The Dinner Party can be a daunting feat - there's a precedent that comes with hosting one, and they tend to be somewhat expensive endeavors. However, a successful dinner party is one of the key ingredients of lifestyle excellence, meaning once you've conquered this you can do just about anything with grace.
How To Throw a Dinner Party1. PLAN AHEAD
Goodness gracious, don't leave seating charts and menus until the night before. Do your homework, and even if planning ahead only means you picked up a few extra bits in your weekly grocery shop, do something - anything - in advance so that everything isn't done in the last minute.
2. LEAVE TIME TO PRIMP
I've hosted friends for birthday dinners before and had to usher guests in while I was still wearing my apron and ponytail, and you end up feeling underdressed at your own event, which isn't fun! You know how long it takes you to get changed and fix your hair; simply budget your time to incorporate that hair jzooshing.
3. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE FANCY
One of my favorite posts of the summer was this one on Petie's blog about her brilliantly un-fancy dinner party. If you're the sort that likes to dress up and use china, have at it! But a dinner party can be a picnic with good friends and sparkling grape juice and it would still be lovely. You do you.
4. YOU CAN'T RUSH ART
If you are the sort of person who wants to dress things up (hey kindred spirit!) you need to be prepared to spend time on it. Dinner party prep, properly enjoyed with no pulling out of your own hair and burning the roast (or that last minute argument that seems almost unavoidable) really will take your whole day. So plan for it. Spend the morning setting the table, cleaning the room and arranging flowers and furniture. Take a break for lunch. Then work on the smaller details like placecards or favors (I gave away little bottles of gold glitter tagged "Felix Felicis" at my birthday, which were a hit & very easy and affordable to make - so get creative!). Start on the dessert so it can chill in the fridge for an appropriate amount of time. Make dinner with enough time to tidy a bit before your guests arrive. Play jazz music and enjoy the process. The whole thing can be fun, not just the party itself. :)
5. INVITE GOOD PEOPLE
...Not people you want to impress. The best gatherings are between people you love or you get along with, and while this doesn't have to mean your closest friends - actually, I love getting to know new friends better in these situations - try to pick people you know you can talk comfortably with, because you're going to be talking for a while. Life is too short to be wasted with whiners. Good people means good conversation, and good conversation means a good time. :)
Do you have any brilliant or hilarious or disastrous dinner party stories, or do you plan on throwing any this season? Lemme know!