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How to Host a Formal Dinner Party

Hosting a Dinner Party can be sometimes, somewhat stressful! So, naturally we have put together a handy guide which you will find useful, as it covers all the main things that you need to consider. If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments.

Initial Planning: 2-3 weeks before event

o What type of event is it?
o Decide on a theme- Pinterest is the place to go!
o Set a date
o Decide on start time
o Have you got a budget?
o How many people can your home hold?
o Better yet how many people do you feel comfortable cooking for?
o Who will prepare the food?
o What is on the menu? Is it a buffet or a plated meal?

Preparation: 1-2 weeks before event

o Do you have enough crockery, cutlery, glassware & linen?
o Find out if the guests have any dietary requirements?
o Who will assist you, before, during and after the event?
o Decide what time food will be served
o Where will you go, to do the shopping?
o Hone in on your ideas on Pinterest for your dishes and decorations
o Choose your flowers and order
o Have you got enough decorations for the table? If so, The Range & Amazon are your best friend!
o Write a list for the groceries
o Plan the menu
o Practice the menu
o Hire additional equipment
o Compile music for the event or better yet search Apple Music or Spotify for pre made playlists
o Pair the wine with the meal. You can get support from your local Wine merchant (Laithwaites or Majestic Wines)
o Will you have a welcome Cocktail? We have some great recipes on our Pinterest
o Order drinks- Can these be delivered?
o Set the RSVP date-Latest 1 week prior
o Send out the invitation 2-3 weeks in advance
o There are some great templates available on Canva
o Will there be entertainment? If so where will it slot into the event?
o Decide on what you could wear 2 weeks out. It helps ease the pressure as the event nears.
o 1 week before give the house a deep clean, so that the day before is just a top up clean.-Could you hire someone to do this?
o Iron linen

The Day Before your Dinner Party

o Polish glasses, crockery & cutlery
o Go grocery shopping or better yet, do it online to be delivered the day before your event. This way if there are any substitutes you have time to rectify.
o Get drinks & ice delivered
o If you have settled for a Cocktail as your welcome drink. Get this made
o Do your mis en place. David did a great blog on how to plan your menu
o Write a detailed to do list
o Clean the house

On the Day

o Review your to do list
o Complete misen place
o Place drinks in fridge
o Setup glasses & drinks station
o Setup the table
o Go and get changed into your party clothes
o Empty your dishwasher 1 hour before, so you can load as you go.
o 30 minutes before, light the candles & open the wines
o Have a glass of wine!

Hosting a Dinner Party needn’t be stressful. It’s all in the planning. The more you plan and anticipate what is headed your way, the more prepared you can be and avoid stress and chaos. We hope you found this article useful. Please comment below if you have any questions.

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