With warmer temperatures on the rise now is the perfect time to break out your best stuff and host a dinner party. They are a great excuse to get together with friends and/or family in an intimate setting either on a weekday or during the weekend. Yet, as fun as these get-togethers can be, they can also be rather intimidating if you’re unprepared. That’s why we’ve created this list of 5 great tips that will help you get started on planning your next dinner party.
1. Good Things Start With A Plan
This is always an important first step. Before you do anything else write down your plan. You’ll need to decide when you want to hold the dinner party, who you plan on inviting and what meal you plan on making. Doing this makes everything else start falling into place. If you know who is coming then you can figure out the tricky things like food preferences and allergies. This will influence what choices you make for things like theme, food, cocktails and music.
- Invite guests two or more weeks ahead of when you plan on having the party. We recommend doing this over the phone so you can inquire about details like food allergies and preferences such as which Michael Angelo’s dish they might enjoy as a meal or appetizer.
- Try to create an evening that is compatible with your guests, their tastes, ages and the atmosphere that you’re creating.
- Things rarely ever go perfectly as planned. Always create a bit of room for error when creating your schedule. This will allow you to focus more on enjoying the party yourself.
Once you have a plan pick a recipe that would please your guests and that you’re good at. You can also buy Club sized portions of many of our entrées and serve them a delicious, authentic Italian meal made from scratch. Avoiding the temptation to pull out a new recipe that you have never tried before or one that is above your typical skill level will ensure that you spend more time enjoying yourself with your guests.
3. Loosen Up With A Cocktail
Cocktails are a fun, easy way to add a bit of flair to your dinner party. Find one that compliments your meal or create one yourself!
- If you’re going to make a cocktail, buy the ingredients in bulk and premix them in a pitcher before setting them out with a bucket of ice.
- Cocktails that use seasonal ingredients that match your theme add that little something extra to your party.
4. Set The Mood With Music
You can use music to subtly dictate the mood of the party from the time the guests arrive to when the last one says goodnight. All you have to do is create playlists ahead of time to match the kind of atmosphere you want.
- Keeping the volume lower will promote conversation while turning it up will encourage dancing.
- Quiet classical music is great for dinner unless you want a less formal atmosphere.
- Make sure that if you do anticipate dancing at any point you clear a space and move any fragile decorations to a safe corner.
5. Calibrate Your Cooking
If you’re cooking your meal from scratch, buy ingredients in advance (a week if you can manage it). With proper planning you should only be picking up a few fresh ingredients as well as last minute ones the day before. Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to prepare and cook so that the meal is done when you want it to be.
- Start ahead of time. Prepare as many ingredients as possible the night before if you know that your schedule might be tight the day of the party.
- If you need help ask for it. Asking friends to come over early to help is always ok. Serve them a drink or a cocktail and kick the party off a little early.
Explore our Pinterest page for more party hosting ideas!