How to Host a Dinner Party (Without Stressing Out Here)

How to Host a Dinner Party (Without Stressing Out Here)
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Food, friends, and general festivity – and all without the services fees you get at a restaurant.

Throwing a dinner party is more than cooking a meal. It's a chance to make memories. But you don't want your (or your guests) memories to be of how stressed out you got trying to bring it all together.

You can be the perfect host even if you have never cooked a big meal before. Keep reading to learn how to host a dinner party with style.

1. Keep It Exclusive

If you're new to hosting, don't make your maiden voyage into the event of the season. Stick to four to six guests (enough to fill a tulip dining set) and keep them close. Invite people you know and trust and who are supportive of you.

Want to mix it up? Invite a small group of friends plus one or two outsiders.

Set your date for around three weeks in advance. It's enough time for your guest list to set the evening aside and enough time for them to let you know if they have a conflict.

If one of six can't come, don't panic. Avoid rescheduling – unless the missing guest is the glue holding the party together. They'll make it next time!

2. Use Strategy to Plan Your Menu

The key to wowing your guests at a dinner party isn't to use every pan in the kitchen and spend the entire day cooking.

Use similar ingredients, and don't overload your oven or stove.

If it's your first time, start with a set of cold appetizers (or tapas if you want to feel European), then move on to the main dish and end the meal with dessert.

Be a Superhost and Pair Your Wine

Are you providing wine and beer? Pair them with your dishes.

You will be amazed at how the right wine can transform the food – and how the wrong pairing can make everything taste muddy.

Choosing the right pairing is the easiest way to elevate your entire meal without taking a cooking class. Plus, you won't have to spend much time debating about what to buy at the liquor store.

Don't worry. You don't need to be a sommelier. Use a simple wine pairing chart to get the job done.

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3. Prep and Automate

Make the day-of preparations more relaxed by automating as much as possible and prepping well in advance.

Don't drive around to every store for your groceries, especially the day of the part. Get them delivered in advance.

And the night before your dinner, prepare whatever you can in advance. Set the table, test out the ambiance, run your playlist on the speaker system, and even make the dessert, if possible. Then, all you need to do on the day is to cook the main meal.

Anyone Can Learn How to Host a Dinner Party

Learning how to host a dinner party isn't just for the person who considers themselves a ‘home chef.' Anyone can do it, and a dinner at home is a fantastic way to bond with new and old friends over a good meal (without the tip).

Your dinner party can happen according to the plan. All you need is a good strategy and, of course, the perfect wine.

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