9 Tips To Host The Perfect Dinner Party

Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a hangover, binge watching ‘Come Dine with Me‘ on a Sunday and entertained the idea of hosting a dinner party? Dinner parties don’t need to be the stressful events that TV portrays them as. With these tips, we will help you plan a great night that’s memorable for all the right reasons!

Tips to host the perfect dinner party

9 Tips to host the perfect dinner party

Know your guests

The perfect host makes everyone at the party feel at ease. If you know there is tension between people or that certain friends with opposing political views will clash, maybe don’t invite them to the same dinner party. A debate can be good. Fighting will just make everyone else feel awkward.

Don’t try new recipes

We’ve all fallen into the trap of being lured by Pinterest recipes that claim to be simple to make but in reality need a million different ingredients! It may look gorgeous on Pinterest but the night of your dinner party is not the time to experiment. Cook things you are comfortable making. Don’t add unnecessary stress to your life.

Or even just buy prepared.

Places like Marks and Spencer’s have delicious meals that just require you to turn on the oven and cook. Or even just get a takeaway if you don’t have time to make it to the shop. This allows you to mix with your guests and doesn’t tie you to the kitchen for the night. More than likely your guests have turned up to spend time with you, not watch you have a meltdown in the kitchen as you try to get your souffle to rise.

Get friends to help

You do not need to do this alone. If people offer to help, accept it. Let them bring items (though nothing too important as people can easily forget things!) or help serve dishes during the party. Watching one person stress trying to stay on top of everything just makes everyone else feel anxious and that is not the lasting impression you want to make.

Always have a good salad

It’s inevitable that these days someone will show up to the dinner party that is vegetarian or has a gluten intolerance. A delicious well-made salad might just save the day.

Don’t get swept up by Pinterest DIY

You may have stuck with recipes you know but with Pinterest, it can be easy to fall into the trap of wanting to create elaborate centrepieces and cute name cards or try amazingly complicated cocktails. Unless you have the time and love arts and craft or are pretty nifty at the bar, don’t take on these extra projects. Your guests will appreciate a good bottle of red wine over a badly made cocktail any day!

Don’t force feed your friends!

Don’t be that person – the Mrs Doyle of the group. If someone says ‘no thanks’, accept and move on. No one wants to be forced to eat a second helping just because you don’t want to be left with a load of leftovers at the end of the night. Also, don’t insist on top ups on every drink. You might think it’s good manners to keep everyone’s glass full, but when they are dying of a hangover the next day, they probably won’t thank you for it. Plus a really drunk and rowdy guest will just put a damper on everyone’s night.

Spotify is perfect entertainment

Spotify has loads of perfect playlists for your party. Just hit play and relax. Also, you don’t need to organise after dinner games. After eating, most people will just feel sleepy. Forcing them to play will just lead to them bitching about you when they are in the taxi home.

Accept that things will go wrong!

Burning the main course is not ideal, but it’s not the end of the world. In fact, it’ll probably turn into a funny story within your group of friends. Accept that the night may not be perfect.

Do you have any tips to host the perfect dinner party? Any memorable disasters that you laugh about now? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sinead has three passions in life - blogging, books and booze. She is the owner of sineadsocial.com, a website that helps new bloggers build and grow their own blogs. She runs a monthly blogger meetup in Dublin through GirlCrew Bloggers.

14 comments

  1. I think the best thing to remember is that people you invite at your house are friends and people who like you so they will not judge you if you are not a pinterest worthy hostess.

  2. We have people over all the time but I admit that having new people can be different that your usual friends. I agree of not to try new recipe! Stick to the one you know!

  3. Great and easy tips! I have actually never hosted a party and not sure if I really want to. I do like to eat and mingle with people though. Maybe one of these years.

  4. This is great advice. I’m going to be hosting a dinner party this holiday season so I’m definitely going to keep these tips in mind. Luckily my boyfriend does the cooking in our house so I just have to worry about the cocktails and decor.

  5. I had to laugh with the last one. Very true. No matter how organized you may be, something will always go wrong anad that is totally ok! Just keep having fun and enjoy the event!

  6. Great info and tips for hosting a dinner party. Yes do not experiement with Pinterest food or decor the day of…Murphy’s Law is real!

  7. Thank you for these tips – they are practical and helps one relax into being with the party rather than be uptight, worried about every little thing. Dinners are micro weddings, so invariably, something might and will go wrong (As in your last tip). It is good to have this awareness so that you can stay present to enjoy your company (Which is the reason why you’d want people over in the 1st place, right? <3

  8. Hey Sinead,

    haha oddly enough I am always the one to try new recipes! Luckily most times it works out just fine. But its a gamble with my food allergies. But, I do stress about the combination of guests, will this person get along with this person. Happy party planning everyone!

  9. Great tips. Always having a good salad is a good idea. Nice point, these days someone always has some sort of dietary restriction.

  10. I totally use Spotify for playlists that match the mood, too 🙂 Love it so much. And yeah, don’t have to make everything from scratch at all. Sometimes in a pinch, storebought dips or breads are awesome and can be made to look really pretty. Yes on the salad – you’re right, so many vegetarian friends these days!

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