Essential tips for an awesome dinner party & styling tips for presentation perfection!
The dinner party moment of truth? Things will not go exactly to plan! Just as hosting an evening of food and drinks involves planning, it also requires some care-free enthusiasm. If entertaining is something you enjoy, then it shouldn’t be stressful. It’s about being surrounded by old, regular and new friends over a (hopefully) delicious meal — don’t loose sight of that! With that said, it’s only natural you’d want to impress your guests and keep them RSVP’ing yes to future get-togethers. So, we’ve compiled a few tips get your pre-planning in the right direction!
To start things off, really curate your guest list! The people make the party. Don’t be afraid to add new and interesting people into the mix.
Start gathering the stuff you’ll need a few day’s prior, leaving the day of open to running time-sensitive errands such as grabbing ice and flowers. If you’re going all out for table décor, it’s a good idea to set a bulk of the table the night before.
Set the atmosphere with dim lighting and soothing candles, although keep the scented candles for the restrooms and use non-fragrant flames in the space you’ll be eating. Good music is important! Use a playlist that has an appealing variety (Indie Pop, Classic Rock, notable Hip Hop) without being distracting.
When guests start arriving, you’ll likely still have a bit more work to do in the kitchen. Have hors-d’oeuvre set and the bar ready to pour! For appetizers, find a location such as a coffee table in the lounge room or kitchen bar area that guests can easily gather around. Be sure to mix-and-match your serving ware, keeping things visually appealing without being intimidating (no one wants to resemble a catering house).
Keep the bar in its own area with easy access, as to avoid traffic jams, and allow some surface area for mixing.
Pre-dinner festivities have a 45-minute window! Then, it’s time to sit down. Place cards are a bit formal, but totally up to the discretion of the host.
Obviously, stay away from meals that are too fussy. It’s your party. You’ll need to present in order to set the mood and tone of the evening.
For dinner, it’s nice to have a side table nearby with extras and refills so you don’t have to get up and down (too much) over the course of the meal.
For dessert, have something super easy, mini and light — diet chatter? No thank you. This is that part in the evening when everyone wants to help clear the table and do the dishes, but have a spot already pinned out to place dirty dishes and then quickly reset the table with desert, coffee and more wine.
Don’t clean until everyone is gone! Let the evening fade away and worry about the mess later.
In the end, it’s all about composition. If you keep yourself balanced and excited, it’ll be a charmed evening never forgotten.