Dinner Party planing can be hard to get right. You have to decide on who to invite, make sure you get their responses right, your house has to feel warm and inviting, and of course the food and drinks have to be good.
This issue is even more complicated given everyone’s unique dietary needs. You don’t want to get it wrong, but you still want to have a great night for everyone.
So how do you do all this? Here are some big things to look for when planning your dinner party.
1. Make an Invite List
If you want a warm and intimate dinner party, aim for no more than 5-6 people to invite per host. This means that if you and your partner are organizing this dinner party, aim for a total of 12 people at the most. Start off with something smaller before you feel comfortable hosting more people.
2. Send out the Invites
Try to get the invites out at least 1-2 weeks before the dinner party date to make sure you give your guests enough time to respond and plan out their schedules. You can send out invites in multiple ways.
You can just tell them in person. This is a personal and direct way, but your friends may not remember. That is why you should try to send them a reminder that they will see. This reminder can be of multiple types.
You can send them a text message, send out a Google Calendar invite, or use something more fancy like evite. The great thing about a site like evite is that it will gently nudge your guests to respond with their attendance to the dinner party until they do.
If you want to be even fancier, consider printing out and sending cards. You can use a tool like Canva to create beautiful dinner party invites, print it, and mail it out.
3. Understand What Your Guests Like
Although you are organizing the dinner party, it is always important to make sure you understand your guests’ dietary needs, preferences, and other rules. That is why in software like evite (which is free to use), you can ask for more than just a RSVP of a yes or no to your dinner party. You can ask for their dietary needs and plan accordingly.
4. Plan the Menu!
Use this information to plan out a menu. Are your guests in the mood for something fresh and cool, or something more warm and filling? Do your guests want to try out a new fusion type of meal, or would they want something tried and true? What kinds of cuisines do people like? How many courses would you want to have?
You know your guests best so you should start thinking about some of these questions ahead of time. You can even include these as questions on the invite itself or when you talk with them when you’re inviting them.
This will also help you budget appropriately. A dinner party menu can otherwise become very pricey. An affordable dinner party menu is not hard to design if you have answers to the questions above.
At NAKS, we work with all of our clients to prepare a customized menu for their dinner party. You can click on here to talk with our resident foodies to help you think through a menu sure to leave all your guests happy!
5. Home Improvement
You don’t need to remodel your home to host a great dinner party! Start off by making sure there is plenty of place for everyone to sit. Make sure there is enough light throughout the house, and the space is warm and inviting. This can be another factor in making sure you invite the right number of guests. If you invite too many people and they cannot sit anywhere, they will be awkwardly uncomfortable for the entire night. Of course don’t forget to tidy up all the trash and random trinkets lying around the house!
6. Pick Great Music
Great music can immediately put people at ease. You want to make music that isn’t too loud. Just something to make your home feel even more inviting. There are some excellent playlists and tracks on YouTube you can play in the background at an ambient volume to stimulate even more great conversations.
Here is one of my favorites:
7. Get a Chef, Stay Out of the Kitchen and With Your Guests
The big night has arrived! You’ve been planning for weeks and everyone is excited to come over. Unfortunately at this point, a lot of hosts spend most of their time in the kitchen instead of with their guests. They also end up taking off a lot of time to make the food, where they feel tired and exhausted to be their best with their guests.
This is where having a private chef come in for a night can be so useful.
At NAKS, we only select great chefs and make sure they create a great experience for you. A private chef is more affordable than you might think. When you book with us, the typical meal per guest (including the groceries–which we can buy for you), works out to about the price of takeout.
You cannot afford to plan for a great night and leave it in the kitchen. You deserve a night off. Consider getting a private chef. You will get an quote when you setup a reservation with us on our site.
8. Enjoy the Night!
Drop the stress of planning this and just be there with your friends. Enjoy the great conversations and stop running into the kitchen every 2 minutes to check up on the food. Be relaxed and have a great night.
9. Be Prepared for a Nightcap
In our opinion, the best indication of a great dinner party is that guests just don’t want to leave–they’re having so much fun!
But when the night does come to an end, have a few blankets and cushions ready, or the spare room ready in case the person needs to sleep in because of the wine or if it is too late.
Also consider making tea or coffee to give your guests the slight boost they need to get home safely.
10. Thank them!
The next day, consider sending them a note telling them what a great night you had because of their company. This might seem a bit too formal, but these little gestures can go a long way towards building closer and more intimate relationships.
It is also a great way to carry on the conversations you had the evening before.
At NAKS, we are committed to making you get closer with your friends and family through the power of food.
Whether it be an anniversary dinner, or a birthday meal, consider using our services to book an affordable but quality chef to work with you to make your evening just a little bit more special. We guarantee satisfaction or your money back, and we will also pick up the groceries and ingredients for you.
Reserve a chef with us today here.