The holidays will be here before you know it. And with the arrival of the holiday season, so comes dinner parties. But before you plan one, there are steps to put into practice and time-tested rules to follow. Get started with these dinner party tips.
What’s a party without guests? About two weeks ahead of your dinner party, start putting your guest list together. At this time, you will also want to send out your dinner party invitations. When designing your event invitations, digital or otherwise, include relevant, basic information. Your invites should note whether or not your guest can bring a plus one, special instructions for the event (e.g., parking), the dress code, the type of food that you will be serving and request that your guests share any food allergies. All of this should be included in addition to your dinner party date, time and location. About one week before your dinner party you should have all of your guest spots confirmed.
Avoid a dinnerware disaster. Make sure that you have enough dishes and flatware sets to serve everyone on your guest list. After you’ve established that you have enough dinnerware items to serve all of your guests, decide how you will want your dishes to look. Consider any specials tools you might need, as well as plates, silverware or garnishes necessary to pull off your ideas.
Just as important as dinnerware, your tablescape sets the scene for the dinner ahead. When choosing a tablescape, think about the aesthetic you’d like to create for the evening. Then decide what elements are essential for creating that look and nail down what type of decor you will need to make it happen. Be sure to tidy up your home and consider adding flowers and other natural elements in vases to be placed around your home.
It’s inevitable — some of your guests will arrive early. And while you will likely still be pulling together your final touches for the night ahead, you’ll want to make sure that your guests feel welcomed and comfortable. For a smooth entry, give your guests an identifiable destination, such as a fully stocked bar cart with libations, ice, barware and garnishes, as well as a surface to put a drink together. If your guests arrive early and they offer assistance, take them up on their generous offer and put them to work. It’s not taboo to welcome help, and early guests can be a big help when it comes to setting out cutlery and other last-minute details.
There are a series of ways that you can play up the fun at your dinner party. Whether your guest list includes lifelong friends or a mix of co-workers, friends and acquaintances, dinner party entertainment can bring all of your guests together. Dinner party games like Kings can loosen everybody up. Jenga is a great option for after-dinner fun, so is Name That Tune. And games like Cards Against Humanity will have everyone laughing over a glass of wine after dessert.
These guidelines and tips can help you throw your best dinner party. From invitations to your tablescape, every detail should be considered.