How to Host a Successful Dinner Party

How to Host a Successful Dinner Party

How-to-Host-a-Successful-Dinner-Party-UnsplashPhoto by Kelsey Chance / The Unsplash License

Thinking about hosting an amazing dinner party at your home for the first time and don’t know where to start? Or maybe you are a dinner party veteran looking for a few ways to up your game. No matter what your experience is with planning dinner parties, here are some helpful tips on how to make your next one a success!

Deciding on a Guest List

It can be difficult to decide who makes the cut for your dinner party. If you end up cutting down your guest list due to limited space in your home, that’s okay! You can always throw another dinner party where you can invite the guests who did not make the guest list for your first party. When creating the guest list, you should consider how your guests will get along with each other and if anyone knows each other beforehand. Although it is always a good idea to invite guests that are already acquainted, one of the best parts of a dinner party is getting to know guests that you have not met before.

Sending Out Invitations

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There are multiple ways to send out invitations to your dinner party. Make sure that if you are sending them by snail mail that you send them out in advance. When sending invitations by traditional mail it is important to remember that it can sometimes take longer than expected for them to arrive so make sure you mail them early. If you are sending your invitations via email, you can send them out about two weeks in advance before the date of your dinner party.

Planning the Party

Another crucial step when hosting a dinner party is figuring out where you will host the party. Will you be hosting the dinner party from your living room, dining room, or perhaps outdoors on a patio? If you are considering hosting your dinner party from your backyard, be sure to check out these helpful tips for turning your backyard into an oasis for your guests!

In addition to figuring out where the party will be, you should also select a date and time. This step is where you really have to nail down the details of your party. Try choosing a Friday or Saturday night if you want more guests to attend and really let loose at your dinner party. Although weeknight dinner parties can be fun as well, many of your guests might have to leave early if they have work the next day.

Figuring Out After Dinner Activities

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This should also be figured out in advance so you can plan the evening properly. Activities after dinner can be a great way to end the night. This might include board games, act-it-out games, or even a poker night. Just be sure to inform your guests of the itinerary for the evening beforehand, so they can brush up on the basics of any games they’re less familiar with. That way no one is uncomfortable with what will be played, and there’s no wasted time on learning the game. You could also host a dinner party on the night of a big premiere, such as Game of Thrones. This will help to create conversation at dinner, and then afterwards you can all bond over watching the final season together. Not a bad way to end the night!

Incorporating a Theme or Dress Code

Another fun way to spice up your dinner party is to incorporate a theme or dress code. Some examples that are relatively easy include a taco night, bonfire party, wine and cheese party, and pizza party. In addition, some dress code themes could include a masquerade dinner, casino night, or murder mystery. Although themes are definitely not mandatory for a successful dinner party, it can be a great way to add some fun!

Determining the Menu

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When creating a menu for your dinner party, make sure that you ask ahead of time if any of your guests have any dietary restrictions that you should know about. This small gesture will really mean a lot to any of your guests that may have limited diets based on allergies or intolerances.

Remember that a typical dinner party menu includes appetizers, a main dish, two or more side dishes, bread, and a dessert. Of course, you can switch this up as they aren’t hard and fast rules. Feel free to incorporate a soup or salad into your menu. Additionally, make sure that the majority of your menu you can make ahead of time. This will help immensely because you will have everything prepped and ready to go when your guests arrive. No one wants to be stuck in the kitchen for the majority of their own dinner party!