Antoni Porowski, a host of the TV show Queer Eye, said, “there should be no rules at your dinner party.”
It’s a nice sentiment but not very helpful if you’ve never hosted a dinner party before. You know as well as anyone that there are some rules to follow when you host dinner parties. You need to choose a date, time, clean your house, prepare food, and try to enjoy yourself despite this never-ending task list.
It can be quite overwhelming. But don’t worry, this simple beginner’s guide to dinner parties will tell you everything you need to know so you can host with confidence.
Be selective picking your guest list
Your first experience as a host will live or die by your dinner party guest list. All too often, first-time hosts think they can invite the same number of people for a dinner party as they would a regular party.
This is a recipe for disaster. Invite no more than five other people to your first dinner party and three is even better. Choose close friends and family who will be sympathetic if something goes wrong so you don’t feel stressed.
Choose a food and drink theme
The pièce de résistance of any dinner party is the menu. When choosing dinner recipes, it’s important to pick dishes that don’t need a lot of attention before you serve. Cold dishes, soups, and stews are all winners.
And if you’re still having trouble choosing which meals to serve, choose a cuisine for all three courses. You could choose crowd-pleasers like Italian or Mexican or think outside the box and choose Korean or Swedish. But make sure you choose the right spices and vegetables for Swedish meatballs!
Pair the food with cocktails and liqueur from your chosen cuisine. But it’s important to have lots of options for wine, beer, and soft drinks too.
Create the right ambiance
Aside from the food, the vibe is the next most important consideration when you host dinner parties. Dim your lights or invest in lamps to create mood lighting. Choose upbeat yet mellow dinner music that won’t hinder conversation flow.
Dinner party preparation is also super important for ambiance. You don’t want to be answering the door half-dressed with a vacuum in your hand. Tidy your home and set the table before you even start cooking because that’s easier to do after they arrive.
If you are inviting guests that have never met each other before, prepare some lighthearted dinner party activities. You could play Pictionary, charades, or Who Am I?
Host Dinner Parties and Be the Host With the Most
When you host dinner parties, you should be having as much fun as your guests. And as long as you follow this guide and do your preparation, there’s no reason why you can’t have a great time too.
Need more recipe inspiration and ideas for dishes to serve at your next dinner party? Browse our website for tons more foodie tips and tricks!