Throwing a fabulous dinner party doesn't have to take weeks of planning and cost hundreds of dollars. There are simple things you can do to make your party exceptional. The next time it's your turn to play host, follow this guide for easy ways to take your dinner party from dull and boring to fun and fabulous!
First impressions count. From the moment your guests walk in the door, wow them with an inviting ambiance — and have it match your theme! If your party is a sit-down, formal meal, light candles and have soft, mellow music playing in the background. If it's more of a casual evening, turn on the upbeat tunes and make sure your home is well-lit. No matter what the theme, greet your guests with a drink or a glass of wine. With the right mood, your guests will feel relaxed and glad they came immediately upon arriving.
Now is not the time to try out a new dish you've been eyeing. Most likely, it will just cause stress, and you'll be wondering if you made it properly or if your guests like it. Make a menu that you're comfortable with. If you know you make a mean lasagna or incredibly moist pulled pork sandwiches, go with that. Remember, you want the party to be fun for you, too!
Whether you plan on having a buffet-style dinner or a sit-down meal, set the table in advance and make it beautiful. This is one thing the guests will notice, so make it count! Invest in a table runner or napkin holders if you don't already have them and keep the centerpiece simple. A huge, overbearing centerpiece will overcrowd the table and make it hard for your guests to talk among themselves. Our favorite is some small candles paired with a natural, short floral arrangement.
Have a few games in mind you'd like to play with everyone. If the party starts to get a little dry and it's still early, whip them out to guarantee a good time. Games are a great way to get everyone involved and socializing. Some of our favorites include Catch Phrase, Pictionary and Taboo.
After sitting down and chatting or in between intense games of Pictionary, bring out dessert and offer your guests coffee or an after-dinner drink. This will be a nice, unexpected treat for your guests and requires little effort on your part. Go for a store-bought cheesecake, make homemade French lemon bars the day before or simply bake brownies from a box. Again, dessert and coffee are unexpected, so keep it simple.
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