The holidays may be over and the winter blues may be starting to set in, but that doesn’t mean that your social calendar needs to be as drab as the winter weather. Instead, plan a dinner party to boost the mood! Whether you start planning a singles Valentine’s Day dinner or a girlfriends’ get together over wine and cheese, a festive affair will always raise spirits. Just be sure to plan ahead with our tips to keep the event stress free!
Give Your Guests Plenty of Notice. Make sure you invite your guests as soon as possible to make sure they can lock it in their diaries. If you wait too late, you risk no one being free to come, so try to give your guests around 2-3 week’s notice. Make the RSVP date 1 week before the dinner party so you know exactly how many people to plan for. Old fashion calling is the quickest way to invite your friends (plus it also affords you the ability to ask if any of your guests have any food allergies or preferences). Alternatively, Facebook Events are easy and help you keep track of who is/isn’t attending!
Plan An Easy Meal. To avoid being stuck in the kitchen all night be sure to plan an easy meal that is low maintenance. This will allow you to spend the majority of your time with your friends and enjoying yourself rather than cooking! If you have never cooked the meal before, try to squeeze in a test run before hand to avoid any party day disasters! Also, if you have some appetizers ready when the guests arrive it will give you some extra time to get the main ready while they settle in. And remember, even grilled cheese and canned soup can make for a perfect meal – so don’t worry too much about being fancy!
To Drink or Not to Drink? Many people enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two (or three…) while at a dinner party, however some may not so it is best to cater for all. If you are serving cocktails/champagne before dinner, make sure you serve the main within 1 hour (or provide appetizers) as your guests will need to counteract all the alcohol they have consumed. As a guest, if you drink something specific it’s always polite to bring your own.
Relax! Inevitably one or two things may not go entirely to plan, but your friends will understand. The most important thing is that you try your best and that everyone has a great time so take a deep breath and start planning! Create a relaxed, festive ambiance with a scented candle as part of your table centerpiece.