I love a good party. From brunch to game night, I always try to be the hostess with the mostest. Nothing makes me feel more like my kindred spirit, Monica Geller than hosting a kick-ass dinner party. It may be small + intimate, but it takes planning + a lot of work to pull off a good event. There are several things you want to consider when planning your festive feast.
Of all the gatherings you could host, a dinner party is one of the most formal you could be hosting. It is certainly not one you want to embark on as a novice. For a dinner party, you want to ensure it has the right vibe. That starts with the purpose. Are you celebrating something? Do you have a theme? Deciding the why behind your party will help inform the guest list, menu, and decor. Choose wisely, as the vibe sets the tone for the entire evening. Pro-tip: don’t forget music for some nice ambiance.
The Guest List
Who you invite to your party matters. It may seem harsh, but this is the time to skip the invite to your friend who always brings along a plate of Jell-O shots. That is not your vibe. While you want to have a good mix of people, you want to make sure it’s people with things in common. Is one person going to stick out like a sore thumb? Are you inviting all couples and one single friend? These are things you want to think about. The number one rule for your dinner party guest list is to never invite more people than you have seats for. You can always send out invites later to fill empty seats.
Pro-tip: Speaking of invitations, send some out! you can always go with the tried + true Facebook invite, but why not spruce it up with a custom email or even paper invitation (gasp). If you want something cute, check out Minted. I am obsessed with their designs by all types of artists.
Since your guest list is smaller + more refined, you should know off the bat if anyone has any dietary restrictions. If you don’t know about plus ones, ask. While family style is certainly an option for food that may work depending on your vibe, my party planning idol Lauren Conrad is not a fan. Having designated courses is more refined + elegant. You don’t have to cook up a 12-course feast, but 3-5 defined courses would certainly impress all your friends.
Course 2: Soup or Salad
Course 3: Main Course + Sides
Course 4: Dessert
Course 5: Night Cap
For decor, it’s all about the table setting. The first you have to do is use real plates. They don’t have to be fancy, but this is not the time to stick with paper. In fact, you’ll need more than one plate. You don’t have to get so fancy that you need all kinds of wine glasses, but you are probably going to need a few different forks depending on your menu. Don’t make people eat chocolate pie with the same fork they used on pasta. Lauren Conrad once again comes to the rescue with all the cutlery + dinnerware you’ll be needing.
Don’t forget about the centerpiece! Flowers + candles look great on any table to add some color + pizzaz. Name cards are also a nice touch if you have a seating chart for your guests. You can also never go wrong with a cheese board. Pro-tip: Nothing says fancy like cloth napkins.
Follow the tips in this post + you’ll be throwing a fancy soiree in no time! Start planning your perfect dinner party just in time for the holiday season!