Hosting dinner parties are so much fun, but they can seem stressful, so preparation is key! Here are some tips when planning your next soiree.

 

Preparation is key.

As soon as you know you are going to host a party, start thinking about the guest list, the style of food and the overall atmosphere. If you are not used to hosting events, keep your first event small and then grow your events as you gain more confidence.

Send out any invitations well ahead of time so that you can get an accurate headcount of how many guests will be coming.

 

Simplify your menu.

When thinking about what food you will serve, keep it simple. Platters of food that can be prepared ahead of time making it simple to host. Try making ahead of time appetizers, salads, antipasto platters or small proportioned food. This way you spend most of your time with your guests and not in the kitchen.

 

Trying something new?

This is probably not the time to test out that new recipe you found on Pinterest, especially if this is your first time hosting. Go with a simple menu that you have made before and you know tastes great. This is less likely to result in a “pinterest fail”.

 

Enlist an extra set of hands.

Invite a friend over early to help with the setup and greet guests. Have a glass of wine while you set up and have some fun. It also takes the pressure off if you are nervous about your event.

 

Set the mood.

Lighting and music can make the party. Take some time to create a great playlist and get the lighting right. It will set the tone for your guests as they arrive.

 

Mingle and have fun!

The hard work is done and your guests are here. Now is the time to chat and enjoy your guest’s company.