Welcome to the last leg of the race!
You’ve reached the final portion of our series on how to host a picture-perfect dinner party. So far, we’ve gone over how to prepare for a successful night and how to create the atmosphere that’s just right for you.
In the last days before your big event, there are some final touches that need to get done. Think of these as the cherries on top.
Two Days Before
- Pick up all dinner ingredients and beverages.
- Make sure you have plenty of ice.
- Queue your playlists so you don’t have to play DJ all night.
The Day Before
- Tidy up the house, particularly the areas that guests will see, like the bathroom and living room. If the party is outside, be sure to cut the grass or sweep the deck.
- Make sure the trash can is empty.
- Pick up some flowers and put them in a vase.
- Prepare as much food as you can, including dessert.
The Day Of
- Prepare any final dishes you didn’t get to finish the day before.
- Set up the table and any necessary decorations.
- Create a drink and snack station, complete with hors d’oeuvres for guests’ arrival.
- Choose an outfit. As a rule of thumb, the host should never be outdone by the guests. It’s time to break out that dress or those shoes you’ve been saving for a special occasion.
If you want to pull off being the perfect host, there is a certain role you have to fill. Your job is to get guests who may not know each other acquainted and comfortable. You’re the connecting link between everyone there.
Above all else, you set the tone for the evening. Therefore, if you’re frantic and anxious, everyone else will be too. It’s important to appear relaxed and in control for the entire evening, even if you’re not.
The rules of etiquette are nowhere near as strict as they used to be, but some things still apply.
Mind your manners: upon arrival, offer guests a drink and relieve them of their coats and bags. While at the table, try your best to stay off your phone, even if others are doing it.
The last thing you want to do is come off as rude or disengaged. If you absolutely must take a call or respond to a text, excuse yourself from the table.
Lively conversation is an important part of a dinner party, and as the host, you are the mediator by default.
Our parents warned us never to talk about politics or religion, but realistically, those make for some of the most interesting conversations. Topics that may elicit controversy or differences in opinion are okay in moderation, as long as no one is rude or feels insulted.
It’s good to serve dessert or coffee in the living room or another setting to mix up the groups and unwind after dinner. This would be a great time to break out the board games or start a bonfire.
When the evening is over, you may not have the energy to clean the entire kitchen from top to bottom. However, doing a little work on the front end makes it a lot easier for the morning after. At the very least, clear off the table, put away leftovers and soak the dishes.
Hopefully this series gave you all the tools you need to host the dinner party of your dreams. It may be a lot a lot of work, but if done right, you could succeed in creating a night you’ll never forget.