Are you hosting a dinner party soon? You likely already know how stressful it can be to entertain guests for a whole evening. From compiling the guest lists to preparing the meu, there’s a lot of work involved.
Don’t be intimated. This guide will teach you the top 5 tips for hosting a stress-free dinner part for beginners.
1. Make a Guest List
Knowing how many people you plan to host is perhaps the most important part of coordinated a dinner party. Make a guest list and send invitations a couple of weeks in advance of the party so everyone has time to figure out their reschedules and let you know whether or not they plan to attend. If 5 people have RSVPd, plan for 6 or 7 people, as you don’t know if someone will come last minute or bring a guest.
Use social media to connect everyone or create a group chat so everyone can be on the same page and receive updates all at once. Setting up an event page on Facebook or communicating with everyone at once will make it easier to coordinate schedules, find out who is bringing what, and learn dietary restrictions, allergies, and preferences.
2. Provide a Menu
Guests like to know what to expect when showing up for a dinner party. You should provide a menu for dinner at least one day before the event. You should have already gathered information about food allergies and dietary restrictions from the people you invited but this gives guests an additional chance to communicate any issues that may come up.
Your menu doesn’t have to be fancy but should generally include snacks or appetizers, a main course and sides, and dessert. If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas for dishes or types of meals, just keep it simple. This recipe for hot water cornbread is easy to create and makes a perfect addition to a meal.
3. Provide Plenty of Drink Options
Alcohol is a traditional drink option at dinner parties. Drinks such as wine or craft beers are easy crowd-pleasers. You can go the extra mile and provide the ingredients for mixed drinks and have a cocktail menu. No matter what you decide, plan to have enough alcohol for your party plus 1 or 2 people.
In addition to this, have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks. Some attendants may be sober or simply not wish to drink so they should have options too. If you plan to offer alcohol, make sure you know who is driving. Put away the alcohol about an hour or so before the party ends and offer coffee to give your guests a chance to sober up before heading home.
4. Ask for Help
If you’re trying to pull off hosting a dinner party single-handedly, you’re bound to run into some problems. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Ask your guests to bring a side dish or beverage or ask someone to help you prep for the evening.
5. Keep the Fun Going
Don’t punctuate the evening with awkward silences and lulls in conversation. Keep the fun going and energy up by playing music in the background and starting icebreaker games to get everyone chatting. This is especially helpful if you are bringing in friends from different areas in your life for the first time.
Hosting a Dinner Party Made Easy
The preparation for hosting a dinner party can take a few weeks, but if you follow this guide, you can make sure everything goes smoothly. Communicate with your guests well in advance so everyone knows what to expect from the menu and the evening, don’t be afraid to ask for help and keep the fun going with icebreaker games and conversation starters.
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