Entertaining is by far one of my favorite things to do. I love any excuse to set a pretty tablescape and make a fun meal. Today I wanted to share a few easy ways you can impress your dinner guests, that are simple and take little time at all.
Make sure to add florals to your table. This is by far one of the easiest things and will be sure to impress your guests. If you are having a casual dinner party I suggest getting florals from your local grocery store. My go-to store is King Soopers (Kroger). I find that they have the best selection of florals. If you are looking for some more elevated florals I suggest getting basic greenery and filler flowers from your grocery. Then, head to your local florist and pick out a few stems of a unique and beautiful flower that will go will with your arrangement. This is a great way to elevate the arrangement without spending a ton. Also, if you make a few small floral arrangements offer to let your guests take them home at the end of the night. They will be sure to appreciate this thoughtful gift.
Lighting and Candles. For me, smells are a huge part of my memories. I have certain candles that I burned at specific times in my life and the second I light it I am taken back in time. I think that smells can help with this at a dinner party. They also create a soothing environment. Mood lighting is also key for setting the vibe of the evening. No one wants to eat with the lights as bright as possible or in the dark, so you need to find a happy medium. Dimmers are great for this.
Always set out appetizers before your guests arrive. This is something that my mother-in-love :) does that I appreciate so much. Typically because we are always starving for some reason when we arrive, so it’s nice to be able to snack while we chat and wait for everyone else to arrive and dinner to be finished up. My go-to appetizers are charcuterie board. I literally make them even when it’s just Roderick and I. All the items I put on my charcuterie board require no preparation, so you can have them in your fridge and just put them on a serving board and you are ready to go. You can read all about what I put out on my charcuterie board here. Another staple is chips, salsa, and guacamole, depending on what meal you are serving.
Keep it simple. When guests come over they are not expecting the most elaborate meal they have ever tasted in their entire life. They are coming over to spend quality time with you and those who will be attending your dinner party, so when you start planning your menu remember to keep it simple. Make something you have made before and know you can execute well. This will make you feel more relaxed and you will have more time to spend with your guests.
Prepare things in advance. When you are preparing for your event see what things can be prepared in advance. A floral arrangement can be made the day or two before your party. If you are baking a cake or dessert that can be done prior to your party. Also, if you will be serving veggies and dip you can cut those up the night before.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Always say yes to help. ALWAYS! If you have spare hands around your house prior to your party have them set the table. If you want to look a certain way, set one place setting as an example and ask them to copy it when setting the rest of the table.
Assign seat. This is so important if you are inviting people over that may not know one another. Assigning seats will help those who may not know one another feel more relaxed if you assign them a seat. Make sure to seat them near someone they may know to help keep the conversation going.
Set up a bar cart with drinks. If you have a bar cart this is a great time to use it! Set out sparkling waters, tea, wine, ect. with glasses for your guest to serve themselves. Make sure that is obvious that your bar car is not just for display, so your guest feel welcome to grab their own beverage. This way you will be able to tend to any other last minute items.
Keep your guests awake. If your event is in the evening make sure to have coffee available. Set up a little coffee station with dessert, so your guest will be ready to socialize for the rest of the evening.
Hope you enjoyed these easy entertaining tips.