Dinner parties are a fun way to spend an evening and share a meal with friends. Throwing a fabulous dinner party doesn’t have to be daunting. Following are a few tips for hosting memorable dinner parties.
The secret of successful dinner parties is adequate preparation. A casual get-together for a few friends may only need a few days of advance planning. A larger gathering or more formal affair may require a month or more. Decide on the type of party you want to throw, make a guest list, set the date and get those invites out.
Choose a Theme
Dinner parties don’t have be formal, sit-down affairs. While hosting proper dinner parties can be rewarding, don’t be afraid to use your imagination and the mutual interests of yourself and your friends to come up with fun, more laid-back dinner party ideas. Host a retro “Mad Men”-inspired cocktail party before dinner. Serve a variety of drinks and appetizers for an informal “small bites” single’s mingle. Choose decorations, centerpieces and party favors to reflect your theme.
Plan the Menu
If you’re new to hosting dinner parties you may want to fall back on your signature dish. Attempting a new recipe while preparing for guests can be stressful. If you’re a more accomplished cook or ready for a challenge, branch out into more exciting or unique dinner party recipes. Visit a farmer’s market to find fresh produce that is locally grown and in season or build your dinner party menu around your theme. Take a trip to a local wine shop for hints on vintages that will complement the meal.
As important as the wine, the theme and the menu may be, always set the scene with music. Choose a playlist that matches the atmosphere or the level of formality. Keep music at low volume to avoid intruding on conversation. Plan a few games either before, during or after the meal. Popular dinner party games include trivia games, “ice breaker” games and games for couples.
Pour a glass of wine and get ready for your guests. It’s party time!