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How To Host A Dinner Party: Tips And Ideas For Entertaining!

What Is A Dinner Party?

When you host a dinner party, in actuality it’s anything you want it to be. It could be formal or informal. It could be appetizers only, tapas style, simply elegant with a few people, or buffet style with many guests. However, the key is to go more casual the larger the number of guests.

According to the dictionary a dinner party is; a social occasion at which guests eat dinner together. However, keep in mind whether it’s simply elegant or super casual, the whole goal of a dinner party is hospitality.

What time should a dinner party start? Some people prefer to eat dinner early, and some later. In my experience, it seems 7:00 PM is best.

A dinner party that starts at 7:00 PM allows enough time for guests to get ready if the dinner party is on a work night, and it allows for the hostess to get last minute details together, and is early enough that dinner can be leisurely with the party ending at a reasonable hour. 

How long after guests arrive should dinner be served? Good question! The 30-minute rule is a good rule of thumb.

Hosting A Dinner Party Menu

Advance planning will ultimately make a dinner party that much easier to pull off. Making accurate lists and giving yourself plenty of time for each task will minimize chaos and help you tackle the inevitable glitches that arise.

From casseroles, to a Taco Bar, to Chinese Take-out, to delicious Barbecue on the grill, to Beef Wellington. No matter what you choose to serve at your dinner party just make sure that you have enough food for everyone, and that you serve coffee and dessert!

And speaking of dessert, keep in mind, there’s nothing wrong with serving ice cream and cookies for dessert. Keep it simple! 

Host A Dinner Party Etiquette

Do use cloth napkins. And do consider seating. If you’ve invited eight or fewer guests, allow them to seat themselves; if more than eight guests, use place cards.

Do light some candles for a bit of ambiance! It’s what makes a dinner party a party.

Do make a playlist. Background music makes things all the more festive! Don’t make the music too loud. No one wants to shout over music, even if it’s a great remix of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.

Keep in mind, if your friends enjoy the occasional adult beverage, if they’re driving home, as the hostess you have to be responsible, you don’t want to have people drinking and driving. So call a taxi, Lyft, or Uber for your guests if necessary.

Inevitably, your guests will ask if they can help or bring anything. As a guest, it’s thoughtful to offer help by asking what they can bring – or what they can do to help.

So if you’re asked, go ahead and allow your guests to bring a bottle of wine, dessert, or help with the dishes after the party is over.

The Hostess With The Mostess

When you host a dinner party, most importantly, do manage your expectations. Not everything will be perfect. Live in the moment and enjoy your time with your guests.

At the end of the day, remember why you threw this party to begin with, and enjoy yourself. After all, if the hostess isn’t having fun, no one’s having fun.

If you need help hosting your dinner party, Amazon has numerous helpfull books, party wares, and cooking essentials to help you.  

Here are a few of our favorite Amazon finds that will help you host the best dinner party ever!

Best Dinner Party Book:

What’s A Hostess To Do? By Susan Spungen

In What’s a Hostess to Do?, entertaining expert Susan Spungen explains everything you need to know to host a party effortlessly and with elegance. 

Must-Have Dinner Party Essential:

Perfect for soups, dips, gravy, vegetables, and more! MegaChef Triple 2.5 Quart Slow Cooker and Buffet Server in Brushed Silver and Black Finish with 3 Ceramic Cooking Pots and Removable Lid Rests. 

Elegantly Simple Dinner Party Invitations:

Your dinner guests will love receiving their invitation in the mail with the details filled in with your handwriting. This fill in invitation design includes a black bordered dinner plate and silverware printed on 80-lb kraft cover stock. Set of 10 invitations and white envelopes. 

Perfect Dinner Party Dinnerware Set:

Pfaltzgraff Sylvia 32 Piece White Dinnerware Set, Service for 8, suitable for both casual and formal dining and is an ideal complement to any flatware or stemware. Contains 8 each of: 10-1/2 inch dinner plate, 8-1/4 inch salad plate, 6-1/2 inch soupbowl and 14-ounce mug. Crafted of porcelain, making the dinnerware durable to last for years to come!  

Pretty Dinner Party Flatware:

Pfaltzgraff Everyday Simplicity 53-Piece Stainless Steel Flatware Set, Service for 8 includes (8) of each: dinner fork, salad fork, dinner knife, dinner spoon, teaspoon, and steak knife.This set also features a 5-piece Hostess Set, which includes (1) each of: tablespoon, pierced tablespoon, cold meat fork, sugar spoon and butter knife. 

Cute As A Button Dinner Party Apron: 

Now Designs Basic Cotton Kitchen Chef’s Apron features a large front pocket to hold cooking essentials: recipe cards, potholders or thermometers. 

Bucket55 is on a mission to fix the story of getting old. It’s not about aging it’s about living and having fun! Learn More…

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