Hosting a dinner party is a wonderful way to bring a group of people together. Whether you’re hoping to host a large group of twenty or an intimate gathering of four, there’s nothing quite like breaking bread to create a bond between friends.
However, if you’ve ever hosted a dinner party before, you know that there is great potential to cause a great deal of stress. Here are a few tips to reduce stress and to allow you to have more fun as the hostess!
Keep the Menu Simple
While people may be impressed with a fancy French feast, they’re not necessarily going to your house for something mind blowing. Everybody loves simple, classic dishes done well. Examples of this might be roast chicken and mashed potatoes, spaghetti and meatballs, etc. Remove the pressure to “perform” and stick to what you know. Additionally, you do not need to make a huge excess of side dishes and desserts. Simplify the menu, this will allow you to enjoy your meal!
Do Some Things Ahead of Time
There are several things you can do ahead of time to make things easier for yourself as well! Here’s a list of things you might do ahead of time:
- Prepare a music playlist
- Mix and chill drinks
- Portion items as necessary
- Find food you can make ahead of time
- Set the table the night before
- Run a load of dishes the morning of the party and once before your guests arrive if you’re able to
- Assign members of your family to clean different areas of your house, allow yourself to do the cooking
Think About Whether Or Not to Ask for Help
Your guests will probably offer to bring something or complete a task such as finishing up a dish. Think about whether or not you have time to manage someone else and what kind of tasks may be helpful. Also be thinking about whether or not someone bringing something will cause you to slow down your workflow. For example, if you’re hosting a taco night and someone else offers to bring the meat and the rest of your meal depends on the meat, what would you do if they arrive late? Instead, it may be more helpful for them to bring something that won’t cause a problem.
Also consider, if they offer, to assign them something specific to bring (i.e. a bottle of wine, a gallon of ice cream, ice, etc.)