Party season is in full swing and you are planning on entertaining in your home. There is no better time to learn HOW HOST A FLAWLESS DINNER PARTY, than right now. So I’ve put together a guide to help you host your party flawlessly. This guide + the series of post that I have linked up throughout this post will empower you to host any dinner party like a pro.
Okay then… first things first….Inviting your guests. At this point you should have invited your guests – whether it was via a Facebook event invite, an e-vite from your favorite online store or an actual invitation. You have an idea of how many people are coming. If you need more help with your guest list or HOW TO INVITE GUESTS TO YOUR PARTY, click the link & check out this post. okay then, what are we waiting for..Let’s get this pre-party planning party started & read on….
5 THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE DINNER PARTY
Your guests have RSVP’d and you have an idea of how many people you will be hosting. You have your location scouted out, your venue booked or simply know which room in your house you will be entertaining in. The time has been set and you know if your gathering is ( formal, in formal, casual…), depending on your theme… Here are 5 things to do to get you ready for your dinner party:
THE FOOD. Plan what you will be eating that evening. Buy the food you are going to prepare, or place and order from your favorite restaurant and schedule it for pick up or delivery. NOTE, make sure food arrives before guests and that you have a proper way to keep food warm and drinks cold. If you are preparing your own food, give yourself plenty of time. You want to receive your guests and host them without having to cook it all in front of them. Unless, it’s a cooking party. Another great idea is hiring a private chef to cook the for for you at your own home. We hosted a Sushi Chef + Hosting a Fun Evening at Home. Click the link inspirations.
2. APPETIZERS. From Charcuterie boards to hot tapas, serving appetizers is part of great hosting. It’s a small serving of food, meant to be shared by several people. An appetizer is meant to stimulate your guests appetite and make them extra hungry for the main entree. Need ideas on what appetizers to serve be sure to check out Easy Appetizer Ideas + How to Serve Them Beautifully.
3. DRINKS. Time to stock that bar. It’s time to select what drink or drinks you will be serving. From Cocktails to Mocktails (a cocktail without the alcohol), beer or wine, decide what you are serving and gather your ingredients. Do not forget the garnishes + the ice -many drinks are served with a garnish. Be sure to also gather utensils for your bar this includes glassware, napkins, stirring sticks ( bar sticks), bottle openers, serving pitchers/carafes, ice bucket, ice serving utensil. Need more inspiration or guidance, click on the link for a complete guide to Bar Essentials + How to Stock Your Home Bar
4. SERVING DISHES, NAPKINS, TABLE SETTING and DECOR.
A beautifully curated table is an essential part of a dinner party. All of these amazing details need to be picked & styled before the actual party begins.
PLATES: ( salad plates, dinner plates, dessert plates/bowls, saucer) for a formal dinner party you will want to have one of these placed on your table/per guest. For an informal gathering I have placed the plates stacked so that each guests can pick their own. We have also hosted casual bbq evenings at home, with disposal bowls or plates. The important thing is to plan: you need the proper table wear for the specific course you are serving your guests, and that you have planned the proper tableware/per guest ratio.
Don’t forget to have napkins for your guests. Invest in cloth napkins for formal dinner parties and events. Paper napkins are acceptable for cocktails. Cocktails Napkins: Make them point. Choose a pattern that sparks a conversation. Make it fun and elegant.
The final details are also important, like centerpieces, how to stack your plates, themes, decor… Need more table setting ideas and inspirations on decor and how to style your own table setting. Check out this post (all about styling, decorating tables for events and gatherings) GLAM TABLE SETTING IDEAS: HOW TO EASILY STYLE A TABLE.
5 THINGS TO DO DURING THE DINNER PARTY
Planning ahead and having a general idea of how the evening is going to progress will help you plan the best dinner party ever. You prepared ahead of time and have at hand all that you need. Now its time to enjoy time with your guests ( while still being mindful of the flow of the evening), here are 5 things to do during your dinner party:
Receive your guests at the door, have a (safe) space for them to drop their coats or purses and lead them to the bar. Serve them and drink and start the conversation.
Have appetizers served near the bar. Appetizers should be plated. Have napkins, small serving plates and most important a serving utensil, so that guests know exactly how to serve themselves.
Move your guests to your dinner table. Place cards are a great way to let your guests know where to sit. If not allow your guests to sit where they prefer.
Serve dinner. Allow your guests enough time to eat each course. Try not to go to the next course until everyone is finished. Allow your gathering to progress by clearing plates.
Move your guests to another room. Offer a dessert wine, coffee or tea.