Hosting Tips for the Perfect Dinner Party

min read
BetMGM Aug 24, 2021, 10:11 AM

If you’re interested in hosting a special evening for some friends, what could be better than a fantastic dinner party followed by some great casino games? Since we’ve already got the great casino games covered, here’s all the advice you need to host the perfect dinner party!

Decide on a date

When picking a date, the first thing you need to keep in mind is what day you want to host the dinner party. If you plan to keep it a relatively mild event, you could choose a weekday so people won’t have to worry about their commitments the following day. 

However, if you think things might get a bit crazy, a Friday or Saturday night is best! Or if you have a public holiday coming up, schedule your dinner party for the evening before. This will allow people to go a bit wild and still have time to recover from the previous night’s indulgence.

It’s not only important to pick the right day, but also to give people plenty of notice. In a perfect world, we’d be free to send short notice to all the people we’d like to see at our dinner party, and they’d all be available. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and if you want people to make sure they’re free, it’s a good idea to set a date at least a month in advance. 

Plan your food menu

A notepad sits on a table next to a glass and some plates of food.

Of course, you can’t have a dinner party without food, but what should you include on your menu? 

The most important thing is to contact any guests you have in mind and find out if they have any dietary requirements. Whether it’s for reasons concerning health (they have allergies or other medical issues,) religious or cultural (they aren’t allowed to eat certain foods,) or lifestyle (they’re vegetarian or vegan,) your friends may not be allowed to eat certain foods, so make sure you cater for their needs.

After you’ve confirmed your guests’ dietary preferences, you need to decide on the style of your menu. Do you want to go formal? Or casual? A formal three-course meal is great for a sit-down meal, but what if you want the dinner party to involve more mingling? A more casual, finger-food-style menu might be better suited to this type of event.

Another question you might want to ask yourself in relation to your menu is whether you want your dinner party to be themed, as this will help you focus on what you should serve. For example, if you’re going for a Mexican theme (maybe you’re celebrating the Day of the Dead,) or Halloween (maybe you’re still celebrating the Day of the Dead,) corn dogs or sushi may seem a bit out of place!

These three factors – excluded foods, level of formality and theme – can have a major influence on the food you prepare, so make sure you get these food-planning steps out of the way before you decide on the specific dishes you’re going to prepare.

Don’t forget the drinks

Tying into the previous discussion on food, you also need to keep in mind what people can or can’t drink. Not everyone drinks alcohol, and again, dietary, religious or cultural, or lifestyle requirements may limit what your guests are happy drinking. Is your event formal or casual, and does it have a theme? Depending on these factors, you may choose to serve wine, some fancy cocktails, some fancier mocktails, or a combination of these types of drinks. Again, you can always encourage guests to bring something they particularly like – especially if they have more expensive tastes than you do!

Decide on any other activities for the night

Is your dinner party going to include pre- or post-dinner activities? Maybe board games like Monopoly, Scrabble, or Catan? Card games such as Cards Against Humanity? Or casino table games like poker and blackjack? While there may be plenty of great conversation to be had around the dinner table, it doesn’t hurt to have a few fun activities planned too.

Make a guest list

You’ve set a day and a date, but now you need to decide how many people – and who – you want to invite. If you’re feeling extremely social (or brave,) you can host a bigger dinner party (you’d probably want to max it out at say six to eight people who you know). But if you’re new to hosting or a bit slow in the kitchen, it might be a better idea to keep your gathering small. Try to choose a combination of people who you either know get on, or you think might if they haven’t met before. If everyone is a bit “chalk and cheese,” you may find there are some awkward silences!

If you feel like sharing the responsibilities for the night with your invited guests, you could consider asking them to bring something edible with them, such as a starter or dessert, or even drinks, whether that’s a bottle of wine or some home-made margaritas. If they’re up for it, you’ll find this could take a load off your plate and give you more time to prepare the main meal.

Send out your invitations

A man opens an envelope with a dinner party invitation.

Of course, you need to send out your invites for your dinner party well in advance. A simple email or group text message can work, but you can also take things up a level and send out a formal invitation. You can choose to make this yourself, but if you’re not a graphic designer, there are many online templates that you can use! These can then be printed out and given to people or posted, or sent in digital form online, depending on whether you want to go for a more traditional feel, or you’re more interested in speed and efficiency.

Get as much as you can ready in advance

It goes without saying that if you want your dinner party to go smoothly, you should do as much prep as you can in advance. Whether that means placing an order with a caterer (if you aren’t doing all the cooking yourself,) making sure your drinks cupboard is fully stocked, or setting up your home so it has the right ambience, it will help you avoid any last-minute panic. So take some time to think about the lighting, music, decor and table dressing ahead of time and you won’t feel the hosting role is too much to handle when the big day comes.

Relax and have a good time

No matter how much you try to think of everything, there’s bound to be something that doesn’t go according to plan. Whether it’s food that gets a bit burnt or takes longer to prepare than you thought, a new dish that doesn’t turn out quite the way you expected, or the events company that delivers something late, the simple truth is you can’t prepare for every eventuality. 

So remember this: it’s a party! It’s supposed to be fun for everyone – including you – so don’t sweat the small stuff. Relax, and tell yourself it’ll be someone else’s turn next time!

Deal with cleanup after the party

If you’re someone who likes to keep things neat and tidy, you may be tempted to clean as you go. But don’t forget, your guests are only with you for a limited amount of time, so be sure to make the most of it. The dishes and kitchen will be waiting for you when your guests are gone, and then you can clear up in peace!

Enjoy great online casino games after (or during) your dinner party

If you and your friends love to gamble, and you have online slots and other casino games on the menu for your perfect dinner party (or even if you don’t,) be sure to try out what we have to offer at BetMGM. At our real online casino, you can have a great time exploring all our exciting gambling options, which also include live dealer, table and variety games, and much more. 

No matter what you like to play at the casino, when you register at BetMGM, you’re bound to have a great time! 

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.