Throwing a dinner party can be so much fun! It’s a great way to spend time with family and friends in a more intimate setting, instead of a noisy, crowded restaurant! (Though we still love to go out!) However, some people feel intimidated about throwing one or think it’s just too much work. But you can do it! The key to any great dinner party is not only planning ahead but also keeping things on hand to make your prep day less stressful or for those last-minute dinners.
I asked for ideas from my Instagram followers about what they wanted to read about next. One suggestion was items you need to keep on hand for a last-minute dinner party and I loved it! (Thanks Stacey! And side note- if you want the best airbrush tan in Houston, Stacey is your Glo Girl!) I’m going to walk you through basic things you should already have for those impromptu dinner plans and easy items you can pick up the same day to really impress your guests.
#1- Invest in neutral table setting items
This includes nice napkins, table runner or tablecloth, and place mats. They should be in neutral colors, think white, cream, grey etc. This way when you want to throw a last-minute dinner, you have the basics on hand. You can always add color, fun napkin rings, etc., but you have classic items for any occasion. I also love adding pretty gold or silver napkin rings. You can really use those colors with anything, and a ring helps make the napkin look that much nicer on the table. Also- if you don’t have a set of 8 neutral dinner/salad plates, water glasses and wine glasses, add that to your list too!
#2- Stock up on candles
Candlelight really makes everything look dreamy! I like to keep a few different sizes on hand, but I would at least always have white votive candles. You could simply just add them to your current table centerpiece or add different sizes of candles to create one. You can even buy some pretty votive holders, so you always have them (Think mercury glass, or champagne colored!) If you really want to step it up, invest in a dimmer switch for your dining room. They are inexpensive, and it allows you to adjust the lighting so it’s not too bright. The lighting can make such a difference especially for an intimate dinner party!
#3 – Keep pretty place cards and pen on hand
Paper Source carries place cards in a variety of colors. I love these neutral paper bag place cards, but you can choose to your liking. You can also pick up a nice writing pen here. If handwriting isn’t your talent, they also have printable place cards. It’s such a simple thing to keep on hand that really adds some personalization to your table!
#4 – Create a dinner party playlist
This can be as simple as adding a prepared dinner party playlist to your amazon music account or customizing one with your favorite easy listening tunes! Nice dinner music really adds to the ambiance of the night.
#5 – Always have fun cocktail napkins in stock
I always like to keep a few packs of cute cocktail napkins in my house. Greeting guests with a great cocktail and fun napkin is the perfect way to welcome them!
Easy items to pick up that day
-Flowers! You can grab a premade arrangement from your nearby flower store or grab your favorite flowers from the grocery store and make your own. Just make sure you keep a few simple vases on hand if you do the latter.
-Dessert! All you need is a little something sweet for your guests sugar fix. Pick up some fancy chocolates to serve with after dinner drinks. If you want something quick and classic to bake, grab some chocolate chip cookie dough from the store and serve milk and fresh cookies. They will also make your house smell delicious!
-An Appetizer! My go to easy appetizer is a homemade cheese board. Pick out a few blocks of cheese, dried fruit, marcona almonds, and some flatbread crackers. Arrange everything on a pretty platter or wooden board and viola! Appetizers are done!
-A bottle (or two) of wine or liquor if you plan to have a cocktail before dinner!
-Don’t forget dinner! Keep it simple. I like to do a nice protein, a yummy salad and some specialty bread (olive bread is my favorite).
– Finally, enjoy your time with your guests! It’s easy to get caught up being the hostess, but make sure to let yourself have a little fun!
I hope this helps you for your next dinner party. Coming up on the blog, a travel blog post about our recent trip to New Orleans! It will be full of the best restaurants and places to go while you are in the charming city.
4 thoughts on “Dinner Party Perfection”
Great ideas! Your table setting is beautiful!
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I can’t wait for the next Cantley & Co. dinner party!