Suffice to say, planning a dinner party is more complicated than it looks. People that regularly attend the dinner parties of their friends will rarely realize just how much effort goes into them. Many people that host dinner parties try to appear as calm as possible in order to be good hosts, which only furthers the perception that planning dinner parties is relatively easy. However, as party planners gain more and more experience, the process will run much more smoothly for them.
When planning a dinner party, a host first needs to establish how many people will be attending. The meal preparations, the seating, and even the entertainment options could all be influenced by the number of guests.
At that point, the host will need to send out invitations and give potential guests plenty of time to confirm that they will or will not be attending the party. Without sufficient notice, it is possible that dinner party hosts will suddenly end up with more or fewer guests than they were anticipating.
Dinner party planners need to consider their guests’ food preferences as they are planning their menus. For one thing, certain guests may have food allergies or ethical issues surrounding food. Today, it’s generally expected to provide vegetarian alternatives for guests, for instance. Dinner party hosts that don’t know these details will simply have to research them in advance, because making these kinds of mistakes will affect how the entire dinner party is received by guests.
Dinner party hosts will then need to work out how much food they’ll need for the party in general. It’s always better to overestimate than underestimate, of course. Plenty of guests like to take leftovers home with them, but no one wants to go to a dinner party where the food is in short supply.
Dinner party hosts need to decide how much food they’re going to prepare for themselves, if any, and how much they plan to order or purchase. If they plan to order food, they will need to decide where they’re going to get it, and set aside enough time for the whole process. If they plan to make a lot of the food themselves, they will need to write out ingredients lists, purchase the ingredients in a massive shopping trip, and make sure they do everything in the right order.
Some dinner parties may serve alcohol, and some may not. Most dinner parties will have coffee, soda, and other types of beverages easily available for guests, however. Some guests will appreciate having dietary alternatives. Dinner party planners can save themselves a lot of time and heartache simply by trying to get feedback from their guests in advance.
Many dinner parties have music playing in the background. Hosts that know something about their guests’ music preferences will probably make the best choices regarding the music. Some dinner parties have games as well. Charades and Pictionary have always been popular, although there are plenty of other more experimental party games that some hosts may want to try. They can always offer these sorts of games as options, and let the guests decide for themselves as a group.