Tips and Tricks to a Perfect Dinner Party!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I dont know about you, but planning big dinner parties tends to give me the stress-butterflies. You know what I’m talking about, the cooking, the shopping and the most important – the perfect atmosphere. So, with the holidays coming up in no time, I thought it would be a good idea to share a few tips and tricks to a perfect (stress-free) dinner party that I recently learned from the awesome OurKitchen team, as well as a few of my own tested tips that I find super handy on those eventful days.

* Always try to use seasonal foods as they are fresher, tastier and cheaper.

* Simple (few ingredients) dishes are always a YES and least stressful to make.
* Slow cooking meat will make preparation on the day much easier. You can prepare the meat in the morning and let it cook all day.
* You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have good wine that matches your food. Don’t be shy to ask your retailer for advice. Also, don’t forget about non-alcoholic homemade drinks for guests who drive. (I find serving minted rose water or lavender lemonade to be a huge hit with my guests).

* Always make a shopping list and don’t forget to include alternatives to avoid panic attacks (Pecans alternative: hazelnuts or walnuts).

* Fresh flowers, beautiful napkins, vanilla or fig scented candles (in a mason or vintage jars) and name tags will make your table feel welcoming and oh-so-snazzy!

* My favourite: give guests edible favors to take home (those little boxes  and snack bags are perfect for after-party treats or leftovers).

* One thing I find really helpful is a plate with cheese, fruits, nuts, jam and fresh bread before the dinner so guests can mingle and nibble while you put the finishing touches on the food. (This is my favourite combination, but this set up looks pretty cool too).

* For Balazs and I a bit of music in the background is a must. We find that jazz, Norah Jones, some Adele or blues relaxes people and puts them in a good mood.

* If, for some reason, the after-dinner conversation is not flowing, games will save the day. (We love Catchphrase, Taboo, Monopoly or Jenga).

Most of all, it's all about having the time of your life! Enjoy! Lovelies, what are your go-to party planning tips? Do share:) xo

P.S: Table setting rules.

(Thanks, Sara. Photos by Kinfolk, Marcus Gaab, rose & crown, A perfet counrty wedding, Sprouted Kitchen & Sunday Suppers)

28 comments:

Tucker said...

dinner parties are my fave. these tips are excellent!

Anonymous said...

YES to the candles and I also love having dried apples and oranges around for that extra-festive vibe. Brilliant, Diana.
Love, Amy

Sara Szatmary said...

I'm a big fan of potlucks. The pressure to cook for and please a big group is eliminated, making the night so much more fun.

Diana Mieczan said...

I like the idea of potlucks as well, Sara and I totally agree that it makes the preparation so much easier if people are willing to chip in:)

Diana Mieczan said...

Amy, I love dried orange and apple scent!!!

amy b.s. said...

such great ideas!

AaReAn said...

love all of these! What great inspiration!!!!

I stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say hi! Come on over and follow Color Issue...its all about color inspiration!

I am your newest follower :-)

xoxo
Aarean

colorissue.blogspot.com

Liv said...

Thanks for this! I don't know why I let the stress hold me back from hosting dinner parties, even when everything isn't perfect they're always such a great time, especially once the wine starts flowing. I definitely need to do it more often!

http://idlefascination.blogspot.com/

Dancing Branflake said...

You know how much I love a good dinner party! These tips are just perfect.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Good tips, I follow most of them. We almost always have a game going after dinner conversation winds down. I use to make complicated desserts but now I find easy is just as good. Last party I served pudding with a cookie and everybody loved it :)

Heba said...

great tips, and these tips about meat are so helpful :)

http://girlynote.blogspot.com

THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE said...

Fabulous post! Love all of your tips, sweetie. They definitely stress me because I like things to be perfect but I love to throw them too. Ooooh and how lovely would it be to throw one outdoors like in that first photo??? :) xoxo

ilene @ muchloveilly said...

these pictures def show off the perfect dinner party. love this!

Justine said...

Love the first photo! How are you my friend?

Diana Mieczan said...

Liv, I have a friend how is a fantastic party-host but because she gets super stressed, she doesn't enjoy them at all. I totally agree with the wine-part. As long as there is wine, everyone is having fun..hahah

Diana Mieczan said...

Aww..Thanks, Tiffany and Jeanette, pudding with cookies sounds delicious. What kind of pudding did you make?

Mr. Taylor and his Lady said...

this is just so perfect! dinner parties are the best!!
xo TJ

Amber Blue Bird said...

Lists are a must plus they are fun too make :)

fashionhogger said...

That last photo is priceless. What great ideas; I love throwing dinner parties and picnics.
Don't forget to stop by for our jewellery giveaway Diana! It's FABULOUS!

fashionhogger said...

Thanks Diana - it's a fashionable gif lol! Thanks for entering the giveaway! WOO!

Wander.Lust said...

These are very good tips, i love hosting dinner parties and cooking for loved ones so I´m always happy to get advice plus the pictures are gorgeous!

TheChambrayCountess said...

Those are great tips and I definitely agree with keeping things simple! If you are in the kitchen all evening, you can't attend to your guests!

Diana Mieczan said...

It would be so awesome, Dawn and Amber, I LOVE making lists as well...hahah

Diana Mieczan said...

TheChambrayCountess, great point! With serving simple dishes you have the chance to enjoy your guests:) Justine, I'm great! How are you, my dear?

Stephanie said...

This is all fantastic advice! My husband and I don't throw a ton of dinner parties, but we're coming up on the time of year when we usually host at least one big family dinner, so I will have to keep these tips in mind. :-)

quintessence said...

Wonderful entertaining tips. My go to fall/winter picks are one pot dishes like Coq au Vin or Beef Bourguignon! You can make it the day ahead (actually tastes better that way) and then all you have to do day of for the main course is reheat and made sides.

Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

Ah, thank you darling for this awesome post! I am a bit of a neurotic hostess, I get soooooo nervous when I am entertaining! This has a lot of helpful tips, thank you.

stevenjared0853 said...

Hey!! This post is really awesome. Thanks for sharing these tips for arranging dinner party. Want to plan a dinner party at one of San Francisco venues. Will definitely use these great ideas to arrange a wonderful party for my friends.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

exPress-o All rights reserved . Design by Blog Milk