Five Tips to Hosting a Successful Dinner Party

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Hosting a dinner party is a fun, thrilling, and fulfilling experience if you do it right. However, those who think that hosting a dinner party is all about the razzle-dazzle of colorful and sophisticated cutlery, think again – there are a lot of stress and last-minute dashes to the local grocery involved when it comes to planning the perfect dinner party. Furniture such as your dining room table and china cabinet have to be glammed up for the occasion – don’t just settle for your everyday look. If your dining room table and china cabinet pale in comparison to your gorgeous party favors and designs, you will have to make it match the mood of the entire dining area.

There are a few tips that a party planner must keep in mind when it comes to planning the perfect dinner party. Whether it involves organizing the guest list, going to the supermarket for supplies, or arranging and rearranging your dining room table or china cabinet to ensure that it captures the theme of your party, planning a successful dinner party is no piece of cake.

Plan ahead of time. A successful party planner does not leave things at the last minute. The rule of thumb is this – if it is something that is not perishable and can be accomplished straightaway, then don’t waste time or schedule to do it on another day. Chances are your to do’s will build up as you are nearer and nearer the date of your dinner party and you will realize at the end of the day that you have not actually done everything that you needed to do. This will lead to last-minute changes in plan, which can be quite stressful and frustrating for the entire group involved in all aspects of the planning. A great time to start planning your party would be a month before, to give you time to get everything sorted in time for the big night. This includes getting your furniture theme sorted, including the dining room table and china cabinet.

Organize your guest list. People are the most important aspects of your party. They are, after all, the very reason why you are planning this. Have an initial number in mind, and if possible, stick to it and make very little changes to it. Your guest list has to be finalized three weeks before the said party date as they will need time to sort their schedules and respond to the invitation. Be wary of inviting people who you know are not in speaking terms with each other. You don’t want tension to crackle at the dining room table or for one of your estranged friends to hide beside the china cabinet just because there is someone or more than one person in the room that they don’t get along with.

Make a to-do list for anything and everything. Creating a to-do list will make life easier for you as you go about planning the party. Organize your list into categories so that it is simple to understand, making you less likely to forget anything on the list that you were not able to check. Include categories like food, cutlery, napkins, invitation cards, seating cards, and such. Your list may be long or short, depending on the type of party you are planning and the number of people you are inviting. Make two to three copies of the list, just in case you end up losing any of them on your trips to the supermarket.

Follow up on your guests. If some of your guests haven’t responded to your invitation two weeks before the party, you need to get on that phone and start following them up. Chances are that they have forgotten about the invitation if they are busy with their lives, or that they are just waiting for you to talk to them. On one hand, it is understandable that they might not have responded because they might not know their schedule a month in advance, but on the other hand, you need to send out invitations as early as possible so that you can make contingency plans should some people be unable to make it. This saves you from the stress of having to pull out seats at the last minute or having to adjust the menu due to the change in the number of guests.

Stock up on supplies. A week before the party, start shopping for your non-perishables. These include dry and packaged food, utensils, napkins, and cutlery. If you are planning to buy new sheets for your dining room table and maybe a flower arrangement to place atop your china cabinet, this is the perfect time to do so as this saves you from having to buy them along with your perishables at the last minute. It always helps to get your list sorted in advance and go to a supermarket where you know how everything is arranged so that you know which items to pick up first – this prevents you from going back and forth different aisles when you could just pick them up in one go. When it’s time to shop for your perishables, never shop hungry as this will cause you to buy more than what you need. If there are extra things for your dining room table or china cabinet that you have forgotten to pick up the first time, do so now.

At the end of the day, what matters is how the party itself goes – it doesn’t matter as much if there is a flower missing on the arrangement atop your china cabinet, or if your dining room table is dirty by the middle of the evening. No, furniture such as your china cabinet or dining room table are not the most important aspects of the dinner party. It’s really how they were able to set the mood for the perfect party, and how the guests have responded to such arrangements. While furniture like your dining room table and china cabinet are not really the focus of the party, they certainly help in making it a success if they are prepared properly. Therefore, do not discount the value of setting up furniture to match theme of the party, whether it’s just your dining room table or china cabinet.