Celebrating Love | Host an elegant dinner party
Celebrating love is on the minds of many during the month of February. Love celebrations are perfect for dating and marriage, but they can also extend to family, friends and neighbors. Although I don’t recommend combining a romantic celebration with a big family shindig, you can honor those who are most dear to your heart. Hosting a love themed dinner party in your home is a great way to make your friends and family feel loved.
Welcoming people into your home is a sincere gesture of hospitality and warmth. The time and effort spent on preparing your home, if done properly, makes bold sentiments of love for those you’ll entertain. Here are three big steps to executing a great dinner party.
- Select a date and time, and send out invitations. Excellent execution requires that you have ample time to prepare. Select a date that is free of other events and obligations and a start time you can honor. If your invitation says 6 p.m., then dinner should be served no later than 6:45 p.m. Anything later than 45 minutes is inconsiderate of your guests.
Invitations for close family and friends (which are your target audience for this event) should go out two or three weeks in advance. I like elegant paper stationary, but in 2017 a gracious electronic invitation is fine. Do not send group text messages or emails. Each guest should receive a personal invitation.
- Plan your menu and theme. The meal you serve and the activities you plan are a gift to your guests. Therefore, they require your full attention to detail. Prepare dishes you’ve cook before or test new recipes before your event to be sure you’ve mastered them. A caterer is a good way to cut down on your preparation time. If you decide to use a caterer be sure to sample all the menu items before you sign the final contract. The caterer should arrive before your start time and be out of our home before the guests arrive. The exception to this is if the caterer is also your wait staff.
Make plans to entertain your guests by preparing games, conversation topics, music or movies. You want your guests to have a wonderful experience from the time they enter your home until the time they leave.
- Prepare your home for guests. Your home is the backdrop that pulls your event together, so make it is as beautiful as possible. The obvious task is making it clean, neat and free from clutter. Subtle touches include using fresh floral arrangements, fragrant plugins and candles. Stock your powder room with ample toilet paper as well as soap, lotion and facial tissue. Create a nice music playlist for dinner music and set proper lighting. Label the food on your buffet with small tent cards and be sure to highlight dishes that contain common allergens (such as nuts, dairy and shellfish).