A dinner party is usually a tight-knit, low-key affair centered around excellent food and conversation. To foster the right connectedness with you and your guests, you should make sure you have everything you need to make them feel comfortable and cared for. Whether the event is classy and elegant with a few dozen guests, or simply an intimate get-together with friends, you should always facilitate a fun and relaxing environment.
Ask yourself these essential questions before hosting your dinner party and you’re sure to make it an evening to remember.
Do guests have any food allergies or intolerances?
It’s a lovely thought to want to make your favorite food for your guests. However, your close friends and family might have a dietary restriction you may not be aware of that has never come up in conversation or that you may not recall, so it’s important to check with your guests prior to putting together your menu.
It would really spoil the party if your gluten-intolerant guest couldn’t enjoy pasta and breadsticks and you didn’t have a backup, or you made a sauce with a trace of peanuts and your guest had an allergic reaction. Additionally, your guest simply might not like something on the menu, and you should spare them the awkwardness of pretending to eat and enjoy it.
Do you have all the equipment you need?
Party rental equipment is less expensive than you might think, and you’ll be able to host a much more successful and comfortable party if you have the right tools at your disposal. This includes dishware, cutlery, hot and cold serving trays, buffet tables, seating, tables, and much more.
For bigger parties, you can even rent stages and sound systems for any hired performers. You won’t regret going the extra mile to get party rental equipment if it saves you countless time and effort. Plus, most rental services offer setup, takedown, delivery, and pickup, so you don’t have to worry about anything.
Can you cook a high-quality meal for everyone?
Before you set your mind to cooking a big dinner party for a dozen hungry guests, consider if you’re skilled enough, if you have enough time, and if doing so would cause you a great amount of stress. If you and/or your other hosts can manage it, great. But if you want a fancy dinner and you don’t feel confident in your cooking skills, consider hiring a caterer or private chef.
There are many obvious benefits to getting your food made for you or delivered, but one you might not have thought of is how much time and energy it saves you. Cooking for a large group is exhausting, and having to make sure they’re all warm and ready on time is a big undertaking. You might finally get to dinnertime and not even have the energy to entertain your guests or enjoy yourself. If you see that happening, consider other options.
Do you have enough beverages?
Just because it’s a dinner party doesn’t mean you should focus on the food and forget everything else! Make sure you have enough beverages – alcoholic or otherwise – to quench your guests’ thirst throughout the whole night.
Not sure how much to get? A general rule of thumb is to assume at least one drink per hour per person, then get extras in case someone still wants more. Some people advise to plan for at least two drinks for each person if it’s cocktail hour. Chances are, guests will bring beverages to your party themselves, but that’s not guaranteed, so you should always make sure you have enough to share. Make sure you purchase non-alcoholic beverage options for anyone who may not drink or who may be the designated driver for the evening, as well.
Do you have enough space for coats and shoes?
It’s a simple thing to remember, but it’s annoying if you forget to think about it. Simply make sure you’ve assigned enough space for your guests’ coats, shoes, and bags when they arrive!
Did you unload the dishwasher?
Here’s your friendly reminder to clear the dishwasher before the party starts! It’ll make your future much happier, we promise.
Have you stocked up on snacks and nibblers?
Your guests should have a moment to chit-chat and unwind before everyone takes their place for dinner. Besides drinks, your guests would certainly enjoy the presence of a few appetizers to munch on. Also, a snack tray gives people a central point to gather around and make mingling easy.
You can offer a bowl with chips and salsa, or you can prepare tantalizing amuse-bouches if you’re hosting a fancy affair. Make sure your snacks are very light and not filling, otherwise a guest that arrives hungry might fill up on snacks and not eat enough of the delicious dinner you prepared!
Relax and have fun!
A dinner party is meant to be intimate and enjoyable. Take a breather and relax, and if you’ve followed our tips and done your planning, it’ll go wonderfully. Enjoy!