Have you ever wanted to host a dinner party but never followed through because you became overwhelmed and decided to skip it? We’ve all been there, but with a little planning and a party, you can be the home everyone wants invited to!
- First, get your calendar out and pick a date. Be sure to give yourself enough time to make all the arrangements but not so much time that you procrastinate to the point it never happens. Be mindful of holidays or special events that may be happening.
- Decide on your guest list. Decide on how you plan to invite- digital, phone, or old-school paper all work! My advice is to keep it smallish. I think six is a great number. When you are deciding on who to invite, approach it like a casting director. It doesn’t always need to be your same group. it’s fun to cast a wide net of personalities & interests! But, you want to set it up for success, so consider guests who get along well with others. Nothing worse than being in a smallish group with a polarizing person. Save those personalities for one on one time. In a group, you want to make sure everyone is comfortable so they feel it’s a space to mix & mingle.
- Plan your menu. Once you know who’s coming, it’s time to think about what you will be serving. A note here is sure to ask your guests if they have any food allergies. You don’t want a guest with a shellfish allergy if you’re having a seafood extravaganza! Also, when planning what to serve, think about items that don’t require you to be standing over the stove all night. You want to be able to chat and entertain your guests. And don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it; these are your friends who will be happy to pitch in. I think it’s best to prepare everything you can in advance, come party time you’ll be glad you did!
- Plan the flow of your party. Cocktail Hour, Dinner, Dessert, and After. The important thing is to have a loose plan to follow; it’s ok to be flexible and change it up as things progress, but going into it with a general idea will take some of the pressure off.
- Make a playlist. Music goes a long well to create and support an atmosphere. A well-curated selection will keep your guests moving & grooving, not to mention music can be an immediate connector. The music you play sets a tone and mood- choose wisely.
- Clean the house, or you can hire someone to clean. You will feel better and more confident having people over if you feel like your house is guest ready! And don’t forget to clear any clutter.
- Libations! Serve what you love, and remember you don’t have to have a completely stocked open bar; pick a few options: Vodka, Gin, Champagne, White Wine, Beer, or Whiskey. And please don’t forget not everyone wants alcohol, have a fun mocktail option and plenty of water. Remember, you can also throw an alcohol-free party, just know your audience!
- Fresh flowers are a MUST! Perfect for a centerpiece, but think about arrangements in unexpected places- like a powder room, a nook, or a side table. Flowers go a long way in creating a welcoming and warm atmosphere.
- Set the table. Gone are the days you need to break out the fine China and crystal. Don’t be afraid to mix and match- check out estate sales and thrift stores. Also, it’s great to go with a basic and jazz it up with your linens! Think about dishes that are durable but nice for entertaining. Also, pay attention to whether or not they are dishwasher safe. If you are not someone who wants to hand wash dishes, there are plenty of other options; just be mindful of what you’re buying. Don’t forget your glassware and silverware! There are tons of great everyday options that will also suit entertaining!
If you are worried about getting the party started or a lull in the conversation, plan a fun icebreaker or have a game ready to play. Scattergories, Cards Against Humanity, or Taboo are all solid choices!
You’ve planned and prepped now it’s showtime! Don’t forget to light a few candles and go razzle dazzle!
Need help finding a home for entertaining? We can help with that!
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