An elegant evening of dining with friends and/or loved ones is generally a memorable experience, especially when the host/ess has gone through a lot of trouble in his/her dinner party planning. Touches like candlelight and soft music make for some classy evenings spent in good company. The perfect dinner party planning begins in the mind of the host/ess.
Dinner party planning is fun, but can be quite unlike any other type of party planning, For one things, dinner parties tend to have fewer guests. With fewer people to provide ambiance for, the dinner party planning task is, actually, a bit easier. Deciding whom to invite might be the harder part of dinner party planning because it is vital that, in such a small group, people are friendly enough to be able to carry on a good conversation, but not volatile enough to start an argument and ruin the evening.
In fact, while planning a dinner as a party, one may tend to think the guest list is far more important than the menu, and one would be right. A party that falls apart due to personality clashes won’t be saved by an elaborate meal. So take special care in formulating your guest list.
That’s not to say that the food is not important. It is very important. Depending on the degree of elegance, you will be making some hard choices in your dinner party planning regarding the food. First, take into account any known allergies your guests might have, if possible. Then work around that. A truly elegant dinner calls for food to be brought in waves. That is, appetizers first, followed by soup and/or salad. Then the main entree and side dishes. Finally, desert and coffee rounds out the food portion of dinner party planning. But of course, do not forget bread for the table and beverages. Water should always be available and perhaps a nice wine to compliment the main entree.
While it might be okay to serve a dinner on the everyday stoneware when not entertaining, formal dinner party planning requires the use of fine china and sterling silver flatware. Crystal glasses would be a nice touch, but even ordinary glasses will suffice as long as they all match. If need be, you can look up a local party rental business and rent what you don’t have. They will even provide nice linens for the table and sometimes they have very interesting centerpieces, as well. Your dinner party plan should definitely include a trip to the local party supply house to see what they have available and to get some ideas.
The venue you choose is important in planning a dinner as a party. If you have a large enough home, you can put the party together there. Or perhaps you live in a smallish apartment and the rooftop is available? If neither of these is an option, perhaps renting a venue might be simpler. The local Elks lodges and such often allow rooms to be rented for such occasions and usually have a kitchen available. Or how about the basement of your church?
There are numerous choices to make when dinner party planning. It will be up to you to oversee everything and find ways to make the evening a success. You are limited only by your creative genius and your financial limits.