10 Dinner Party Do’s & Don’ts as the Host

As the host or hostess, there is a long list you have to complete before guests arrive. And an even longer list that keeps growing as the night goes on. Here are a few tips to help your anxiety… and to help  you seem like you know what you are doing.

 

#1 DO:

Set the mood properly. Plan your music, lighting and entire atmosphere. Create a playlist of music that will not be the topic of conversation, but also something that will keep your guests entertained and not sleepy. Keep the lights dim and intimate. Overpowering bright lights will seem like you are over at your folks for a free meal. Get in and out with a full belly. Get some inspiration mood-setting-music here.

Dinner Party Music

Dinner Party Music

 

#2 DON’T:

Do not use paper or plastic plates, serving bowls, platters or utensils. Also splurge for the linen napkins. This is a dinner party – you are entitled to show off a little. Pull out the good china if you have it. Create the illusion that you overdid it – it will make your guests feel special. Take a look at some examples.

Elegant Tablescape

Elegant Tablescape

 

#3 DO:

Have a specific seating chart. You will have good friends and some new friends or even people you still consider acquaintances. This allows everyone to be engaging with one another. Otherwise the cliques will form. No one will mingle. And the newbies you are trying to get to know and have your friends get to know will feel left out.  And it will be awkwaaaaaard.

Dinner Party Seating Strategy

Dinner Party Seating Strategy

 

#4 DON’T:

Never ever run out of ice. This should never happen. The last you want to do is send your husband down to the corner store for another bag of ice. Have enough make in your freezer or buy enough at the store ahead of time. And to piggy back off of that, you shouldn’t be running out of any drinks. Not alcohol, wine, beer, mixers, what have you. Once the drinks are gone the party of over. Nothing like ending a great party at 8:30pm. You already paid the babysitter till 11pm and everything!

 

Never Run Out of Ice

Never Run Out of Ice

#5 DO:

Hand out party favors. There is a debate if one should give out an essentially “thank you for coming to my fab party” gift or send a “thank you note.” There are more votes for the gift. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate gift or anything. Could be something homemade, or a combination of things. A perfect gift to add are Clingks Drink Markers. They are a blast to use at the and even better hostess gift. http://clingks.com/products/

 

DInner-Party Party Favors

DInner-Party Party Favors

#6 DON’T:

Please try and avoid trying out a new recipe you found on Pinterest or something. Stick with what you know otherwise you could be in the kitchen all night fixing your mistakes.

 

Stick With What you Know in the Kitchen

Stick With What you Know in the Kitchen

#7 DO:

Have a stiff drink before the guests arrive. But please just limit it to one. The point here is to relax your nerves before the guests arrive. If you are relaxed and feeling great they will all relax and have a great time too. Here are some awesome recipes for you and your guests!

Dirty Martini... Extra Dirty

Dirty Martini… Extra Dirty

 

#8 DON’T:

Be on the look out on how much people are drinking. Don’t let anyone drink too much where they can’t drive home. Either plan for a sleep over or to arrange for guests to arrive and get home safely with a car service or sober drivers.  Otherwise don’t be afraid to stop them from pouring themselves yet another glass of wine.

Friends Let Friends Sleep on Their Couch

Friends Let Friends Sleep on Their Couch

 

#9 DO:

Keep the menu simple, yet not too plain. You do not have to tailor to everyone’s specific tastes, just keep it broad enough to please the crowd. So stay away from a lot of spicy foods. Keep the hors d’oeuvers bite size and familiar. Get inspired below.

Keep the Menu Simple

Keep the Menu Simple

 

#10 DON’T:

Serve your dessert away from the dinner table. Get your guests up and in the living room, screened porch or parlor. This allows you to clean the table quick and they can chat amongst themselves. Don’t spend more than 10 min away from your guests. Put the dishes in the kitchen, but don’t wash them for goodness sakes. Grab the dessert tray, more wine, coffee and join your guests. There are 29 more ideas from Martha Stewart besides this delicious Citrus and Caramel Mousse Parfait.

 

Dessert is Served

Dessert is Served

If you are like me… you will need a good, thorough list to follow. Some pointers from other dinner party veterans. And wine.

If you are looking for more elaborate ideas on Do’s and Don’ts for a Host/Hostess, check out theses sites:

http://www.bonappetit.com/entertaining-style/article/25-dinner-party-do-s-and-don-ts-for-a-host-or-hostess

http://www.housebeautiful.com/decorating/ideas/dinner-party-ideas#slide-2

 

Stay Inspired!

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