Summer is in full swing! It’s the perfect time for entertaining at home with your closest of family and friends. What better way to welcome the summer sun and family fun than with a dinner party? Entertaining others is a great way to create memories, try new recipes, and play hostess with the mostest!
Day in and day out Kahn’s Catering uses their party planning expertise to plan parties of all sizes in a variety of location. Many of the ideas we use on a daily basis can apply to your at-home dinner party too. When it comes down to it, every party is built off of the same building blocks. You’ll need a great guest list that fits the location, a great menu sure to please every palate, and food presentations that wow your guests.
Here are Kahn’s Catering’s five tips for perfect dinner party planning!
- Make it classy and casual!
With fresh, colorful combinations filling our backyards from all the beautiful floral that is in bloom it’s easy to bring in a punch of color to any dinner table. Use cloth napkins that coordinate with the colors you already have in your yard for a finished and sophisticated look. Remember that coordinated colors are not identical! The cloth napkins provide an elegant touch that is more relaxed and homey than throw-away napkins (and they are more earth friendly too!)
- Invite the number of guests that fit the space.
Just like when we plan large corporate or social affairs, the space the party is held dictates how many guests it can hold. Think about the maximum number of guests your dining table can hold comfortably and still be able to socialize with everyone. If you are opting to have multiple tables, keep in mind that guests might form small cliques and not everyone will be able to talk with one another during dinner. Knowing your seating limit is good because it’s easy to think of ‘this person’ and ‘that person’ that you would want to invite and easier overwhelm yourself turning your small and intimate backyard bash into a large and extravagant affair. Keep in mind, more guests means more work for you.
You don’t need to ask too many people come for a dinner party. Sometimes smaller parties are the best ones! Think of all the work you’re putting into your dinner, and invite a manageable number that works for you. Normally between 6-10 is the perfect dinner party size.
- Plan ahead and organize!
A positive attitude when entertaining is more important than the clothes you’re wearing, or if the food is picture perfect. It goes a long way! Write out your menu a few days in advance and begin preparing food, cleaning, and getting ready. If you need to, create a list of what you need to accomplish and set to work. Even in our industry, we use checklists for ourselves to stay on task with the many parties we plan and manage. This will also help you on the day of the party, keeping you from being overwhelmed with last minute tasks.
- Present it pretty.
With any meal, think about how it is served. Dinner parties are the perfect time to use all of your favorite serveware like colorful dishes and bowls creating a simple, yet eclectic, tablescape. Also, if you are inviting guests to bring a dish, be sure you have extra serving platters, bowls, and utensils. Serving your meal with beautiful dishes and platters helps with presentation. To add even extra pizazz to your party, consider adding fresh herbs to the platter that you serve your meat on.
Also, think about your serving style. Are you bringing plated meals to each of your guests place settings or are you offering a buffet style or family style meal? Many times setting a separate table with all of the options for your guests to choose from, buffet style, is less stressful. It’s a more relaxed approach that helps spur conversation and get guests out of their seats for a few minutes. On top of that, you won’t have to worry about setting the table perfectly because you will have stacked all your plates near your buffet ahead of time.
- Ambiance and lighting.
We are huge fans of Pandora. You can find nearly any music for any mood! Once you’ve tackled the table setting and menu details setting the mood is the easy part. For an outdoor dining affair you can rely on the natural sunset to help make your al fresco meal all the better. By moving from daylight to dusk to evening (with party lights and candles glowing!) you can create a truly memorable and relaxed mood for you and your guests to enjoy. Candles, moonlight, stars and a bright sky create warm ambiance that will not be forgotten.
Is hosting dinner parties one of your favorite things to do but the stress of prepping and organizing the meal too stressful for you? Don’t worry about it! Consider hiring a caterer for your next special dinner affair! We can cater to any party, anywhere and love doing so!