• Hosting a Dinner Party? Tips for Low-Stress Entertaining

    by  • December 15, 2011 • Home & Family • 5 Comments

    dinner party summer tablesetting

    I love to host dinner parties. This time of year, many people are entertaining family and friends in their homes. Here are my a few tips for lessening the stress of hosting:

    1) Set the table first. It always puts me in the mood and is one task that is perfect to complete far in advance of the dinner hour. If children are around, I always ask them to help with setting out napkins and silverware.

    2) Place water glasses and a pitcher on the table. This prevents thirsty folk from occupying the kitchen and leaves the hostess ready to serve other drinks.

    3) Clean and put away all possible dishes before guests arrive. If you have an empty dishwasher or sink, plates can be whisked out of sight during courses and clean up later will run smoothly.

    4) Establish ‘stations’ in your kitchen and dining area. You may need a drink station, buffet line, dessert station, or serving station. Be mindful of what utensils might be necessary at each station and lay out hot pads, silverware, drink glasses, etc.

    5) Consider your menu carefully to please guests and make life easy on yourself. I err towards the side of simplicity and quality, usually serving one or two hot dishes and several prepared-ahead courses like salad or dessert.

    6) Prepare (or ask someone to bring) an appetizer to occupy guests as they mingle before the meal. Think simple, fresh vegetables, cheese, or charcuterie that can be eaten without utensils or serving dishes. A make-ahead finger food tray frees the hostess to finish preparing the rest of the meal.

    7) Assign roles if you are sharing host duties. Alex and I usually have a pow-wow an hour or so before the event to decide who will greet guests and who will staff the kitchen.

    8 ) Once the guests arrive, take a deep breath and enjoy yourself! Plans do not always go as you wish but so long as you keep the spirit of the party alive, guests will never know if little details go awry.

    drink station for dinner party

    How do you do to prepare for a dinner party?


    PS. These pictures came from the ‘It Couldn’t Be…’ dinner party we threw in July. I needed a reminder today that someday it will be light and bright again.

    Added to Simple Lives Thursday #74.

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    I live to eat and eat to live, planning every meal to include as much local and seasonal abundance as possible. I often wear purple and never refuse a drink.


    5 Responses to Hosting a Dinner Party? Tips for Low-Stress Entertaining

    1. Demi Fae
      December 15, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      Thanks for the tips…i will have a party tomorrow…this can help for sure…

    2. Kristel Mae
      December 22, 2011 at 7:27 pm

      I love the idea you have here for us…Great job!!

    3. Jenny Mae
      December 29, 2011 at 8:03 pm

      The tips you shared for sure, is a big help for me…Thanks anyway!!

    4. Yena
      February 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Dealing with guests takes precision. The host must take the means to satisfy the visitors. This task is really tiring. Understanding is the best remedy for this. Smile is one key factor to have the guests at ease.

    5. Yena
      February 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      I would love to visit here for more updates on your blogs.
      I am inspired on taking in guests after reading your tips.
      Happy Day :)

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