Hosting a dinner party can be a stressful task. You have to make sure your house is spick and span, your dress immaculate, and the meal excites every taste bud it comes across!
The list goes on.
It won’t be wrong to say that the host can never chill and converse like guests arriving at the party. Unless you have an army of servants lined up after you.
Given how only a few of us enjoy such luxuries, there are some tips to ensure we can host a stress-less dinner party. You, too, can have a fun-filled and flawless evening with friends in the comfort of your home. It is all about embracing the responsibilities and gearing up to make people fall in love with your hosting traits.
Here are some things to prep for your next dinner party. If you follow the right track, you might become the favourite host in the friends/family circle:
- Set. Go!
Planning makes it a breeze to pull off a dinner party. It will help if you give yourself ample time for each task to minimize last-minute chaos. It enables you to tackle the glitches that pop out of nowhere.
For starters, choose a group of people you feel comfortable with. If you are looking to spice things up with a random guest, create an atmosphere that enables them to fit in.
Most importantly, before you hop onto designing a menu – ask about the allergies guests might have. If any guest has a religious observance or a severe allergy, ensure to consider those when planning the menu.
As for the overall planning, getting a few external hands on deck could be an intelligent decision. Fiona Leahy, the British party planner, says that professional outsourcing is the key to her busy life. Even if you can’t afford hefty charges, try assigning some duties to the family/friends.
- Create a stress-free kitchen environment
If your intention behind throwing this party was to show off your culinary skills, the main focus should be – food!
You have to keep things prim and proper in the kitchen to convey a message of comfort and expertise. So, stay unpleasant tasks out of the way before the party. Prep everything ahead of time and wash the knives, dishes, pots. Place it all where you can easily reach them.
Also, opt for meals you have tried before. And time the cooking of dishes in a way that doesn’t keep you in the kitchen overnight. Make dessert a night before, so you only have to put it in the oven or heat it before the dinner begins.
- Set the ambience
A few simple tweaks can take your dinner affair to a whole new level.
For instance, decorate the table with fresh flowers to put out a natural aroma in the room. Or you can set a subtle mood with scented candles and string fairy lights across the ceiling. If you keep the lamps dim and a sweet aroma in the room, the ambience would be exceptionally lit!
If you could do anything for the table, it would be to add a great centrepiece. It doesn’t have to be too fancy or expensive. You could also place a cake turntable in the centre with the delicious cake placed on it. Even if you place colourful flowers, it goes a long way!
- Plan a strategic menu
Throwing a party isn’t the same as tossing a few veggies and some pasta on a Friday night. You have to plan the menu in a way that there are no last-minute tasks left to do.
Keep in mind that something will most likely go wrong. Only a professional cook can prepare exotic meals for a party of 10 and 20 people. You better solicit a friend in the kitchen and join heads on how to come up with the scrumptious menu. Look for seasonal recipes like if it is cold weather, winter extract recipes that could be easy and helpful to prepare.
- Awaken the neat freak in you
It would be best if you clean up the mess right after the party. So next day, you can laze around in your PJs and relax. Some guests might offer to help you out. Take their help if you want, or tackle it all on your own.
Gather all plates, glasses, and everything lying around. You don’t have to run the dishwasher if it is too late or if you are too tired.
- Set a timeline for the party
Some people love filling parties with loads of fun activities. Others prefer a cosy chit-chat in the lounge. From the start to the end, everyone wants their guests to laugh and have a blast.
As a host, you should have a perspective of how things would go. Prepare an appetizer and a few drinks to set the mood. During this phase, swipe the dessert or lasagna in the oven to get ready at dinner time. Guests should not be kept waiting longer than 30 to 40 minutes before dinner.
After dinner or dessert, arrange a board game for the guests to have fun. Or, if they want, have them sit in the lounge or backyard where they could have spicy gossip time. The selection of post-dinner activities depends on the nature of your guests.
- Go easy on yourself
Set lower expectations for yourself.
There would be a mess, and things may go wrong. However, making yourself more nervous than you could handle will make this whole experience quite stressful. Store the extra stuff that you won’t need and allot some duties to other people.
You are the host, but holding a heavy load of responsibilities will wear you out during the party. Not only guests, you too deserve to have a blast!
There is nothing better than spending a cosy night with friends and family. A little planning could weed out all the blunders and let you have the time of your life right at your home!
We hope this blog helped you put things in perspective. Let us know how you aim how you would arrange the next dinner at your home.