Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends

the ultimate guide to every family dinner party

Dinner parties are stressful to organize, especially ones during the holiday season. 

There’s so much to do concerning your decor, food, and ambiance. If you're looking for a checklist to host a successful dinner party, look no further. 

This will provide you with all the necessary must-haves to host a great dinner party, one where your distant cousin or chatty aunt can't stop and won't stop complimenting you.

Step 1. Prepare and Plan (Also, Consider a Theme)

Ideally, you would like your guests to feel comfortable when they come over to your house for dinner. A good first plan would be to clean up the house and ensure that it is not messy. These will show your guests that you are ready to welcome them into your home.

If you're looking to spice things up and don't wish to have a plain boring party, you might want to consider deciding on a theme. Having a theme will give everyone something to talk about and offer a bit of common ground. Let's be honest, it's more likely that your guests will remember the fun and conversations they had during the event if there is a theme involved.

Step 2. Preparing the Menu

It's important to plan your time to cook in a manner that doesn't keep you in the kitchen (and out of the fun) all night. Planning your menu can help you prepare and get the food ready before the party starts. A well-balanced menu with complementary flavors is important. You don't want to leave the guests feeling bloated or sluggish with a heavy menu.

It might be a good idea to share the menu with the guests to make sure everyone is comfortable and has no intolerances or allergies to any of the items. The last thing you would want is for someone to be left out!

Step 3. Drinks

Maintaining the flow of drinks throughout your party is an incredibly challenging feat. A dinner party is a performance art piece; you need all your pieces (good conversation, entertainment, food, and drink) to fall into just the right places.

Upon arrival, it would be a nice gesture to offer your guests a glass of bubbles to start the evening off right. But make sure to offer them their choice of drink. This may be either ales or lagers, red or white wines, or even various spirits. Pairing food with certain drinks tends to compliment them, so don't forget to top off those glasses during the meal as well. 

To set the night off right, you could even consider personalizing the drink you offer through a service like Grogtag custom wine and beer labels. They could even match your party's theme!

Liqueur after dinner is optional; you can drink a cognac, coffee cocktail, or lighter digestif vermouth.

Step 4. Entertainment for All

A dinner party is incomplete without music or games. Depending on the audience and the event, it would be a bonding exercise for the entire party to play some games to lift the spirits of the evening and allow your guests to interact with each other.

It creates playful banter within families and teaches both adults and children the importance of playing together. Having games or activities organized for all age groups makes it easier for you as a host to ensure things are going smoothly and to have fun as well.

Don’t Stress, Have Fun

Organizing and planning dinner parties is a tiresome task. However, do not forget to enjoy yourself and spend the evening with your guests.
This guide provides you with the basic tips and tricks when planning a dinner party that can work as a checklist to make sure you do not miss anything. It is important to remember that mishaps may occur and it's human nature to make mistakes, it’s how you handle them that matters.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

Share this article with a friend:

Free eNewsletter SignUp

Sally's Place on Facebook    Sally Bernstein on Instagram    Sally Bernstein at Linked In

Global Resources

Handmade Chocolates, Lillie Belle Farms

Food411 Food Directory