Dinner parties are an excellent way to mingle with friends over delicious foods. Unfortunately, throwing the perfect dinner party can be a time-consuming and stressful endeavor without proper planning. Apart from determining your menu ahead of time, here are a few additional secrets to help ensure your party goes smoothly.
1. Take an inventory of your tableware.
At least several days before your event, take stock of all the dishes and platters on which you plan to serve food. This includes utensils and glassware as well. Once you see what you have, you can determine if you need to purchase or borrow any pieces. The day before the dinner, set the table and have your serving dishes ready to go. It will be one less task for you to worry about on the day of the party.
2. Donâ€™t forget the ambience.
Lighting and music can help set the tone of any dinner party. Be sure any music is tuned low enough to not compete with conversation. Check out centerpieces in advance so they donâ€™t block your guestsâ€™ views of one another. And skip scented candles on the night of the party. Unscented pillar candles will cast a welcoming glow without carrying a scent that may clash with your meal.
3. Choose easy and elegant appetizers.
The appetizer course is a time for guests to get settled. As a host, itâ€™s important that you arenâ€™t spending most of this time in the kitchen. Store-bought items such as olives, nuts and pre-made spreads are crowd pleasing and easy to put together. Simple crostini topped with an ingredient like Alaskan Smoked Salmon & Seafood will add a touch of elegance to your selection.
4. Keep the conversation flowing.
At almost any gathering there is usually a natural lull in conversation. But, if you start to feel the silence stretching, be prepared with one or two neutral conversation starters. This can also help out with guests who may be new to the group or generally more shy.
5. Move dessert to a different location.
Instead of serving your dessert course at the same table where you ate dinner, consider moving the party into the living room or to an outdoor space. This gives your guests a chance to get up and stretch a bit after a delicious meal before having a sweet bite. Itâ€™s also a good opportunity for those people who are ready to wind down for the night slip away gracefully without feeling rude.
Hosting the perfect dinner party doesnâ€™t have to be a source of stress. These tips will keep your night stress-free from start to finish.