How to host a dinner party

So you’re having guests over for the first time and you want to impress. Movie nights accompanied by fast food require little creative effort and can make first-time visitors hungry for more. What really makes a lasting impression is having a grown-up dinner party. Follow these steps to hosting a dinner party with resounding success.

Tip 1: Add Up the Number of Guests

When planning a dinner party you want to make sure you invite the perfect amount of guests for your furniture and space. Too many people makes everyone feel crammed, whereas too few people can lead to awkward conversations. Make sure you find the perfect number that fits your indoor or outdoor dining space.

Tip 2: Save the Dinner Date

Once you have settled on the number of people you’d like to invite it’s time to schedule the date. We suggest hosting a dinner party on a night where no one has work the next morning. This is the safest and most stress-free option. Make sure you give people enough time to plan, sending the invite two weeks to a month in advance will work best!

You re Invited, message on paper, smart phone and coffee on table, 3D rendering

Tip 3: Decide on Casual or Formal 

Do you want your dinner party to be casual and more buffet style? Or take the formal route, complete with china place settings and linen napkins?. Either way works, especially if the presentation is thoughtful and personalized with a theme and activities.

Turn your living area into an exclusive dining experience. Grab your favorite dinnerware, create a snazzy centerpiece and set the table in style.  A dining room server with wine rack would be ideal for a party like this because it holds all the necessities.

Tip 4: Choose What to Serve

The same question you ask every day is equally as important when hosting guests, “What to eat?”  There are three ways to approach this, each option is flexible and totally up to your time and budget constraints.

  1. Plan and prepare each dish yourself ( key into your inner Martha Stewart)
  2. Make it a potluck meal—you make the entree while guests supply side dishes, salad, bread and/or dessert
  3. Cater the meal from your favorite restaurant or cafe ( this may be a pricey option, so re-visit options 1 or 2)

No matter what route you take, Check out these delicious options:

For a casual dinner setting: fill the sofa table, coffee table and end tables with trays of your favorite hors d’oeuvres. Include a variety of munchies like pizza bites, buttered popcorn, guacamole (see recipe below) with chips and veggies. A dry sparkling wine pairs well with these type of snacks. Enjoy!


Fresh Guacamole Recipe

  • 1 tomato
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 onion, shaved
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 ounces of mild green chilies, drained and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Place tomato in a cup of boiling water for one minute. Remove from water, rinse in cold water and peel and dice. Cut avocados in half and remove the pits and peel. Chop and mash in bowl. Add lemon juice, tomato, onion, garlic, chilies, salt and stir. This fast and easy recipe can be prepared moments before guests arrive for ultimate freshness. Chill and serve with chips.

Tip 5:  Make the Dinner Party Memorable

1. Ask invites to dress in their favorite cocktail attire and serve fancy drinks and appetizers. Set the scene with fun or elegant decorations.

2. Style the party around favorite actors/actresses or a popular TV show. Ask guests to dress in character and serve show-inspired food and drinks. Set up a photo booth or a snazzy background to take photos in front of.

3. Plan fun activities. Charades is a classic and it never gets old. There’s also many group games you can play through apps on your smart phone. Trivia is always a personal favorite.