Once you’re in your first apartment or finally feeling like an adult you’re going to want to host your first dinner party. The idea of it can be a bit overwhelming and stressful at first thought but follow this guide for some helpful tips and tricks to make your first dinner party a success.
Keep it small and intimate
As much as you want to invite any person you’ve ever met it’s better to start off with a couple close friends, no more than six people for your first time. This way you don’t have to worry about how you’ll fit everyone around your table or if you have enough cutlery and glasses. Having your close friends also takes a lot of the pressure off so you can actually enjoy your time. Once you’re comfortable with a smaller group it gets easier adding an extra person or two next time.
Plan a menu you’re comfortable with
A dinner party is not when you should start experimenting with ingredients you’ve never heard of before. If you’ve never cooked a steak before or a whole chicken this is not the place to start. Pick a recipe you’re comfortable with and take it to the next level with a fun twist, don’t try and reinvent the wheel. If you have something adventurous you really want to try and make test it out once or twice before you give it to your friends as a meal. The best way to take the stress off is to know that you’ve got the cooking down pat.
Divide up the dishes
If your hosting that doesn’t mean you have to cook everything. Figure out what dishes are strong suits for your friends and ask them to bring it. If you have a friend who is amazing at making guacamole have them bring some, or salad or whatever there strengths. If you have friends who can’t bring dishes they can pick up a bottle of wine or something premade from the grocery store or bakery. That way everyone contributes and feels like a part of the dinner. Be sure to confirm what people are bringing the morning of so they don’t forget and you’re not short a dish.
Set the mood
Just because it’s your close friends coming over doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put some effort into the decor. Be sure to clean your place before people come over and set the table. Something as simple as having matching plates or real napkins (even if they’re paper – as long as they’re not paper towel) goes a long way to set it apart to a normal meal. Using lamps and candles instead of overhead lights helps create a comfortable and homey atmosphere. Another helpful trick is to have dinner party music (there’s literally a Spotify playlist for this exact purpose) playing in the background. Soft background tunes go a long way towards setting the mood as well.
Keep the drinks flowing
The best part of a dinner party isn’t the food it’s the people. Keep your glasses full and keep talking as the night goes on. When everyone is together in a relaxed environment and a few glasses of wine deep conversation really starts flowing. Catching up with your friends and over good food and good wine is the best part of being an adult so enjoy it and start planning you’re next dinner party.
Try and enjoy yourself
It can be easy to get caught up in the cooking and cleaning and every single thing that goes wrong but you are allowed to just sit back and enjoy yourself with your friends. If something goes wrong, use it as a teaching moment of what not to do next year and pat yourself on the back for everything that goes right. You might burn some chicken or spill some wine but what people are going to remember is never going to be the bad stuff so don’t spend so much time stressing about it.