Divine Dinner Party

Your First Dinner Party (or Fiftieth!):
Planning the Details

When planning your first dinner party (or if you're an experienced host or hostess), just remember: there are as many kinds of dinner parties as there are kinds of people. No, really! There are. Stiff and formal (Beef Wellington and Champagne potatoes), spicy and confident (Indian Chicken Jalfrezi), fun and casual (Burger and Fries). See what I mean?

Some of the best dinner parties are casual ones. Long, cozy evenings spent with friends, good food, and great conversation. Planning this sort of night for a first dinner party is fairly easy. You know who is coming, you know what they like, and you don’t have to stress about getting everything perfect. What's better?

Even for a super casual dinner party, when all your guests are well-known friends, it's still important to spend time thinking about your guest list. Especially when doing your first dinner party planning, there are some easy-to-miss mistakes that can mess up an otherwise perfect night of wine, food, and conversation. These dinner party planning tips should help you avoid some common pitfalls.

  • Don’t over-shoot.
  • For a casual dinner party, easier is always better. Especially for your first dinner party, it's a good idea not to pick an overly-ambitious menu. And always pick something that you've made before-- unless you're a particularly talented cook, debuting a dish for company is a pretty risky proposition.

  • Ask questions.
  • Make sure you know what your guests like. Have several that hate fish? Make sure to know that ahead of time. Even more important than picky guests are food-sensitive ones. If you're planning on making your famous Peanut Curry Chicken, make sure none of your guests has, say, a peanut allergy. It'll be hard to live down sending a friend to the hospital with your cooking.

  • Allow help.
  • If a friend offers to bring a dish that goes well with your dinner party menu or theme… let them! Having one less thing to worry about making or buying simply makes your first dinner party planning easier.

  • Make requests.
  • Even better than allowing friends to bring something… ask them to. One of the best requests to make is a wine. You can request a particular variety, or tell the guest what course it's for, and let them bring what they like. As a bonus, it can also act as a talking point between guests-- even encouraging lively conversation about whose wine is better!

    If possible, get your guests to commit to their item ahead of time, so you can plan accordingly. Make sure to tell them that, if they forget to bring it, they can forget about eating. :)

Dinner Party Planning Tips: Guest List Planning

To help keep track of your guests --what they like, what they can't have, etc.-- it's a good idea to have your notes about them all in one place. This will help you not only to plan the dinner menu, but also decide what to buy with regards to wine and other items guests may bring along. This handy guest list planner should definitely help with your dinner party planning.

Download a Free Printable Guestlist Planner for a Dinner Party

Simply click the thumbnail to open the PDF file. File opens in a new page.

Go from Help with Your First Dinner Party to Dinner Party Planning Central for lots more tips, recipes, and ideas.

Free Newsletter and Monthly Downloads

Crock Pot Crockpot Dinner RecipesSign up for my free newsletter, and get a free e-cookbook or other fun download sent right to your inbox every month. Plus, you'll get access to all kinds of goodies you won't find on the website!

Want your download now? You'll get a free Crockpot Cooking eCookbook just for signing up!

Sign up below.




I won't sell your email, spam you, or do
anything else to make you hate me. Seriously.



Share and share alike! If you have a great dinner party idea or tip, send it in!

After all, what better way to pass on your knowledge than to share it with other hosts and hostesses?

| Homepage | What's New at DDP | Contact Us | Privacy Policy |

Return to top

Copyright© 2007-2015 by Divine Dinner Party.com.  All rights reserved.