By Living Better on April 14, 2022
I never thought I’d have the opportunity to have a casual dinner party, but now we can all get together and enjoy each other’s company in our own homes. I think it’s important for people to go into this with an open-minded approach. These events tend to be low-key, which doesn’t mean they don’t work well or aren’t fun.
We might not invite guests who want a more formal affair. So here are my top ten tips on how to host a great dinner party for couples and friends at home that will set the mood for everyone from relaxed and laid back to full-on socialite status.
- Decide what vibe you want to create around your table. To do so, consider whom to invite (i.e., if you’re having a wine tasting event, make sure you include people who like wine). Think about current events, music, television shows, etc. You can also put out plates on your dining room tables for people to share appetizers and drinks before the main meal. People will start arriving throughout the day, and by 3 p.m., you should already feel pretty comfortable about where everything is located. If you’re worried about space, it’s okay to bring along extra dishes and utensils for them to use. Just don’t forget to collect the dirty dishes.
- Don’t forget the drinks! Get the appropriate beverage, such as Highlands 41 Chardonnay. You should provide the appropriate number of beverages per guest. Since you don’t necessarily want to be overly intoxicated when mingling with your guests, limit yourself by only providing one glass per person. However, if your guests seem like they might prefer a few more shots, you could always buy several liquor bottles at once and split them evenly among your guests.
- Put your best foot forward. Putting time into choosing the right outfit for yourself and your home brings out your true personality. Make sure you look good and presentable and take care. Remember that your table settings and décor should always complement the overall theme.
- Decorate your house properly. No matter how much you love the color orange or are obsessed with old-school pinball machines, don’t decorate your entire living area just because you love those things. It makes no sense to spend hundreds of dollars and hours making your house look perfect just for one night. The same goes for adding any special touches to your table. Instead, let the food speak for itself as the most interesting part of the evening.
- Have a clear idea of what the menu will be. Please don’t get caught up in the moment and try to wing it. Write down what you plan to serve and stick to it.
- Allow for ample seating. Some couples may come over to your place and not know what else to do. They may be interested in getting to know each other better, which is fine, but they could also be looking for quality alone time. That being said, you don’t want to give anyone too little attention.
- Get some music prepared beforehand. Music plays a huge role during dinner parties, and there isn’t anything worse than finding out halfway through the meal that it’s been playing all along. Take a moment to pick out the songs you’d like to play and prepare them ahead of time so you can listen to them while cooking.
- Start small, but have lots of options available. When deciding on your first course, choose something simple that feels natural. I recommend a salad, soup, or even pizza. These are easy to eat and offer plenty of variety. Additionally, since this is supposed to be a casual event, you can always add additional courses later on if it seems necessary. Even though this is considered a casual event, it’s still nice to introduce new foods now and then to allow your guests to get a taste of different cuisines.
- Let your imagination go wild! Sometimes it helps to think outside the box and develop unique ways to enjoy various parts of an animal. For example, roasted chicken bones can be used as skewers for grilled vegetables or kebabs. Toasted pecans and bacon can be crunchy crumbles and rolled in flour to coat meatballs or fish.
- Be prepared for unexpected guests. Some friends may show up unexpectedly, and you’ll need to find a way to accommodate these additions. Maybe they can stay in an extra bedroom or make themselves comfortable on the couch. If you’re hosting more than four people or have a large group coming, consider creating smaller groups where everyone has their own space. This will help prevent disagreements and keep the focus on enjoying the food rather than socializing.
If you follow these steps, you don’t have to worry about stressing yourself out before and after your dinner party. You can relax and enjoy yourself knowing that everything will go smoothly.
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