Holiday Dinner Party Planning Guide
During the holiday season, we enjoy spending time with our loved ones. Hosting a dinner or party at our home is one of the many ways to show our appreciation for friends and family. Even though this is exciting, it can also be extremely stressful for people who have never hosted a gathering at their home. Never fear. Vinoti Living is here!
This article is meant to help with ideas for the entire process to make sure you have a successful dinner party.
Step 1 – Start with the EndThe first thing you should do is start from the end. Anytime someone wants to throw a party, they should think about what kind of party they want to have. Will there be twenty people in your home, or will it just be a small party for your closest friends and family? Will it be formal or relaxed? Will it be food or cocktails too? Consider what has to happen for you to feel like it was a successful dinner party.
Step 2 – Pick a date
Dates are important and sometimes even auspicious. Reach out to some of the people you wish to invite and see if there is a commonality in their schedules. Be considerate. People these days are very busy, and as the host, you must be flexible. Once you have a good idea of everyone’s availability, set a date and time.
Step 3 – Consider the size of your home
Depending on the size of your home, you will need to consider to make sure everyone is comfortable. Think about the layout. For example, if you plan to have ten people but your dinner table only supports eight, you will need to find another two seats in the house. Keep the other guests close if you can. You do not want them to feel left out of the conversation.
Additionally, what about the food? Where will it be placed? Will people be able to access the food quickly, or will they struggle to get their food and enjoy it? Since your goal is to make sure everyone feels good, plan this. Try these tips to help with the flow:
- Make sure there is ample space between everyone if you can. Have you ever eaten on an airplane? You would like to avoid similar experiences for your guests.
- Place food and drink in an area that is accessible to everyone.
- Make sure all your guests know what is available and where the restroom is located.
Step 4 – Decide on your Menu
The best part of any dinner party is, you guessed it, dinner. As the host, this is on you. As you are planning what to cook, remember whom you invited to the dinner party. Try to think about the foods that they like and any other dietary restrictions they may have. Consider the dishes you make so that everyone has something they can eat. For instance, are any of the guests vegan? (If you are unsure, they are probably not a vegan because they would have told you a few times already). Be sure to include an appetizer, main course, and dessert. Always be sure to have enough food and drink. Nothing ruins a party like running out of food. (Note: If you are a guest and hope to be invited to another dinner party, we recommend bringing a small gift: snacks, flowers, or a bottle of wine. Your host will appreciate it.)
Step 5 – Set the Mood
Just as you want people to enjoy your food, you would also like them to enjoy your home! It is always good to make sure people feel comfortable in your house. This does not mean that you have to spend much money on fancy furniture. You can set the ambiance in other ways too. For example, a scented candle can make a big difference to your room. Pick something that is not too fragrant as to overpower the smell of the cooking food. A second effective way to set the mood is by playing some music. Usually, an easy-listening playlist is best. If you use Spotify, we like Jazz Rap, Swing Beats, or Cool Jazz. Whatever you pick, make sure it is not too loud (unless, of course, you have no intention of making conversation with your guests). Consider the lighting as well. Use accent lamps, table lamps, or fairy lights throughout the room to give it a homey, comfortable feel.
Step 6 – Pull it all Together and Enjoy!
A day or two before the dinner, review your plan and make sure everything is on target. During this time, wrap everything up and know what you need to accomplish before the party. Buy your food and home accessories. Once you have everything ready, pat yourself on the back and enjoy your party.
Bonus Tip – Activities
If you are worried that some of the guests may not have much to talk about, prepare some activities to break the ice. A simple game will help and is an inexpensive addition to your arsenal to make sure everyone enjoys themselves. Pictionary is an excellent example of this. To keep the conversation going, consider introducing any topics of discussion that include everyone. These activities will ensure a fun dinner party for you and your guests.