Throwing a dinner party is like a right of passage for any adult. Whether you’re planning a dinner party specifically for an event or just to have a fun night in with your friends, a dinner party expert or are planning on hosting your first, you always want to put your best foot forward to impress your family members and close friends. There’s a lot to consider when planning a dinner party; food, decor, guest list, wine options—white, red, rosé? While it does sound intimidating, dinner parties can be pulled off without spending too much and stressing over it whenever you can. First-time hosts and the most seasoned of party throwers alike can learn something from this blog. Keep reading to find out how you can have a dinner party of your dreams with these easy steps!
Have you decided on a theme or what kind of dinner party you want to host and when? Sit down and plan it out before you hand over invites. You don’t want a theme for your party that might offend someone, so you should think of the ideas you want to do for your event. Is it a fun and unconventional dinner party? Or something traditional where you serve family dishes and show off your wine collection? Pick something that you and your future guests will enjoy and work on that. If you want to go the extra mile, decorate and dress up for that theme. Cinco de Mayo? Think of gourmet taco bars and burritos, and bust your sombrero from the old box in the cabinet. 80’s theme for the ultimate throwback? Toss in some fake neon lights and mix 80’s themed cocktails and appetizers for the ultimate instagrammable event. It just takes a fun and creative idea to start all these. It’s better to start as early as now with the small program - are there games or dancing? You should start as early as now. There are fun games that you can do to make your party fun and interesting - try the Great Minds Think Alike game, Celebrity: Who am I game? or even something classic like charades
Now that you’ve worked on your theme and date, it’s time to invite some people. You can be fun with your invitations - something interactive your unique, or go for traditional. You can even cut back the effort and just send it through social media or email—you can spend your energy somewhere else. But don’t forget to ask if any of your guests have special dietary restrictions, you don’t want them sad in your event now, do you? Keep in mind the headcount—how many people can you accommodate? Will it be a fun but intimate event? Or something extravagant to welcome the new roaring 20’s? Be realistic with how many people you’ll be inviting, just make sure you can handle them.
Everything starts somewhere, and like all parties, you need to prepare beforehand. This should take place days before the event so you won’t have to stress yourself out last minute. The preparation will include the ingredients, props, and other materials you want to use in the event. Here are the things you need to prepare beforehand:
- Shopping. In shopping, you need to make a list (you’d be surprised how handy a lame old shopping list can be) and don’t trust your memory. Check the ingredients of each dish and search up if there are alternatives—the last thing you want is to search the entire city for that special salsa listed in your grandma’s recipe. You can pre-marinade the meat a day before the event, so all that flavour’s absorbed in the meat cuts.Next would be decor shopping. If you’re not that familiar with the theme you chose, you can always search up ideas on the internet. There are easy tutorials for DIY decors that you can follow, and they’re usually a step-by-step process. You can also recycle old decors and transform them into new ones—you’ll just need a few poster paints (it can be washed off if you don’t want it anymore) and transform it into something more fun.
- Cleaning. Now that you have decorations and the ingredients, time to clean the house. Your dining and living rooms are the focal points here, but if you have a wonderful backyard with amazing blooms, you should work on that too. Dinner parties don’t only mean food, but it’s a gathering wherein you catch up with friends and talk about the past—and the talking happens everywhere!You don’t have to deep clean the entire house—you need your energy in other things too! Mop the floor to remove dust and small debris, and vacuum the carpets as well. Wipe the surfaces and the items on them, you don’t want your mom commenting how dusty some of them are! The next thing you should do is to wash all the untouched crockery and cutlery that you’ll use on the event.
- Decorating. Decorating actually takes a while, and sometimes can be as tedious as the cooking itself. DIYs are fun and cost-effective, but make sure you do these days before the event. There are tons of fun DIYs you can reuse again in future events, and most of them are recycled as well! Even if it’s handmade and recycled, it can still make any party an Instagrammable event!If you have kids, it’s better if you include them in making easy tasks—like gluing pieces together or colouring them. This can also function as a sweet bonding time with your kids before the party. If they have any cute ideas that might work with your theme, you should definitely make it with them. It can be a great conversation piece.
- Cooking. Whether it’s a family recipe or a bunch of recipes you found online, take time to prepare these dishes. Choosing the best wine to pair it with is as crucial as preparing the dishes—a good wine can improve the flavour of any dish you serve. Rushing the main star of the event won’t end well, take time to prepare the ingredients, cook it, and clean the kitchen afterwards.Plating them can be fun—you can try out new plating designs and ideas to improve the taste (how the dish looks affect the taste of it, plus your guests will definitely post it on their social media pages!).
These are the basic steps in making your party an Instagrammable event, but what’s important is the conversation you have with your friends and the food you want them to savour. Just have fun and the party is already a success!