Dinner parties are the best! However, hosting one isn’t easy. All the planning, decorating, and cooking can make one’s head spin but here are some tried tips to help you create a festive mood the won’t soon be forgotten.
1. Guest List — Remember…this is a dinner party…not a party party so you want to have an exclusive guest list. Usually 8-10 people is a good number, but depending on who’s lucky enough to attend you can give or take a few more numbers from the guest list.
2. The mood — For dinner parties it’s best to make a play list with songs that flow into one other (for example soundtracks to movies). For me a ‘Gotan Project’ or ‘Hotel Costes’ album does the trick. You want to pick music which enhances dinner not distracts your guests. Illuminate your space with candles and dim lamps. The alluring aromas and soothing qualities of candles will create a relaxed atmosphere and will surely set the mood.
My choice? William Sonomas Vert Frais (citrus/herbal) and Fleur de Sel (verbena/juniper/lily)– Both light, fresh, and clean scents. If you want to go with a ‘warmer’ scent try Voluspas Baltic Amber which is an amber/vanilla/sandwood mix. Heavenly!
3. Don’t forget the flowers! — Don’t go crazy with balloons or streamers because you can never go wrong with fresh flowers. Placing them in small bouquets on the table and around your place will really add some warmth and color. You can go with just one type of flower and alternate colors or you can choose to combine different types. Go to your local market or flower distributor to get inspired!
4. Dinnerware — If you have a set of 8-10 table settings…great! But being one who only has 2 of everything..I love to mix and match! You can always catch a great sale at anthropolgie especially on their tableware items. Don’t be afraid to combine patterns and shapes…if it’s all in the same palette (or not) it can look very artistic and chic. If you’d rather go with something simple spruce up the table with colorful napkins. Remember that your guest will spend majority of their time at the table so paying special attention to the details is key. If you choose you can do assigned seating and make name cards for everyone.
5. Cheers! — Once again…this is a dinner party…not a party party so stick to only two types of drinks. I would suggest a wine that pairs well with what you’ll be serving and then something stronger either straight up or a mixed cocktail.. tequila, vodka, rum, whisky..your pick! Have one or two non alcoholic options as well– fruit or herb infused sparking water is always a great and simple choice.
6. Main Dish — Panning your menu can be the most frustrating but the most important part of throwing a dinner party. You don’t want to blow your budget but this is where most of your money will go. Don’t forget to budget for appetizers as well as dessert. If you won’t have time to bake and cook a meal for 10 (who does?) no need to worry…go to your local bakery and pick up a delicious cake or simply serve a DIY ice cream sundae.
Spark your creativity, picking a theme can even make planning easier and narrow down your recipe choices. Gather your friends and recipes…eat, entertain and just enjoy!
Below are some beautiful photos to get you inspired for your next dinner party!