Everything You Need to Host a Lively, Yet Simple Dinner Party

Everything You Need to Host a Lively, Yet Simple Dinner Party

09.14.2021Author: The Suite Staff

It’s easy to get overwhelmed at the thought of hosting a dinner party. Making your expectations come to term with reality isn’t always possible, especially when you have lofty dreams or have been watching too much HGTV. The beauty of a dinner party is that you’re in the company of friends, which means that you don’t need to stress over the little things. We’ve honed down on the essential tips for an effortless evening.

Make a list of your guests’ dietary restrictions and allergies

First things first — once you’ve solidified the list, make sure you know exactly what your guests can and cannot eat. This will save you from having to scramble when someone arrives with a food intolerance.

Get funky with your table setting

Your backyard is not the place for folded napkins and white tablecloths. Check out your favorite vintage shop and find an array of large platters, mismatched dishes, and fun glassware that can handle a bit of wear and tear. Add in a few taper candles and small flowers and you have a low-maintenance yet show-stopping table arrangement.

Choose an array of drinks

A good rule of thumb is to have enough for two drinks per person in the first hour and another drink for every hour after that. If you choose to make cocktails, opt for something that can be pre-batched in a carafe beforehand so that you don’t need to make individual drinks. Make sure to have fun non-alcoholic options for any guests who choose not to drink.

Start with appetizers

Allow at least half an hour for people to arrive and mingle before dinner. Set out platters with snacks, dips, and finger foods that people can graze on as they have their first glass of wine. Pre-made dips and apps are your friend here — while the food is important, your guests definitely won’t care if everything is made from scratch!

Plan a menu that is both easy and delicious

When deciding on what food to serve, don’t feel like you need to make elaborate dishes that will take up hours of your time before the guests arrive. Pick a simple theme and crowd-pleasing dishes that showcase seasonal produce or local meats and cheeses, and make sure to choose foods that are easy to prepare for a large group of people.

Provide plenty of seating by using benches, folding chairs, or couches

Whether it’s benches, couches, folding chairs, or even bean bags, make sure to have ample seating for guests to lounge on before and after the actual dinner. This not only creates a warm and inviting space, but facilitates conversation and helps people get to know each other in a more intimate setting.

Put together a playlist of songs to set the mood

The best way to curate the mood of the party is to make a collaborative playlist with your favorite music, then send it to everyone invited and let them add songs. In that way, everyone can feel like they’re contributing to the vibe of the party.

Our final tip: don’t sweat the small stuff

A glass will probably get broken, you might forget to pick up whipped cream for the pie, and someone will probably end up drinking a little too much wine. Those are all trivialities. What’s important is that you’re enjoying the company of old friends and hopefully making some new ones.

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