Whether you’re hosting your first dinner party or you’re a veteran home chef, having people over to your house for an evening of dining can quickly become a stressful experience. Between planning the menu, cooking, setting the table, choosing the right music, and keeping guests happy, there are a lot of elements to juggle. However, with some careful planning and these excellent tips, you’ll learn how to host a dinner party with ease!
Make a Timeline
After the excitement of sending out RSVPs, the reality settles in that you’ll have to actually host your friends and family for a meal. A great way to minimize stress ad make sure no details slip through the cracks is to make a timeline. Two weeks before the big day you should establish your guest list, start thinking about the atmosphere or theme you want to evoke and begin gathering decorations.
After you’ve asked guests about dietary restrictions and established the menu, a couple of days before the dinner you’ll need to go grocery shopping for the ingredients and any drinks you want to serve. Finally, on the day of the party (and possibly the day before, depending on your schedule), you should set the table, decorate the dining room, and make the meals.
Decorate the Table
Decor is a great way to personalize any party and add a little bit of your unique flair to the evening. You can choose to let the meal guide the theme of the dinner party, or you can build your menu around a specific theme. When choosing your decor, it’s also important to take the seasons into account to create just the right atmosphere.
Make the most of your space by considering what interior design elements are already in place and what theme would complement your dining area. And remember, a little decoration can go a long way when it’s strategically placed. After all, your guests are there for good food and good company, not dozens of floral displays or centerpieces galore.
Find Comfortable Seating Options
The last thing you want your guests to be thinking about throughout the evening is how uncomfortable the chairs are. While making sure you have enough seats for every guest is an important part of planning a successful dinner party, you should also think about guest seating.
Whether you’re throwing your dinner party indoors at your own dinner table or enjoying an evening under the stars, make sure you provide ample cushions. Another good rule of thumb is to always plan for the unexpected! Even if you narrowed down your guest list to just ten people, you don’t want to be caught off-guard if a plus one arrives and you don’t have an extra seat at the table.
Focus on Dinnerware
After you spend hours and hours preparing your incredible dishes, you want to make sure they’re presented in an appealing manner. Think of your dinnerware as the frame for your meal. You can choose to coordinate your plates and silverware to match the theme of your party or keep it simple with neutral tones and clean lines. Cloth napkins can also go a long way to adding an extra element of elegance to any table setting.
Create a Fun DIY Bar
The main point of hosting a dinner party is to have fun with the people you love, but you don’t want to spend the entire evening running around filling up empty wine glasses. A quick and fun fix for this common hosting woe is to create a stylish self-serve bar. Your DIY bar can have a few wine selections, hard alcohols, and mixers alongside a signature batch-style cocktail like sangria. That way your guests never have to wait on a refill and they can create their own drinks without having to tell you every single ingredient to their favorite cocktail.
Don’t forget to supply your self-serve bar with classy drinkware and consider providing cute charms to help everyone keep track of their drinks throughout the night.
Use Background Music to Set the Mood
A huge part of establishing a dinner party theme is getting the music just right. Make the playlists ahead of time and choose songs that are going to help your dinner party feel relaxed. Even if you’ve chosen a theme for the party, you should make a playlist that bounces around a few genres to provide some variety. Choose songs that are familiar to you Music is also a great way to signal the transition from the main course of the meal to dessert and maybe even a dance party after that.
Candles Create Atmosphere
To create a truly comfortable atmosphere and transform your home, turn off a few lamps and opt for more intimate lighting like candles. They’re cheap, they smell great, and they can easily become a wonderful centerpiece if you need to quickly dress up a table. You can go for an elegant image with a silver candelabra or keep it low-key with a few tiny tealights. Just be sure to consider the placement of the candle and how the scent mixes with the meal so the candles don’t overwhelm your dinner.
With a few smart strategies and a little bit of planning, you’ll know exactly how to host a dinner party that is sure to impress your guests. Our team of interior design experts at Kern & Co. can help you create a dining space that always lets you put your best foot forward and throw parties that go off without a hitch!