Being an ideal home party host isn’t as easy as it may seem. Of course, dinner parties are based on a group of friends or family members eating together, but in reality there is a whole set of rules and guidelines for leaving a good impression on your guests without feeling exhausted afterwards. Here are some tips for organizing a dinner party that will be talked about for months.
Make your home a safe place
If you’re getting ready for a party of 10-20 people, first you need to prepare a room for everyone to sit in. In order for your dinner party room to be completely hazard-free, make sure to remove any objects that can lead to an injury for your guests, like glass furniture, large metal décor pieces, and slippery surfaces. It’s also a good idea to move any valuable items and family heirlooms temporarily to another room, so that they don’t get broken during the party.
Check for dietary preferences
Any good dinner party starts with a dinner, so it may be frustrating both for the host and other guests if a party guest refuses to eat the meal due to an allergy or strict diet. That is why you should find out beforehand if any of your guests have any special requirements, and either adjust your whole menu, or prepare an alternative dinner for that person. If asking beforehand isn’t possible, keep a couple of safe options in your fridge just in case.
Get your bar ready
The universal formula for preparing the drinks for your dinner party guests is to aim for one drink per hour per person. The most common party drinks are wine and beer, which can be easily self-served. Cocktails and other complex drinks require a dedicated server, which may not be possible for a small dinner party. Also don’t forget to offer lots of non-alcoholic drinks to the guests, including water, soda, and juice. Place some snacks at the drink table, so that the guests wouldn’t drink all the time.
Don’t be afraid to outsource
Unless you are hosting a very official dinner party for your boss and co-workers, you can easily delegate some responsibilities to your guests. Every polite dinner party guest always brings something to the table, like wine or dessert, so you can ask every guest to bring their favorite cheese, snack, or dessert, so that you could spend less time cooking. And don’t think you need to cook every single meal – often a cake from the bakery or a set of appetizers from the grocery store work just as well.
Be an open host
It’s not uncommon for dinner parties to be the first meeting spot for the relatives and friends of the host, so it’s your job as a host to melt the ice and introduce everyone. After every guest is introduced to other guests, it’s also your job to get the conversation flowing. It may take a while for the guests to feel at ease, so don’t be surprised that you are the one who will be doing most of talking for the first 30 minutes, but then you will be rewarded with a warm, open conversation, which is the biggest objective of every responsible host.