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6 Surprisingly Easy Hacks for Dinner Party Newbies (On a Budget!)

A simple sit-down dinner party isn’t that simple after all. From the elaborate gatherings in Gossip Girl to the heavily broadcasted over-the-top Kardashian dinners, the bar is pretty high.

Are you hosting your first dinner party? If you don’t have a glorious hostess guiding you, we’ve put together a black book of the best tips for a memorable dinner party.

Start preparing ( the earlier the better)

Get to work as soon as you send out the invites, or even when you finalise the date. You have a lot of decisions to make. From the cuisine to the table setting, the logistics should be sorted in advance.

Writing things down always makes it easier to remember and keep a track. You can download and print out a dinner party planning template. It will keep all the information you need in one place.

Estimate your budget and accordingly decide whether you want to do everything on your own or you need help. If your budget allows it, you can reach out to a professional catering service.

Food, drinks and entertainment

The food is the main attraction of a dinner party. Delectable canapés and delicious drinks are crucial for a successful party.

Strategically plan your menu. Take into account the number of guests and the duration of the dinner. Do you want to space out the hors d’oeuvre and the main course? Or do you want to start with drinks and serve dinner at once?

One-pot dishes and cheese boards are a godsend if you are cooking yourself. Don’t have the skills or time to whip up a platter of starters? There is no shame in grabbing a few nibbles from a nice bakery. It’s better to prepare more food than leaving your guests wanting more (not in a good way!).

Running out of drinks or food is perhaps the biggest dinner party faux pas. A hot tip is to stock up on alcohol. Buy a few extra bottles than you think you’ll need. Ordering in bulk will also be cheaper.

Set the mood with ambient lighting, strike conversations and as the evening progresses, put on some tunes. You can go whichever route you please, from Dean Martin to Taylor Swift. If making a playlist isn’t your forte, take help from Spotify, Amazon Music and other streaming services that have some excellent playlists.

Elegant table setting

If food is a prayer, then the table setting is the priest. Even the best food will fail to impress without a stunning table for presentation. This by no means implies that you need to shell out big bucks purchasing fancy china. It is absolutely possible to surpass the elegance scale on a budget.

You can get some beautiful crockery, table runner, napkins, cutlery and other tableware at affordable prices. For a visually cohesive table setting, follow a colour theme. White and gold is a classic, foolproof combination.

Flower arrangements are an easy and affordable way to add sophistication to any table setting. Sublime lilies, colourful carnations or fragrant peonies are all great options for an ethereal set up. You can get flowers at wholesale prices from Excelsior Wholesale.

Careful with the guestlist

Pick a group of people who have common interests and you think will get along well. You should consider this while deciding the seating as well. A good group of guests makes a high-energy party.

Some thoughtful touches

Before you finalise the menu, make sure you are aware of any dietary restrictions. It would be a pity if you bring out mouthwatering Caprese salad but some of your guests are vegan. It’s always nice to ask guests about their food allergies and dietary preferences beforehand.

If you want to go above and beyond, name cards are an endearing touch, and so inexpensive!

Don’t forget to have fun

Lastly, ENJOY! You have toiled for days putting everything together. Sit back and indulge in stimulating conversations, scrumptious treats and beverages.