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Friday, April 8, 2022

10 Ways to Ensure a Successful Dinner Party

 This is an affiliated post. All opinions expressed are in agreement with my own.


I hate hosting! I’m not a fan of being in charge or having to lead conversation. But, I have some friends who have put together a list of tips for hosting a dinner party…


Whether it’s dinner for two or party for six, there’s always pressure when you host your first dinner party or evening event. Will everyone get along? Will they like the food? Making a dinner party memorable is the key to setting the bar high. Here’s 10 ways to navigate through your first dinner party in 2022.

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#1 Start Strong With The Starters

The starters are a taste of what’s to come, and sets the scene for the main course. Try a top quality shrimp cocktail recipe to achieve standards you’d see in a restaurant without having to spend hours slaving in the kitchen. The key is to start simple, but aim for high quality to save yourself vital time to impress your guests.

#2 Create A Signature Cocktail

Dinner parties at my house usually involve a lot of kids, and zero alcohol, but if you are serving alcohol, a signature cocktail can really make your night memorable, especially if it matches with a dinner party theme. Opt for a warming winter cocktail infused with sangria during the colder months, or a refreshing spritz for the spring and summer time. Match your cocktail to the weather and the food to really unify your dinner party themes.

#3 Have Some Games Prepared

You can sometimes go through a dinner party with the conversation flowing, and no filler required. But sometimes your guests need a warm up, and games can do just that. Judge your audience wisely - if you’ve got a more sedate group, avoid risky games, but maybe keep Pictionary stocked. You might not need them, but it's good to have backup.

#4 Place People by Personality

Consider a seating plan that suits people of complementary personalities. If you know person A and B both like skydiving, maybe pair them together and introduce them as two people that share the same hobby. If you have someone that you know may annoy someone else, maybe place them on different ends of the table. 

#5 Prepare Ahead of Time

There’s nothing worse than rushing the prep for your dinner party. The food might not turn out and your stress levels will skyrocket. No one loves an anxiety-ridden host who didn’t give themselves enough time to prepare food. Things will always go wrong, but if you prepare ahead of time at least you’ll feel in control of your party.

#6 Keep It Simple

The simpler, the better. Avoid fussy table decorations, a multitude of scented candles, or an overly complicated game. Ultimately, the less you have to remember or arrange, the more relaxed you will be. The aim is for your guests to smell only the food you’ve cooked, and to feel chilled and not stressed by overly formal table settings.

#7 Don’t Forget Allergies or Diets

If you’re preparing food, remember to check for any dietary requirements, be it individual preference or allergy-based needs. Allergies can range from mild to severe, so if you don’t check with your guests you might jeopardize the entire evening. Food preferences like veganism and vegetarianism can be embarrassing if missed.

#8 Keep It Intimate

Huge dinner parties lose the intimacy of a smaller group of six or eight. Make it intimate with soft lighting, and activities that help people get to know each other. Too small, and you might see a lull in conversation - too big and it’s simply too loud. Strike the right balance and you’ll have a great night.

#9 Squash Any Drama

There is always the risk of some drama. If you’re putting new people together there’s a chance that people can clash or not get along. Be prepared to squash any drama or potential disagreements to stop it derailing your night.

 #10 You’ll Be Fine

If you’ve planned ahead with food, timings, and allergies, you’ll be fine. Relax and take it easy; you deserve to have a fun evening with your friends. The aim of a good first dinner party is to be a chilled-out host. Sometimes food goes wrong and guests go rogue - it doesn’t mean your party is a failure. 


A first dinner party can be a stressful affair, so keeping it simple can be helpful. Plan a signature cocktail or mocktail, start strong with the starter and check for allergies. Prepare games for conversation lulls, create a seating plan, and prepare to jump in if things get heated. Preparation is key for a relaxed host. Have fun and happy hosting!


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