An at home dinner party puts many items on your to-do list, but if you can keep your cool during the event, you’ve mastered the art of hosting. It’s easy to worry about replenishing dishes that are low on food and keeping everyone happy, but with the right planning and attitude, you can calmly entertain your guests.
Inviting people into your home for an evening of fun allows you to share your place with those closest to you. Once you find your groove of hosting, your next time can be a smoother experience. Before you kick off your at-home dinner party, check out these tips for hosting.
Clear your cooking space of dirty items and any other distractions that could hold you up on the day of. That means emptying the dishwasher and sink to make room for the messy results of the party. Make sure you have taken out your garbage and put in a new trash bag — you’ll be happy you didn’t have to leave in the middle of hosting to toss it in the dumpster.
If there’s any food preparation you can do a few days before, this will save you time and panic before the event. Whether you need to chop vegetables or layer lasagna noodles, you can get many steps out of the way so your job of hosting is easier.
You don’t have to make a complex meal to please your guests. You can offer tasty options that don’t require endless hours sweating over the stove. Simple dishes will appeal to more palettes, too, so you increase your chances that your guests will like the food. Dress up your vegetables and side items with fun spices without trying a new and involved recipe.
Don’t repeat ingredients in your menu, because your guests can get overwhelmed by the same flavor coming through. If you’re serving pasta with a tomato sauce, avoid using tomatoes in your salad. After you’ve decided on a menu, don’t forget to include drinks that complement your meal.
Ask your guests a few weeks beforehand if they have any allergies or dietary restrictions so you can provide them with acceptable options. Many people follow a vegan lifestyle or have food sensitivities, and you don’t want to be embarrassed when you don’t have any alternatives for your friends.
From the moment your guests come through the door, your entertaining duties are needed. However, parties don’t have to be overly structured to be organized. Determine a timeline for the evening’s activities, but keep it flexible. If your guests are in a lively conversation, there’s no need to cut it off just to start a game or serve dessert.
Have beverages and appetizers ready for your guests at the beginning of your dinner party. While they’re chatting, you can finish up anything you need to do to get the meal on the table. Don’t make them wait a long time before you announce that dinner is ready.
For your dinner party, you can spruce up your dining room and table to make your guests feel at home. Unless it’s a holiday, you don’t have to put too much emphasis on the decor.
Coordinate your table settings with fun colors, but if you’re not sure what color scheme to go with, use elegant neutrals like black, white, cream or gray. Arrange the plates and utensils in an attractive way, too. Include everything from place settings to cloth napkins for a complete look.
To make your setup stand out, place a centerpiece on your table. Fill your favorite vase with fresh flowers or get crafty with DIY decor. Check to make sure they don’t block anyone’s view because you don’t want to make them crane their necks over your elaborate centerpiece. Candles are another simple addition that can turn your setting soft and inviting.
Now that you’re armed with these helpful tips, you can start organizing your event. You can be confident in your hosting abilities after preparation, decoration and consideration for the evening. Get ready to have your friends or family over for a memorable time.