Whether you are planning to celebrate a special birthday, or just looking for an excuse to host a girl’s night in, you can’t go wrong with a dinner party. However, it’s important that you don’t let yourself get too stressed out when putting one together.
With that in mind, here are some top tips that you can use to stay stress-free when planning an intimate dinner party for your friends.
Ditch the theme
When hosting a big event or dinner party, choosing some kind of theme can be a great way to stay organized as it helps to make bigger decisions much more straightforward. However, when you’re hosting an intimate gathering, there’s often no need to choose a theme, and it could just bring unnecessary stress.
Keep the menu simple
Again, when you are only inviting a small number of friends around, there’s no need to go over the top when putting together a menu for the night. Instead, focus on delicious dishes you know everyone will love, such as comfort food. Alternatively, if you wanted to cook something a little fancier, find ways in which you could downsize certain dishes or make them less complex. For example, you could try cooking a turkey breast in a crock pot instead of cooking a whole turkey. This way, you’ll enjoy the same great dish but will spend much less time in the kitchen and more time with your friends.
Decide whether it’s an indoor or outdoor affair
Remember, dinner parties don’t always have to be outdoors – if you’ve been giving your garden some TLC in recent months (and the weather allows), you could look into al-fresco dining. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, some guests may actually feel more comfortable meeting outdoors – and you can always find ways to brighten up the space ahead of the party. For example, you could hang fairy lights to bring a new atmosphere into your garden.
Create some simple table decorations
Simplistic table decorations are a great way to add a touch of sophistication to your dinner party and do not require a lot of effort to pull together. For example, you could simply grab a vase and display some seasonal flowers in the center of the table or light some of your favorite candles to liven up the atmosphere a little.
Put together some conversation starters
While you’ll likely be quite close to anyone you invite to your dinner party, if guests are meeting each other for the first time, you might want to prepare some topics of conversations ahead of time so that you’re able to keep the conversation flowing late into the night. Usually, these tactics are only required at the start of the night, as people will begin to feel more comfortable as time goes on (and the wine is poured). In addition to conversation prompts, you might also want to put together a playlist of your favorite songs, as this is a great way to create the perfect party atmosphere and does not require too much effort on your behalf. If your friends don’t usually put you in charge of the music, then you might want to ask someone else to put together a playlist for you or take it in turn to choose songs.
Plan a few party games
To host the perfect dinner party, you should ensure that your guests are entertained from the moment they enter the door until the moment they leave. One way you can do this (aside from serving up delicious food) is by playing a few games throughout the night. For example, you could dust off your favorite board games or play your own version of Mr & Mrs. Games are a great way to liven up a dinner party and make lasting memories with your friends!
Turn off your phones
Right now, we spend more time than ever before attached to our phones – whether we’re reading news articles or scrolling through social media. However, in order to make the most of your dinner party, you should encourage your guests to turn off their phones when they arrive. This way, you’ll be able to focus on spending time with each other and actually listening to what each person has to say. Despite this, you might want to allow phones for a certain period of time so that you can snap some pictures!