Things to Remember When You are Hosting a Dinner Party

tips for hosting a dinner party

Hosting a dinner party can be fun as well as a stressful thing. From making sure the house is clean to selecting the menu and from preparing the list of guests to the table setting, you will have so much to do. Well, dinner parties don’t have to be stressful, they should be fun and if you are a bit worried about how you are going to pull off everything to perfection, then don’t worry, we have got you covered. In this article, we have mentioned a few tips for you to follow, so you may become the best party host you can be. To learn about them, continue reading. If you don’t want to do the work yourself and you’re in L.A., call a Los Angeles party rentals company and save yourself a lot of time.

The Preparation

When you are thinking of hosting a dinner party, you cannot just leave everything to the last minute and should be prepared ahead of time. You need to do everything before and don’t want to be the host or hostess shuffling around, checking out preparations, and stuck in the kitchen when guests are arriving. Since you are the host, you should enjoy your dinner party. So, what you need to do is to get everything ready and check a few hours before the guests start to show up. This way, you can enjoy the night that you have worked so hard to put together.

Table Setting

Of course, this is one of those essential things you need to pay the most attention to. You need to set the dinner table beautifully. For this, you can take inspiration from magazines or Pinterest. While you may think there is no way you can pull that off, but if you focus on one thing at the time, it is not that difficult. Depending on your style, you can go either traditional or modern with your tableware and cutlery. We recommend you to incorporate your personal style into the table settings. If you don’t know what napkin to pick, then have a look at choices and figure out what matches your vibe. When it comes to choosing cutlery, you can go with plastic cutlery and that in gold, silver, twig gray, or metallic.

The Menu

Of course, you are inviting over friends and family to have a yummy dinner, so you should carefully pick the menu. Depending on the number of people you are inviting over, you will choose the meal. Most people find it a bit daunting to determine what to serve. But it is not that difficult if you know what and how you want. Firstly, keep in mind that delicious always wins over impressive. Secondly, if you have any theme or tone of the party such as elegant, casual, French, Mexican, use that as a guide. In general, a dinner party menu should include appetizers, main dish, two side dishes, bread, and dessert.


Now it totally depends on how long you want your dinner party to be. Many people like it to be of a few hours, while others like to fill parties with a full night of activities. From the beginning to the end, you want your guests to have the best and memorable time. This way, they will leave, saying that your dinner parties are the best. Start with the appetizer with a lighter wine. After that, prepare the dinner for serving within 30-45 minutes. Don’t make your guests wait. After dinner and dessert, play games or any other activity you have planned.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hosting a Dinner Party

You don’t need to read the studies to see that being around people we like and love is good for our health. Having a get together with our friends is nice, but it is challenging when you’re hosting.

Planning is everything for a fun dinner party, so going over our next FAQs will be handy when writing the shopping list. As long as you don’t stress out and only focus on the positive, hosting a dinner party for people in your life should be one of the most rewarding experiences to try.

1. Do you need a reason for the dinner party?

In all fairness, you don’t necessarily need a reason for a dinner party with your friends, but it makes things a lot more entertaining. Milestones and birthdays are the most common reasons for which you should bring your friends over, but you can go as creative as you want. Why not have a dinner party for celebrating the end of Game of Thrones? Plus, it gives you a theme for your dinner party!

2. How many friends are you going to invite?

If it’s the first time when you’re hosting a dinner party, 4-6 friends to invite is the right place to start. Don’t forget that you need to feed all of them, so make sure you count right when cooking/ordering the food in.

It’s not that you don’t have the experience, but if something goes south when cooking, your friends will understand and get over it.

A dinner party is not quite a party, but rather an intimate party, so keep in mind to make the list of invitation short. It’s also a good thing to invite people that know each other, and only a couple of people that not everyone knows. You can also invite several couples and make it a couple’s night.

3. When should you invite your friends?

It’s better that you don’t make the invites sooner than a month. You need to check to see if the schedule works for everyone. More often than not, three weeks before is a good time to send the invites and sync everyone’s agenda.

As for the days, Fridays and Saturdays work best. It’s tough to host a dinner party in the middle of the week, as almost everyone goes to work the next day. It makes no sense to have a dinner party when everyone has to wake up at 6 am, and you call the night early.

4. Should you worry about your space is too small?

Don’t create problems by thinking that your space is too small or that the flat isn’t pretty enough. It’s the people and the conversation that ensure success for a party.

We all know that a dinner party on the beach is astonishing, but why not get the best out of what you have?

5. What are you going to cook?

It’s essential to decide on the appetizers, main courses, and deserts you’re going to serve. Please make sure that they all work together (the internet is flooding with fun and easy-to-cook recipes) so that everyone feels fine at the end.

Don’t forget to take any of your food allergies/dietary needs into consideration. Don’t use any nuts if any of your friends are allergic. Moreover, try your best to offer food that most like. It’s what a good host does.

6. Can you still host if you’re not a good cook?

Not throwing a dinner party because you cannot cook is not a reason for which you shouldn’t invite friends over. Look for the foods that you can heat and get a nice variety too. Some salads and pizza are great alternatives.

If you have the budget and want to make a splurge, you should hire a chef to cook the meal for your friends. Everyone will appreciate it!

7. Are you going to serve appetizers and desserts or not?

It’s always a good idea to provide your guests with something to nibble from the moment they get through the door. You don’t have to spend the whole day cooking the appetizers, though. A couple of bowls of pistachios and some aged cheddar can work just fine.

As for the dessert, could you keep it simple? Unless you’re a baker, nobody expects you to serve the most sophisticated desserts. A scoop of vanilla ice cream with some strawberry sauce should satisfy most.

8. What strategy works best when serving the meal?

Should you have the skills for cooking, now it’s an excellent time to show off and impress your friends with a spectacular dish. There are plenty of recipes that don’t require hours of cooking but look amazing on the plate.

It would help if you also thought about the dessert. Unless you go with ice cream or some cookies, you need to bake a couple of days before. Even if you buy from a bakery, you should place your order several days before the party.

Keep in mind that you want to serve food that doesn’t keep you in the kitchen, making you run to the kitchen every half an hour or so.

9. How much alcohol should you buy?

It depends a lot on your friends so you should remember the previous parties. Typically, it would help if you didn’t hesitate to buy another bottle of wine. It’s better to have more than less. It keeps the conversation flowing, and you don’t want to end up dry before expected.

Ever wanted to learn how to pair wine with food? Now’s the perfect occasion to do it. There are plenty of charts containing some fundamental pointers on matching wine and food.

Some liquor or cider should be at reach as well. You don’t want to spend too much on alcohol, though. Having a signature cocktail could be the star of your dinner party. Should your friends ask you what to bring, you can always say “wine.”

10. Which vibe should you go with?

We all get bored with the looks of our house after some time. Giving it a fresh vibe for a dinner party is the perfect excuse for shopping for new decorations in your home.

Now it’s the perfect moment to finally buy the luxurious tablecloth you’ve had your eyes on and the excellent China that you saw in the shop. Give your friends a unique feel by using matching cloth napkins, place some flowers, and don’t forget about playing some music.

Light up some scented candles (not too strong though). Get some fairy lights and string them across the ceiling or the wall, dimming the lamps. You want your guests to feel relaxed and cozy, not geared up ready for work.

Use several tiny speakers for the music. Set the music list before the party, or have one of your friends that knows how to light up the party play the best tracks.

11. Should you clean during the dinner party or not?

No matter how tempted you may be, it would help if you waited until the last guest leaves to start cleaning. Even if some friends will offer to help, it’s best that you politely say “no.” Again, it’s a lot about the relationship you have with your guests.

Even if it’s late, you should find the strength to gather all the glasses, plates, or anything else lying around and take to the kitchen if you have a dishwasher, kudos for you! If not, you can at least let the dishes soak in the sink until morning.

12. What if something goes wrong?

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Unless you’re competing for the Host of The Year Award (is it even a thing?), you shouldn’t feel bad if not all things go according to the plan. It’s better that you don’t set the bar too high- you want to enjoy the preparation, not stress up about not being able to have everything your way.

After all, it’s supposed to be a pleasant experience from beginning to end.

And in closing a host of tips from Live Your Style:

About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.