As recent years have taught us to adopt a more economical outlook to entertainment and our social lives, ‘staying in’ truly is the new ‘going out’. But how can you make your dinner party or get together one to remember? These are our 10 tips to perfection for your big night in with friends:
Intriguing Invites: Forget the rather dull mass text message, why not get your guests talking by sending an interesting invitation to your big night in? Online invitation tools such as ‘Paperless Post’ allow you to create and send gorgeous and stylish invitations for a low cost, or even for free. With a wide range of templates, designs and themes, you’ll be spoilt for choice, and it’ll add to the excitement for your guests to receive something official.
Don’t Despair on the Bring and Share: If a regular part of your get-together is the norm that everyone brings a bottle, box of chocolates, etc, try to ensure everyone is clear on what is required. There is no fun in all your guests bringing along a cheap bottle of red when everyone wants to drink lager. Why not spice it up and suggest everyone brings along the ingredients to create their favourite cocktail? A great fun way to get the party going, make everyone feel at ease and try something new!
Smells Divine: When your guests arrive you want them to feel at home straight away. There is nothing cosier than low lighting, candles, flowers and light fragrance to create an atmosphere and make people feel warm and welcomed. Think of the ambience as your guests arrive and the highlights you can provide to make your get together a comfortable one.
Timed to Perfection: Think ahead as to how your evening will flow. Consider timings for decorating your table, food preparation and guest arrival. As the host you’ll want to have a presence with your guests rather than be hiding away in the kitchen. Write it down, follow a set plan – you won’t regret it!
Arrival Bites: There’s a strong possibility your guests will be peckish when they arrive, and probably in need of a good drink after a hard working week! Ensure you allow time to prepare some light canapés ready for your arrivals. A fun arrival drink of bubbly or a cocktail always goes down well, but a cool wine or lager fresh from the fridge is often appreciated.
Table Décor – there’s nothing quite like a beautifully styled table to help your guests feel pampered during their time at your dinner party, so take some time to consider colours, themes and additions to make your table look gorgeous. Try some low centrepieces of candles and small floral arrangements to create a pretty effect but without creating the barrier between guests that a tall floral arrangement would create. Coloured linens, charger plates and glassware also creates a pretty and eye-catching addition to a table.
Mood Music – non-one wants heavy metal blasting out whilst trying to have a conversation, so the anticipation of a dinner party is a great time to consider compiling an easy listening playlist that will suit the tastes of all your guests. We think you can’t go wrong with a little Stevie Wonder, Barry White, Lionel Ritchie – oh the greats!!
Giving is Good: Show your guests your appreciation for their presence by adding a little gift to their place setting. It’ll be greatly appreciated and is a lovely touch. It needn’t cost the earth – why not check out these homemade ideas from SMP Living? http://www.stylemepretty.com/living/2014/08/22/10-creative-hostess-gift-ideas/. We LOVE the single serve margaritas – obviously!
Let the Night (and Wine) Flow: Have a continuation plan – what happens after dinner? It can get a little uncomfortable if there is little flow to the evening following dinner, so ensure you have a plan. It’s always a nice idea to move away from the dining table at this point and enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere, so top up your guest’s drinks, retire to the living area, ensure there is a seat for everyone and prepare for your next activity…..
Games! Top off the evening with some fun games that everyone can enjoy and get involved in. Interactive games like charades or the board game ‘Cranium’ are great ways to get everyone involved, but nowadays we’re also finding great fun in entertainment systems like the Nintendo Wii and Playstation with games like ‘Buzz’ and ‘Wii Sports’. These can be a hilarious way of carrying on your evening, working as teams and having a great laugh at the same time.
We hope you’ll find our hosting tips useful and that you can incorporate some of them into your next successful get together. Are there any ideas and methods you swear by to ensure you’re the host with the most?