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Hosting a dinner party can be a daunting experience given the amount of planning that must go into it. But, if done properly, sitting down with friends and family to enjoy the meals you’ve prepared can be extremely rewarding, and even beneficial to our overall health.

So long as you give yourself a sufficient amount of time to plan the meal, seating arrangements, and guest list, dinner parties can be stress-free, and nothing but fun. Here are a few tips to help you throw a get together that friends and loved ones will be talking about for years to come.

Be Picky

This can be applied to several aspects of the dinner party. It’s okay to pick and choose who you want to attend this event, what you want to cook, what time you want to eat, etc. Of course, ask your guests if any suffer from food allergies of any kind to avoid health mishaps, but choose a group of people who you know get along with one another for the most enjoyable experience.

Once any existing food allergies have been recognized, pick a three to four course meal that you think will dazzle guests. One which isn’t too complicated to pull off, but will leave everybody asking for seconds.

Cook Smart

Similar to choosing your own menu, make sure you aren’t going too above and beyond. Cook and prepare dishes that you have experience with, and practice making them large enough to feed a party of 8-10 people. However, if you are interested in trying something new, plan ahead and practice making this dish a few days, or even weeks in advance.

Simple dishes can often work best for dinner parties. Rather than slaving over a stovetop for hours while your guests are enjoying their pre-dinner cocktails, look into meals that are much easier to make, and ones that don’t require maintenance every second.

Prepare Beforehand

An obvious consideration for dinner party hosts, prepping your kitchen hours before your guests arrive is an absolute must. Plan the menu items in a way that makes it easiest for you, accounting for dishes that may take longer to cook than others, and prep any non-perishable foods days in advance for an added bonus. For example, chop any vegetables you may be using the day before, storing them in the fridge until closer to dinner time.

Always check to make sure you have the necessary kitchen tools beforehand as well i.e. serving dishes, soup bowls, wine glasses, multiple utensils per person, etc. As I have discussed in my previous blog, there is a large variety of kitchenware you can buy in advance to ensure you are well prepared for hosting a dinner party.

Have Fun

It can be easy to forget that you are the host while preparing all of these dishes. Rather than succumbing to any stressful situations, remember that this is an event with family and friends intended to bring one another together and have fun. Your overall mood will inevitably affect how others feel. So, relax and set the ambience with music you and your guests will enjoy.

If any mistakes are made, whether a dish comes out tasting differently than you expected or a few drinks are spilled, laugh about it. Again, this is a fun event that shouldn’t be taken so seriously. A party at which your friends and family are able to bond with one another over the delicious meals you prepare is one that is bound to be talked about for weeks.

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