Throwing a dinner party is something that many people choose to do at some stage. It’s a rite of passage, an adult thing to do, and it’s important that, when you do go ahead and throw one, it goes just right. You want your dinner party to be remembered for the right reasons, not because something went wrong or you were unprepared. This is why planning is key to the success of your party. If you think carefully about what you are doing first, there is no reason why you can’t have a great time. Here are some tips on how to go about it.
Don’t Get Stressed
The first rule of throwing a successful dinner party that will be talked about long after the event is not to get stressed. The more worried you are about getting everything just right, the less likely you are to have a good time, and this feeling will be easily picked up by your guests too. Everyone will feel uncomfortable, and that’s no fun at all. Stay as organized as possible, making lists of ingredients and other equipment you need well in advance. If you’re worried about cost, a short-term loan from Bonsai Finance can help you out so that you can buy what you need to make your evening the best it can be.
When it comes to inviting guests to your dinner party, it’s important to try to ensure that the group of people you ask will all get on and have something in common. When inviting family, this is perhaps an easier thing to do, and a little less worrisome. When dealing with friends and work colleagues, the situation is a little different – some will never have met before, and it is down to you to choose those who are going to be able to talk to one another all evening. If you don’t, then you may find that your dinner party is rather a silent one.
Numbers are just as important as who you invite. Too many people and you’ll feel overwhelmed and be far too busy to enjoy yourself. Too few and conversation may not flow too well.
When you invite people to your dinner party, you must ask for RSVPs by a certain date. This is because you need to know exactly who is coming so that you can prepare the right amount of food, borrow more seating or cutlery and so on if needed, and you can plan a menu that suits. When collecting RSVPs, you should also ask about any dietary requirements. Knowing this will also help you to plan the evening. You can choose to either make a separate dish for the person with the allergy, or who is vegetarian or vegan, for example, or you can make one dish that everyone can eat.
Prepare The Kitchen
Whether you are cooking everything from scratch, buying ready-made meals, or even inviting a private chef over to cook for you, your kitchen needs to be ready. Make sure you know exactly what ingredients and equipment you are going to need and get it in place before the day of your dinner party – the last thing you want to do is have to rush out and buy more things that you forgot when you’re meant to be trying to keep calm and get the house ready for guests.
If you are doing the cooking, then it’s wise to pick a menu that can be mostly prepared in advance. That way, you can work the day before and keep everything fresh in your fridge, for example, ready to put together at the last minute when the timing is just right. This will save you a lot of time, and it means you can be with your guests a lot more.
Make A Table Plan
When you know who is coming to your party, you can make a table plan. This means deciding who is going to sit next to whom. You can choose to have good friends near one another or mix everyone up so that people necessarily have to speak to people they may never have met before. It will depend on the kind of people you are inviting and what they (and you) expect to gain out of the evening.
When you have chosen everyone’s place at the table, write their names on cards, or have them printed, so that there is no doubt or confusion about where anyone is going to sit. Your guests will feel much more comfortable right from the start if they are given direction, particularly if they have never been to your home before.
Have A Theme
Something that often works particularly well at dinner parties is having a theme. This doesn’t necessarily mean dressing up in a fun costume (although it can if you want to), but it does mean that you can have a menu that works on one idea. It could be something truly simple such as ‘summer,’ for example. Your ingredients would all be light and fresh, or vibrant in color. Or you could theme the meal around a country’s cuisine such as Thai food, or Italian dishes. Having a theme means that it becomes much easier to choose food and to decorate the room.
Cooking fantastic food and inviting wonderful people are the basics of a perfect dinner party, but to make it really stand out, the décor shouldn’t be ignored. The look of some well-placed flower arrangements and candles (not scented ones, as this can make the food taste strange) on the table or around the room really does make a difference. Make sure there is nothing too tall on the table or conversation might be difficult if no one can see around it all. You can ensure that the colors all match and that the room looks stunning before anyone arrives; watch your guests’ faces when they see what you have done, and it will all be worth it.