Having friends in for a dinner party should be fun. For many people, it ends up being a stressful situation. If having the event catered is out of the question, there are ways to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Here are some tips that will help.
Take a good look at the guest list and identify any special dietary needs that one or more guests may have. The goal is to ensure that there’s plenty of food for everyone to enjoy. Remember that the dinner party does need an appetizer, a salad, soup, and entrée and sides, and a dessert at a minimum. While it may difficult to find selections that take into account different needs, planning the menu several weeks in advance makes it easier to shop for all the right ingredients.
While some people will enjoy wine with dinners, others will prefer hot or cold tea, coffee, or sparkling water. Have a nice selection on hand and be prepared to provide whatever the guests like. This approach ensures no one is left with nothing to drink other than tepid water.
If any of the ingredients or actual dishes can be prepared in advance, do it. A dessert that keeps well in the refrigerator overnight is fine. The same goes for side dishes and soups. That will mean less good to prepare in the hours leading up to the party.
This is often one of the more challenging aspects of the planning. Making a sketch of the dining table will help. Place guests next to one another based on their likes, hobbies, and interests. If two of the guests are not that close, it’s fine to place them at opposite ends of the table. The goal is to ensure that everyone has someone interesting to talk with on each side as well as across the table.
An uptight host will bring down any party, even one that’s planned perfectly. No matter what happens, the host needs to maintain calm, friendly, and appear capable of handling anything. That attitude will help a shy guest feel more at home.
A dinner party is intended to be a relaxing and fun time for all. Plan ahead and everyone will enjoy themselves and look forward to the next get together.