Hosting a dinner party can be so stressful--after all, there's so much to think about: the food, the drinks, the table setting, the seating arrangements...sometimes you may even wonder if it's worth it! Well, we're here to tell you that it sure is! Throwing a dinner party is a great way to spend time with family and friends, and it doesn't have to involve anything elaborate or over the top at all. We'll show you some of the best dinner party tips and tricks that will help you to relax and enjoy yourself at your own dinner party, too!
Be The Best Dinner Party Host
Serve The Best Foods
You’re no doubt going to want to offer your guests the best meal you can afford. From appetizers to dessert, however, you'll have to consider what to serve while taking into account any of your guests dietary restrictions. Maybe you have friends who are vegetarian or vegan, halal or gluten-free. Be sure to speak with them before you plan your menu so you aren't serving foods that they won't be able to enjoy.
As for the meal, consider an appetizer such a simple Caprese salad or put together a meat-free charcuterie board, with a diverse selection of different cheeses, crackers and fresh and dried fruits. For the main course, a simple baked chicken or grilled steak with a vegetarian option (like pasta) might work perfectly. You can also try stuffed cabbage rolls (which can be made vegetarian by swapping out the meat for a meat substitute, beans or lentils), or burgers on warm Hawaiian rolls served with a variety of toppings. Grilled or roasted veggies and grains like couscous or quinoa make the perfect side dishes.
Offer The Best Libations
One of the easiest ways to serve beverages to your guests is by creating small beverage stations. Pick a couple of spots in your home (like the dining room, kitchen or living room) to set up areas where you can offer a variety of sodas, beers from local IPAs and red and white wines. If you plan on serving hard liquor, create just one beverage station for that. Keep the selection small--vodka, rum and gin, for example--can create a myriad of drink recipes. Add seltzer, soda and one or two other mixers as well as accouterments like olives, lemon and lime wedges. And, of course, make sure you have plenty of ice on hand.
Fun & Games
Spending time eating, drinking and chatting with your friends is the point of any good dinner party. And to keep the conversation flowing (and maybe enjoy a bit of friendly competition), you can add a fun game or two into the mix. A cheeky game of Cards Against Humanity, Pictionary or Beanboozled can be a real hoot. To really up the ante, you can even offer your winning guests a prize, like a bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers or some decadent chocolates!
As Little Mess As Possible
Honestly, the worst part of any dinner party is the clean up. From dirty dishes to glasses, half eaten food and--ugh--stains, there's no getting around having to tackle the mess. But if you tidy up throughout the night, chances are at the end of the evening the mess you're left with can be drastically reduced.
Here's a few ideas: After each course is served, remove the previous course's plate and immediately load into your dishwasher. If that's not possible (or you don't have a dishwasher), then neatly stack them on the counter in an out of the way spot. Clearing the table of used napkins and other disposable dishware is something else you can do after dinner, then again after dessert. Additionally, don't feel weird about asking your friends to pitch in: chances are they WANT to help!
Do you have any of your own tips for throwing a fabulous dinner party? Let us know in the comments below!