The idea of throwing a fabulous dinner party can seem quite daunting to many people. Organising the guests, the table, the appetisers and meals can be perceived as a little overwhelming. However, it need not be so intimidating. The key to a successful dinner party is in the organisation and preparation. Once you have mastered the mood and ambience the rest will fall into place and your guests will leave eagerly anticipating your next party!
Play with the Centrepiece
The centrepiece is one of the first things your guests will see and can be an important element in setting the “wow” factor of your dinner party. Flowers are a classic and elegant choice but are often overused by dinner party hosts. Some alternative choices can be the placement of seasonal fruit or bare tree branches spray painted with gold or silver and presented in a beautiful crystal bowl. Or, you may even own an interesting sculptural piece that you could turn into a beautiful centrepiece. You'll be adding a point of interest to your table which can generate conversation and leave a lasting impression on your guests. A handy tip in regards to the size of your centrepiece: keep it low, you want all your guests to be able to see each other.
Setting the Scene
The little details will turn a dinner table from OK to something special and memorable for your guests. Cutlery should be polished and finger-print free, and make sure to face knife-blades inwards. Always choose cloth napkins and use your good china – now is not the time to hide it away! Having matching wine and drinking glasses also adds a subtle elegance to the night. Individual menus can also be created and placed on each guest’s plate to add a special touch to the night; matching the design of the menu cards to your party’s colour scheme will tie everything together nicely and impress your guests. You can use Avery® White Quick & Clean Compliment Cards and Design & Print Online to create menus that suit your dinner party theme and impress!
Go for Mood Lighting
When it comes to setting the mood, lighting can be a make or break detail. Nobody wants to sit in the dark, but then you also don’t want to have guests sitting in harsh, bright lighting. A happy medium is the perfect choice. Dimming the lights to 25 watts or less is a great start. To take it to the next level you can also choose to switch your white bulbs to pale pink, these will make everyone look great and boost confidence within the room (as well as masking any imperfection you may have in the room). Candles also make a great addition to add extra elegance to any dinner party. A great tip to avoid having to clean up messy dripping wax is to freeze your candles the night before. Also, choose unscented candles, scented candles can overwhelm the senses of guests and can interfere with the taste of your food.
Seat Guests Wisely
Guest seating is a critical component to the success of a dinner party. Placecards are a key element of any dinner party to remove confusion from the guests (and stress for the host) when it comes time to take their seats. Placecards are also a great tool for allowing guests to know the name of the person they are seated near or who they are in conversation with. Avery White Quick & Clean Business Cards are ideal to use for placecards for your dinner party. A good idea is to have the names of each guest written on both sides of the placecards so that everyone can see the name of each person at the table, no matter which side they are sitting on. It’s also a good idea to seat people with larger personalities in the centre of the table to liven up conversation across the entire table, as well as seating all guests close together rather than spaced too far apart. It’s no fun having to yell across the table in order to be heard.
End the Night on a High
So, the mood has been set, your guests are getting along happily and the time has come to think about leaving. What better way to leave a lasting impression on your guests than to farewell them with a parting gift? By creating party favours you are giving your guests a physical reminder of the fabulous time they had with you, a lasting memory for them to cherish. Avery has a great range of labels, bags and tags that you can use to create personalised little gifts. You could fill Avery Printable Party Bags with individually wrapped chocolates. Another option is to have your guests experience the joy of opening the unknown and place your party favour in a small box or bag, customised with Avery White Printable Gift & Organisation Tags or Glossy Oval Labels.
It’s simple really. Follow these basic guidelines and you are on your way to throwing a very special and memorable dinner party. Remember that when all is said and done all it really takes is a smile, a genuine welcome, a few drinks, good food and a host or hostess who is enjoying themselves to make the night truly successful. And, for that extra special lasting memory, paying attention to all the little details will have you the talk of the town for months to come.