Is it time to throw a dinner party? Do we want to impress our guests with an evening of good food with an atmosphere of fun and elegance? Let’s talk about some helpful tips that can make you an expert host.

Planning the Room

It’s smart to start planning several weeks before the event. After you have selected the date and location, be sure to reserve the location early if the party is to be located away from your home. Remember to check for adequate parking as well for your guests’ convenience.

Decide how many guests are to attend. You will need a room large enough to accommodate your guests while still have room for mingling. Will your guests be seated at one long table or several tables? Often room size will help determine table arrangements.

The next step in the planning phase is to create a seating chart. For an enjoyable evening, pair guests that will enjoy each other’s company. Deciding factors can be familiarity, common interests, or similar vocations.

Now, have you thought about  a theme? Casual or formal dinner parties can be themed, it depends on how you want the evening to run. However, a color theme is essential. Decorations can turn an ordinary dinner party into the event to remember.

Type of dinnerware, stemware, table cloths, napkins, cutlery and floral arrangements all should be decided upon in the planning phase as well. Lighting can include candles, candelabras, lanterns, and creative uses with white string lights. Softer lighting will help if you want a more intimate evening.

The type of music played helps set a mood and support the theme. Make a playlist! Try to make sure the volume is set low enough so the guests can converse at a low to normal tone.


Invitations can be printed, handwritten, phoned, voiced, or sent by email. It is vital to include the host name, date, location, and any special instructions. If sent by snail mail, allow time for it to arrive. You will want a RSVP response from our guests so you can plan accordingly so be sure to give this option. This will give you a final count for place settings, food, and seating chart.


Budget is a big consideration. You need to determine how much we can spend and divide that amount by how many guest will be attending. This budget needs to include all of the items you need that must be bought or rented for the party.

The menu can be causal one course meal with an entree, drink, and dessert. A more formal meal may have several courses.

You might want to ask about any diet considerations. It would not be realistic to be able to plan food around everyone’s food concerns but you do want to have something on the menu everyone can eat.

You may decide to prepare the meal yourself but that will take a much more preparation and skill from the host. There are great caterers and personal chefs that will take our dinner party to the next level. Truly impress your friends by offering a menu that utilizes a variety of fresh ingredients.

"Creating Culinary Magic"

- Chef John Deatcher

Get Chef John Deatcher's Blogs Sent Right to Your Inbox, Free!

Just Provide Your Email Address Below and We'll do the Rest.