Elevate Your Dinner Parties with These 7 Tips

Some of us love to try out new and exciting restaurants every week, sampling the very best our cities have to offer. But a few select people prefer to be the restaurant, hosting dinner parties to entertain and delight their friends and test out new recipes on the regular. 

If you’re one of those people, you’re probably always brainstorming new ideas for how to impress your guests and outdo yourself each and every time. 

Whether you’re brand new to hosting or you’ve exhausted every recipe you’ve ever found online, here are some tips to elevate your next dinner party. 

Set the Scene

The vibe of your event is everything, so you need to perfect it. Make sure that you choose the best and most comfortable area of your home where your guests will feel at ease. 

If you’re an avid host and entertainer, then shopping for exquisite furniture like high end dining tables and comfortable chairs will be well worth the investment. Make sure that your lighting is beautiful and atmospheric, and throw on a soft, romantic playlist over the speakers for some relaxing background music. Above all else, make sure your home is clean and tidy! 

Plan a Well-Thought-Out Menu

Your menu is another crucial aspect of your event, and getting it just right will have your guests fawning over your skills. If you can’t come up with a plan on your own, you can find countless dinner party menu ideas online and even options for a budget-friendly dinner party.

Make sure that all your courses complement one another well – don’t combine dishes that are too rich and heavy or too light, as you don’t want your guests to leave hungry! 

Don’t forget to consider any dietary restrictions your guests might have so that you can cater to their needs. 

Create a Beautiful Table Setting

It’s all in the details, and your table setting is where you can really pull out all the stops and make things look beautiful without actually putting in too much effort. 

Use a bunch of fresh flowers in a vase and some candles for a centerpiece, lay down your best tablecloth, and to make things unique and special, print out name cards to place at each seat. You can find a fun technique to fold your napkins (opt for cloth ones if you can) and leave a flower or a small gift on each plate. 

Offer Welcome Drinks

If you want your dinner party to feel like a real event, consider serving welcome drinks for your guests as they arrive. This could be a special cocktail you’ve designed for the occasion or a simple glass of bubbly. 

If you’ve set a theme for your dinner party, you can match the drink with the theme of the night (think margaritas for a Mexican night) and hand them out as each guest arrives. This will feel special and give your guests something to enjoy as they mingle and with for everyone to get started. 

Encourage Conversation and Interaction

Naturally, you want people to have a good time at your dinner party, but there’s no real way of controlling whether or not everyone gets along, especially if the guest list isn’t already familiar with one another. 

You’ll want to encourage everyone to chat and get to know one another so that you don’t need to spend all evening micromanaging your guests while you’re trying to focus on cooking. A great trick for this is to place a set of conversation cards on the table. These can have questions for guests to ask one another, and they might be funny, meaningful, or even surface-level get-to-know-you questions. 

Offer Thoughtful Party Favors

To make your dinner party more memorable, you might think of giving your guests a unique gift for them to take home as a token of your appreciation for them and their presence at your party.

This doesn’t need to be an expensive or extravagant gift – something as simple as a flower picked from your backyard will do! However, some other ideas include a homemade item (like a candle or a small batch of cookies), a personalized keyring, or even a simple polaroid photograph from the evening. 

Capture the Memories

On the topic of photographs, another way to make the evening special is to make sure you’re capturing it. Encourage your guests to take photographs and selfies together, and if you have one, placing a polaroid camera on the table can be great fun. 

This will encourage people to take pictures to take home without spending too much time on their smartphones.

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