If you enjoy people and caring for them, then there’s no better way to exercise your talents and desires than to host a dinner party. A dinner party puts together all the skills of cooking, decorating, and hosting in one evening. Plus, you get to invite the people you want and see all of your favorite people in one place.
But where does a person begin? Do you start with the food or the decorations? And how early should you start planning?
To have the best evening hosting friends for dinner, follow these basic guidelines.
When you start planning a dinner party, be it a sophisticated evening party or a casual garden party, you will feel tempted to go all out. Start by being realistic.
Think about what you can make at home and how you can make some of it ahead of time. After all, you want to be available for your guests, so plan a simple menu, especially if you’re cooking solo.
Pick a menu that works within the limitations of your kitchen. If you don’t have a double oven but need to have two things in the oven at once, you need to alter your menu. Keep things simple and realistic.
Consider Your Dinner Party Guests
As the ideal dinner party host, you want to care well for your guests. You want them to feel welcome. So make them the focus of the evening with their needs in mind. Keep the following needs in mind:
- Place left-handed guests on the end of the table so they don’t bump elbows with other guests
- Make your home accessible to guests that may need handicap accessibility
- Modify your menu to accommodate dietary issues such as gluten-free needs, vegetarian or vegan preferences, or anyone trying to avoid unhealthy foods
When you put your guests first, you are telling them that they matter. They’ll feel valued and comfortable in your home. And this will lead to even better conversation and just an overall enjoyable evening.
When hosting friends for dinner, start your planning process at least a month before guests arrive. Think about your menu carefully as mentioned above, and then stick with trusted recipes.
If you do want to try a new recipe, do a test run of it beforehand. You should never make the day of the party the first day that you make this particular recipe.
After you’ve put together the menu, construct a shopping list. You won’t be shopping until the week before the event, but you should have the list on hand in case you need to add to it.
Then consider your ambiance and decoration. Think about all the senses, with beautiful visual elements, appropriate music, comfortable seats and temperatures in the room, and appealing smells.
Look into purchasing some scent diffusers to create the perfect environment.
A week before the event, clean the house or apartment thoroughly. Plan out where your guests will sit, and make your grocery run for dinner supplies.
The day before you can tidy up the house and start preparing any foods that you can ahead of time. Doing so will make the event go more smoothly.
On the day of the event, dive into dinner prep and then enjoy your guests.
Eat, Drink, and Have Fun
The ideal dinner party will be the one where all the guests feel comfortable and enjoy themselves. They’ll enjoy tasty food, strong drink, and thought-provoking conversation.
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