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How to Host an Elegant Dinner Party

What a wonderful gift it is to give friends and family an elegant dinner party. They will eagerly anticipate feasting upon all manner of cultured cuisine and sipping cocktails (or mocktails) while engaged in conversation. Soon after receiving an invitation, your guests will mentally start pulling outfits together. You could not only give them the gift of a splendid evening but also cherished memories to be revisited for years to come. As host, there are several things you can incorporate when crafting your dinner party to bring it to the level of sophistication you want, while impressing your guests with your thoughtfulness and generosity.

Any decent dinner party starts and ends with welcoming beverages to relax the countenance and free the conversation. However, rather than an open-bar free-for-all, your event should be a controlled rollout of drinks at different times that serve different purposes. A beautiful and thoughtful way to delineate between liquid courses, and make your guests feel they’re being treated royally, is to serve up your conscientious concoctions in vintage and antique cocktail and specialty glasses. Weston Table offers a wonderful collection of vintage glassware from which you can select shapes and styles that are appropriate for and actually enhance each drink. It feels special to sip a delicate aperitif from an exquisitely cut glass vessel made just for that purpose. Just as champagne flutes are designed to control the release of bubbles, other specialty glasses are crafted to suit best their intended drink. Try using them as intended during your dinner party and get ready to see some smiles.

Unquestionably, the decor in which your event will take place is of utmost importance. Beyond the basics of being pristine and with a thoughtful layout, it should be visually striking while inviting. Your guests should be asking you to help design their interiors once they get a look at how you’ve appointed your dining room and other spaces. One unusual yet incredibly impactful way to introduce a wow factor is to bring the outdoors in. As noted in a Homedit blog post, decorating with flora, fruits, vegetables and other greenery make for a lush and enchanting backdrop for your dinner party – ideally harvested from your own outdoors if possible. Showcase mother nature’s work with a table runner of interlocking evergreen or autumnal branches. Highlight the rich carpet of greenery of earth tones with the jewel tones of seasonal fruits and vegetables. While the items may be ordinary, their composition and placement certainly lean towards the whimsical and give your tablescape an almost storybook feel – a wonderful backdrop for your guests to spin their own tales.

As host, you unquestionably have an enormous task in front of you to make the evening go seamlessly without your displaying any of the stage management techniques you’ve enlisted to make everything so. Planning ahead will help you reach this level of effectiveness and balance during your event. Prepare certain foods well before the dinner and present them on boards and platters that easily fill a sideboard or buffet, with the added bonus of being easily removed and cycled for different courses. Shrimp cocktail is a crowd favorite that basically requires preparation in advance, especially if you’re making your own cocktail sauce – highly recommended, as its flavor is enhanced by time. The New York Times offers up a classical rendition but go ahead and make several recipes that vary the heat levels and accent tastes to offer your guests a chance to customize their dipping experience. Then you as host can simply relax for the time being knowing that your guests are tended to without your needing to rush back and forth from the kitchen. You need to enjoy your own event or it will be difficult for others to do so.

Setting the overall mood of your dinner party is probably most effectively addressed by the music you choose to be the soundtrack to your evening. While you may be the type to have a string quartet lovingly playing from a corner of your drawing room, most of us will enlist a playlist either that we’ve curated ourselves or purchased online from sources with potentially more knowledge and resources than we have. Regardless of your home’s infrastructure or your technical savvy, that music needs to be heard to be enjoyed. Simplify the whole process of rigging your room for audio by enlisting the help of Sonos One. While a pair or more is recommended for optimal stereo sound, a single, easily installed and controlled smart speaker has the capability of carrying your music across a room. This tip also plays to the previous one in that it’s about keeping the host sane and as hands-off as possible during the event. Let the music carry along the conversation, of course punctuated with well-placed and well-remembered bon mots from the intrepid host.

Lucky you if you’ve decided to throw an elegant dinner party for your valuable friends and family. While, yes, it will be a good deal of work beforehand, during and after, you can take some steps to make sure it will be fondly remembered over many a future cocktail or two. An evening of sophistication with those close will certainly bring them closer and build your confidence as the host you would like to be. Have a swellegant time!

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