Hosting a dinner party can be stressful, especially when you want everyone to have a fantastic time. But there’s more to a successful party than hungry guests and delicious food. If you want to throw a party your friends will talk about for years — without all the hassle and stress — follow the tips below by Kacey Bradley. Kacey is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us.
- CHOOSE THE GROUP
Before you even start planning, you need to know who you plan to invite. Try to pick a group you know will get along, have similar interests and will be able to keep up a conversation. You can still spice things up by introducing someone new, but make sure they’ll feel comfortable and fit in with the rest of the group. Once you know who you plan to invite, make up your invitations and send them as soon as possible. You want to give guests plenty of time to respond.
- PLAN THE MENU
Don’t wait until the last minute to whip up some food. Plan which dishes you’d like to make ahead of time, so you know exactly what you’re making and what you need to prepare. This means asking your guests about any dietary preferences or restrictions to avoid dinner party mishaps. If you want to make a recipe you’ve never tried before, make it beforehand, that way you can taste it and choose an alternative if necessary.
- SET THE TABLE
Now that you have your RSVPs, it’s time to set the table. Get started the night before so everything is prepared and ready to go in the morning. And remember, simplicity is best when you are doing everything by yourself!
Be sure you have ample space for everyone, and people won’t feel crowded. Seat guests next to someone they know, such as a friend or spouse, so they can feel more comfortable. One tip is to use place cards, so guests can find their spots without having to ask around.
- CREATE A PLAYLIST
Don’t let a lack of conversation stall your party. Get everyone in the mood by setting the right tone with music. Try to pick something subtle that will easily melt into the background. But you should also try to employ a mixture of music and genres, something everyone will enjoy. For the best party playlist, try something without words, such as classical or big band music.
- DIM THE LIGHTS
A great party doesn’t just come with fun guests and tasty food. There also needs to be ambiance. One way to achieve the perfect dinner party aesthetic is to turn down the lights. Instead of harsh overhead lighting, set the mood tabletop lamps or a small floor lamp. Or, get creative with candles or holiday twinkle lights. You might even want to add a pretty patio heater to set the mood and keep your guests cozy.
- BE FLEXIBLE
The best way to have a good time at your party is to be flexible and not to take yourself too seriously. By stressing out about the small stuff, you’ll soon forget the true intention of the party — to have fun. If someone who RSVP’d doesn’t show up, forget about it! If the green bean casserole comes out slightly overcooked, who cares? Stay relaxed and don’t get yourself worked up about the little stuff.
HOW TO PLAN THE PERFECT DINNER PARTY
Remember, the goal of a dinner party is to spend time with the people you care about and have fun. If you’re too busy planning and stressing out about the small details, the good times can easily pass you by. So pull out a chair, pour a mocktail, and enjoy the night for what it is — a time to relax and enjoy yourself.
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