Throughout my travels, I have met so many fascinating and unique people from all over the world. Whenever these fellow travellers come through my city, I get the urge to bring the people in my life together so that they can enjoy each other’s company. And what better way to do this than to facilitate connection and conversation over amazing food? Dinner parties are a spectacular idea because they can look so many different ways—depending on the mood you are looking to create. Here are my top five tips for hosting a great dinner party.
Pick a theme ahead of time
The first step to planning a great dinner party is to decide on the vibe of the party. Answer the following questions for yourself to guide you in the right direction:
- What kind of party are you looking to have?
- Is it casual and low-key or upscale and formal?
How you answer these questions will influence the way that you plan the rest of the party, from the food to the home decor. Remember, there is no bad way to throw a dinner party. Whether it’s a backyard potluck or a four-course meal, the important thing is that you and your guests have fun!
If you are someone who enjoys decorating for a theme, feel free to go all out. However, if you’re like me and you have neither the time nor the resources to spend on decoration for a one-off dinner party, you’re going to want to keep things simple. Luckily, simple decorations can be elegant, creating a great ambience for an amazing party. Try not to overthink it! A quick flower delivery and some string lights can turn a backyard into a lovely dinner party setting that your guests won’t soon forget.
Keep the guest list small
In my opinion, a dinner party is best when the guest list is on the smaller side. This has two major benefits for your event. First, it cuts down on the amount of work that you have to do to prepare. After all, throwing a dinner party is no easy feat! From the prep to the cleanup, a smaller guest list keeps your labour at a minimum, allowing you to actually enjoy your own party.
Second, a smaller invite list creates a more intimate experience for your guests. I love a dinner party where interesting conversations can be had and genuine connections can be made, which is infinitely easier when the guest list is kept small.
Don’t panic. I’m not suggesting that you need to create original invites for every party (although you absolutely can if you want to!). However, a personalized invite is more likely to be accepted than a general invite. Even if you decide to invite virtually, sending a one-on-one message communicates that the individual matters to you. This is especially important if you are bringing together folks who might not already know each other. Meeting new people can be anxiety-producing for some, but a personalized invite can assuage some of that trepidation and help your guests to feel more comfortable.
Don’t be afraid of pre-made food
When throwing a dinner party, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the work that you have to do. Between being the party planner, organizer, and host, it can feel like you don’t have a second to eat yourself! Buying pre-made food can cut down on this workload, keeping the evening manageable. Even if you love to cook, supplementing your homemade food with some store-bought desserts or appetizers can make the night a little easier, allowing you to focus on the amazing travel stories of your friends without worrying about what’s in the oven.
Hosting a dinner party doesn’t have to be a stressful endeavour. Ensure it goes smoothly by using the tips above.