You should have a nice selection of drinks that pair well with both your menu and your theme. You’ll want something to offer your guests when they first arrive before the meal starts. To this end, look at making up some cocktails. You can find a number of great cocktail recipes online. If you have selected a country theme, try to find some cocktails specific to that region and serve them. For your meal, you will want to look at what wine pairs well with the food you are serving. And make sure you grab enough bottles. A good rule of thumb is a bottle and a half per person. They most likely won’t drink that much, but it will ensure you don’t run out.
The Guest List
Perhaps the most important part of the night, who is attending. The guest list is just as important as anything else. If you invite six people who all hate each other then you are in for a bad time. Make sure you are inviting people you know and trust, and who you know will get on with each other in an intimate setting like a dinner party. If you get this right, you are guaranteed a good time.