Dinner parties can be daunting. Don’t let them be! Use these tips to make your first party a success and look like a natural.
Plan, plan, plan!
The day’s arrived, now what?!
- First things, first, decide who you want to invite. Make sure it’s a group that all gets along and is somewhere between 8-10 people so you don’t get too overwhelmed! As always though, it’s up to you for how intimate you want your party to be.
- Ask about any food restrictions. It’s no fun to spend hours making the perfect cheese casserole only to realize one of your guests is lactose intolerant. Make sure to ask your guests ahead of time so they can enjoy the food you made!
- Cook easy and smart. Don’t try to make something you’ve never made the night of the party. If you’re known for a certain dish, make sure to modify the recipe so it’s enough for your party. Also don’t make a dish that involves constant stirring, flipping, etc.
- Check your stash! Make sure you have all the supplies you need to host a party (enough dishes, cutlery, napkins, and serving bowls). If not, go shopping the weekend before.
Let the party begin!
- Do the work ahead of time. Save so much time by doing the hard work, like cutting up vegetables and making baked desserts, the night before!
- Clean as you go. Casually throwing things away and washing dishes while cooking can be a LOT less daunting than coming to a kitchen that’s piled with trash after hosting a party.
- Spread the work. Ask reliable friends to make some of the smaller dishes, desserts, or setting up. Make it easier on yourself!
- Ice, ice, baby. This may seem silly, but ice is crucial at dinner parties. Make sure you stock up and buy a bag of ice the night before so no guests has to drink a room temperature beverage.
- Set the tone. As the host, you set the tone of the party. Go and greet your guests and make sure they feel comfortable. People follow what you do.
- Play music. Music always makes people more relaxed. Have some soft background music playing. Make your own playlist or go with Pandora or Spotify!
- Go easy on the apps. Appetizers are great. Who doesn’t love a good cheese plate? But, make sure to limit the options and size of appetizers so your guests still have room for the main course.
- Relax, it’s your party! The most important thing to remember is to have fun! Cliché, but so true. Things will inevitably go wrong, but that’s ok! Remember that tonight is about enjoying a meal with your friends.