Planning a dinner party can be intimidating, especially if you are a beginning cook. But with About.com’s tips, you’ll be well on your way to planning and executing a party your friends will be talking about for months to come!
Your first decisions will center around when to have your party, who to invite and what theme to have. If you host a party around a holiday, decisions will follow more naturally as to decor and food. Extend those invitations two or more weeks before the date so your guests have plenty of time to RSVP and you have more time to plan.
Be realistic about what kind of chef you are when you plan your menu. If you’re a beginner, choose a main dish you are confident with and supplement it with pre-made sides from the deli or supermarket. No matter what your skill level in the kitchen, don’t make a dish for the first time when you are having guests. The last thing you want is to be sweating it out in the kitchen while your guests are having fun, or serve something that doesn’t turn out.
Now it’s time to make lists. Lists of your guests, lists of ingredients you need to purchase, lists of what items you have on hand and what you’ll need to buy or borrow to make your party a success. Also don’t forget to keep guests food allergies or special diets in mind when you plan your meal. You can ask guests if they need any special accommodations when you invite them (preferably by phone!)
Your next list will be a schedule for your pre-party planning so you can be sure everything gets done. You’ll want to make sure to allow time to get yourself and your family ready, as well as obvious things like cleaning, shopping, decorating, cooking and setting the table.
Now you’re ready to invite friends, family and neighbors to a fabulous fete at your apartment. Happy entertaining!