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How to Throw the Perfect Dinner Party

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

I forgot how easy and glamorous a simple dinner party can be! So I'm making it my mission to bring back the dinner party! That's right, I'm single handedly going to start hosting  Going out to eat is super expensive and inconvenient if you're with a big group. I mean, how akward/annoying/infuriating is splitting the bill and figuring out who pays what, especially if you split bottles of wine or tapas! A fabulous idea would be to start a dinner club with a group of friends and take turns hosting once a month. 

First things first, pick a theme! Any theme! The theme is central to your dinner! Your invitations, menu, and decor! Want to have a Parisian dinner party complete with mini crepes, french onion soup and creme brulee? How about a Southern-Style dinner party with biscuits with tobasco and honey, fried chicken and cherry pie? The options are endless! 

to make this dinner party official, you must send out some invitations!!

You can go the easy efficient way and send your invites in a chic, digital format with my favorite online invitation company ! The invites are super cute and if you sign up using their facebook connect widget, you get free credits! They run on flash and your invitees can experience the whole delivery process from getting the envelope addressed to them, opening the envelope and taking out the invite; All virtually!! 

A fun, easy, and cheap idea would be to pick up some patterned paper at your local stationary store and play graphic designer! I've been obsessed with chevron patterns for a while now and think that the vertical stripes would be perfect to announce your party plans! Slap on a .44 cent stamp and out with the mail man they go! 

Next step, menu preparation! 

When thinking of your menu, keep in mind your theme! Then do yourself a favor, go immediately to pinterest and starting searching for recipes! Usually the pinterest recipes are from bloggers and regular people like you and me! I mean, let's be honest, I am no Martha Stewart! Mini foods are great for entertaining! As far as beverages are concerned, you can go for cocktails or mocktails, depending on your guests preferences! Both should stick with the theme and the season! Apple cider is a huge hit in the fall and winter if you're feeling crafty try serving it in an apple.

Creativity is always a plus when entertaining! 

The table setting is important to create the mood of a real old-fashioned dinner party! Here's a cheat sheet via Martha Stewart! 

Left to right on the bottom: Salad, Dinner Fork, Fish Fork (you can probably leave this one out) , Dinner Plate, Dinner Knife, Salad Knife, Soup Spoon

Left to right on top: Bread Plate with Butter Knife, Desert Spoon on top of Cake Fork, Water Glass, White Wine Glass, Red Wine Glass or leave out the wine glasses for a cocktail or mocktail glass

Next task to tackle! Seating Arrangements! Make sure to spread people out who know each other and sit people who may not know each other together, especially if they have things in common! This will spark conversations and people will make tons of new friends!! It also makes the conversation even throughout the table! I met one of my very best friends at this dinner party: 

Lastly, thank your guests for coming out! Dinner parties are nothing without a group of your favorite people in the whole world to enjoy your world class work-in-progress cooking skills!

Now start planning!! 


Brittany (e.l.f. Social Media Maven)



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Army Wife Ash wrote:
1) 11/5/2011 6:06:31 PM
OMG this is just way too perfect! I've been planning a dinner party for next month and I was going a bit crazy over what I could do. The apple cups... I made a prototype... it was adorable but kept turning brown so I dipped the top of it in red wax and stuck a small red straw in it. I cannot thank you enough for this article!
1 Reply | Reply to this | Open Thread
Pea wrote:
2) 11/7/2011 11:21:29 AM
this is such great ideas!
Reply to this
Christina718 wrote:
3) 11/7/2011 12:26:34 PM
I am soooooo obsessed with pinterest and thank you guys for blogging about it a few weeks back cause I have done so much in these past weeks and I owe it to E.L.F. so looking up recipes to have a dinner party.
Reply to this

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