June is the perfect time for a dinner party with friends! The weather is pleasant and the sunsets are beautiful. We have gathered together some tips to help you plan a fun night for everyone without all the stress. We’re all about a no-stress summer over here!
A Lovely Dinner Party Done Easy by Arianna
I am no stranger to cooking, baking, and especially not entertaining, but when I was in Philadelphia recently and had the opportunity to help my sister prepare for her dinner party, I realized I have been making the process way harder than it has to be. Her party looked as though it was straight out of a magazine, the kids were entertained, and she was able to spend the evening with her guests instead of in the kitchen. Here are a few things I learned for throwing a fabulous dinner party!
1. A theme makes planning a dream
Themed parties can be seen by some as cheesy, but if done right then the rest of the details fall into place. Bonus: your party will have a cohesive feel that will make it an even more memorable evening. The theme doesn’t have to be as obvious as say, a luau, but a subtle guide that you follow throughout every aspect of your party. For example, your theme could be inspired by the Italian countryside or a color palette – such as only using black and white. Choosing a theme will help you narrow down the menu options, such as deciding on the appropriate wine to accompany a certain dish or inspire beautiful centerpieces that will enhance the surroundings. For a fun addition to a themed party, print out a backdrop and provide props for guests to be photographed in front of as they enter!
2. Remove all distractions
Kids and dogs can be somewhat distracting while planning a large get-together so make arrangements ahead of time to ensure everyone is taken care of. Normally I love my dog Brodie’s energy, but not-so-much when I’m running around from room to room. My sister did a quick online search for local dog boarding in her neighborhood so that we didn’t have to take the time to drive to a country-side kennel or risk getting stuck in traffic right before the party. Another option is to ask a friend to take your dog overnight, starting the morning of your party, so that you can clean, prepare, and decorate without fur flying everywhere.
Hire a babysitter to watch any kids that will be in your home the night of the party, especially your own. A babysitter your kids are already familiar with is a great option- they’ll know the “ins and outs” of your kids and you’ll feel comfortable not having to worry about this new person hanging around your kids. To help the kids feel included in the fun, arrange for the kids to set up their own party in the basement while you get ready for yours.
3. Make the entire meal ‘special’, not just a few dishes
If you have friends with a food allergy or dietary restriction, then make a few dishes with this in mind. It’s much easier than you think, and will eliminate any confusion later. The Internet is a great resource when searching for recipes and tips, so do your research in advance and plan accordingly. You want everyone to enjoy the food so make sure your gluten-free friends aren’t limited to chips and salsa all night! If this is not possible for you to do, then make sure and warn your friend(s) in advance of what dishes they should steer clear of!
4. Relinquish total control
Your friends have hosted parties before and they understand how much work goes into throwing one, so let them help you! Put your husband in charge of certain parts of the meal, set up a self-service drink station at the bar, and have a few close friends come over early to help you with last minute details. You will have a much better time if you do not try to carry the entire party on your shoulders.
Arianna is a full-time mom and a fashion-lover, world traveler, animal lover, and family woman extraordinaire. She loves to cook and bake, travel to new places, share great fashion finds, and spend time doing crafts and projects at home with her kids. She’s got a crazy busy life, but she wouldn’t have it any other way! Follow her blog at http://ariannaknowsbest.blogspot.com/ !