A lot of people I know stress over playing host. When you think about it though, it’s really not that daunting of a task. You’re going to be have people over, and it’s your responsibility to make their night a good one. Pretty soon, this can spiral into total paranoia, and thinking that your guests are going to be judging every little thing about you and your home. Let’s start by relaxing a little! If you’re a little skittish about your upcoming dinner party, then here are some tips for making it a good one.
My first tip is to try and make your guests feel relaxed and comfortable. Some people get themselves too worked up over having company over, and it’s obvious in the way they act. When your host seems skittish and nervous, this can easily become contagious, and end up bringing down the mood of the whole gathering. Again, chill out! You can make sure that your guests stay relaxed and comfortable pretty easily. It starts with basic things, like choosing relaxing background music and making sure the house is nice and tidy. After that, it’s all down to the guests you’re having over. If you know them professionally, or they come off as a little more proper than usual, then work at making the mood more formal. For most people though, you should try to keep the atmosphere mellow and informal. Obviously, not everyone’s going to feel relaxed in the same place. However, if you’ve met your guests at least once before, you should have some idea of how to make a relaxing, comfortable atmosphere for them.
Next, try to pamper your guests, without being too overwhelming. Although some of us are slow to admit it, we all love being pampered, and really feeling like we’re welcome somewhere. Obviously, you don’t have to do anything extravagant. However, if you stick to the general rules of playing host, and try to do a little bit extra, your guests are sure to feel pampered. As soon as they come through the door, take their coats. Offer them some appetizers, a drink, and seat them in one of the most comfortable chairs in the home. If they offer to help you out with any cooking or cleaning, refuse immediately. This might sound like a given, but when you’ve been cooking all day it can be very tempting to scream “yes”! Another important part of making your guests feel pampered is keeping things stocked up. Make sure there’s always cold drinks to go around, and keep any finger food coming for as long as possible. Hopefully, they’ll be too engaged in conversation to notice it straight away. Believe me though, they’ll certainly remember it, and it won’t go unappreciated!
Finally, make sure your entire party is well-fed, and probably a little buzzed. You’re not hosting a sorority or fraternity party, but alcohol is a staple of most good dinner parties. Spirits and simple mixers can do the trick. At the very least, you should have beer and wine. Like a lot of people, you might have a favorite drink that you rarely stray away from. This can make you feel out of your depth when you’re shopping for anything else. Thankfully, there are a lot of online resources to help you. If one of your guests is a wine snob for example, then wine.net could be worth checking out. Perhaps the worst thing you can have at a dinner party is too much booze and too little food. Whether you’re having a sophisticated affair, or you’re all eating pizza out on the patio, make sure you have something in-between. Keep some plates of snacks and nibbles within reach at all times. Bowls of nuts and similar things are fine, but they never really wow guests. Making gorgeous, bite-sized foods might sound a little daunting. Still, there are a lot of easy recipes you can find which could just about save your night! Check out thekitchn.com for a really good one. Don’t skip out on dessert either! In this age of healthy living, you might be used to never eating dessert after a meal. However, a nice dessert dish is a great way to finish off a wonderful evening. Or, if the night turns out to be a complete disaster, you’ll at least have something sweet to eat your emotions out!
Keep these tips in mind, and I’m sure your dinner party will go off splendidly. I’ll finish this by reiterating the biggest point: relax!