15 March 2018

10 Ways to Absolutely Nail Your Next Dinner Party

Throughout our lives, we all tend to experience a range of different dinner parties. To the ones that we throw ourselves and those thrown by close friends and families, to those that we don’t really know, you can learn a lot. You learn from throwing your own and you take notes about what kinds of things others do. And all of this information can help you to make sure that you get your next dinner party right. But sometimes, you may find that you’re inundated with information and that you’re trying to taking in as much information as possible, that you don’t always know where to start (or remember everything that you swore you would)!

The truth is, throwing a dinner party can be hard work. If you’ve never thrown one before, or even attended one, you may wonder exactly what you’ve got yourself into. This is largely because you’re trying to take on everything at once. When you see the bigger picture with your dinner party, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed. At the same time, when you’re trying to remember the tips you wanted to make note of, you may find yourself getting confused. So, it’s much easier to break it all down. Because it can be a lot of fun to throw a dinner party and enjoy some time with your family or friends. But in order for you to actually enjoy it on the night, you have to take the right approach. So let’s make sure that you can do that.

#1 - Get Your Living Space Prepped Ahead of Time

The very first thing you’re going to want to do is to work on your entertaining area. Because there’s nothing quite like underestimating the amount of space that you have available. Sure, your guests will be eating at the dining table, but that’s only during dinner. It’s easy to forget that you need to have somewhere for them for welcome drinks and then after-dinner drinks too. So you’re going to want to prepare your living space to make sure you have enough room for everyone to sit.

#2 - Work out the Dynamics Well

So now that the panic is over about where you’re going to fit all of these people, you’re going to want to work out exactly who you’re going to invite. Choosing your guest list is a very important step. You need to make sure that you get the dynamics right, and that your guests will work well together. You don’t want friction or awkwardness, so be sure that you think about the people you want to invite and whether they will mix well or not.

#3 - Dress the Dining Table

Next, it’s onto the dining table. And this is something that you can sort weeks or days in advance. You’re going to want to plan out the theme of your dinner party and the decor that you want. That way, you can pick up the table pieces like napkins and place cards ahead of time. You can even dress it a few days before so that you have one less thing to do nearer the time.

#4 - Research Menu Choices

Now, we’re onto the section that’s all about your food and drink choices. Because you’re going to want to get these picked and planning out ahead of time if you want to make a success of the event! Dinner party menu choices need to please everyone, be easy enough for you to make, and be interesting and tasty enough to impress too. So get your research in early to give yourself time to weed through the options.

#5 - Choose One Showstopper

When you’ve done your research, you’re then going to want to make sure you choose a really stunning ingredient or recipe. For this, shucked oysters, truffles, or any other exciting ingredient should be the star. By having one showstopper, you can then downplay other courses for ease and cost-effectiveness.

#6 - Opt for Make-Aheads

Now that you’ve picked out a fancy ingredient or course, you can make sure that your other courses and nibbles are going to be simple. These impressive-yet-foolproof options are perfect. You need things that you can prepare beforehand so that you can still entertain your guests, and stay stress-free during the evening.

#7 - Select the Drinks

Finally, for this section, you need to get your drink pairings right. This means working out what you’ll serve at dinner, but also coming up with your welcome drinks choices and anything you want to serve after dinner too.

#8 - Consider Any Entertainment

Now, it’s onto some of the extra areas of planning - the bits and pieces that you may find yourself getting a little caught out on. Like the entertainment. You don’t always have to make sure that you have some form of entertainment in place, but it’s often nice to know whether you want to have background music playing or something small like that. You may also want to think of something to do after dinner, like games or music, so that everyone isn’t left hanging around. It’s a great way to keep the tempo up too.

#9 - Plan Your Look the Week Before

If you’re someone that tends to get into a bit of a rush about what you’re going to wear, you’ll find that planning what to wear well in advance, like the week before, will help. That way, you won’t be stressed out about what you should wear the night before, and on the day of your dinner party you will feel much calmer and in control.

#10 - Get Your Scrub On

Then, on the day of the dinner party itself, around preparing the menu choices and refreshments, you’re going to want to get your cleaning done. When you give the house a good scrub and make last-minute checks on your table decor on the morning of, you’ll feel much more peace of mind that everything is ready to go. And then you can just enjoy your evening knowing that you’ve pretty much nailed it already.

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