Do you love to entertain?  I sure do.  I only wish I did it more often.  Entertaining takes some work:  planning, house cleaning, food preparation and of course, some money.  But the key to a great dinner party is in the planning.  So to simplify the task for you, here is a list of things to think about.


What To Think About When Planning A Perfect Dinner Party


  • Who will you invite?
  • Will you invite children with their parents or stick with adults only?
  • Do you have enough seating for everyone?
  • Is this a casual barbeque or a more formal dinner?
  • Are you going for fun and laid-back or elegant?


  • What foods and drinks will you serve?
  • Do you need kid-friendly options?
  • Will you ask your guests to bring something?  I love to invite guests when they don’t have to make a thing.  But sometimes, that isn’t practical.
  • Trying a new recipe for the first time when you have guests is not the best idea.  (I love to try new things and just can’t seem to learn this lesson!)
  • Do your guests have any food allergies to avoid?
  • How will you present the food?  Check out Setting Your Buffet Table Like a Pro.
  • Take into consideration the amount of preparation needed before and during your guests’ arrival.  I love to have just about everything done when guests arrive so I can enjoy their company.
  • Do you want to plan anything fun or structured for the evening?  Maybe an indoor or outdoor game, children’s activities or inspiring video clip or story to share.
  • Do you want to create a fun centerpiece or include themed objects in your buffet line?  I found some great party lights that I can’t wait to use!



  • Do you have enough guests that seating cards may be appropriate and fun?  Keep in mind that people love to see their names.  Be creative!
Background Music
  • I think this is one of the most often missed elements of entertaining.  What kind of mood do you want to create? I alternate between instrumental, jazz/big band or Christian contemporary music.  It depends on what I feel like for the evening.
Keep a Hostess Journal:  Have you ever gone to plan a menu for a dinner party and had trouble remembering what you served the last time your guests were over?  There are all kinds of Hostess Journals that you can purchase or you can simply print my form on your printer.  Access it directly HERE or go the Resource Page and find the Hostess Journal:  Entertaining at Home. Punch holes in it and stick it in a small binder to be stored with your cookbooks.  This is a great resource for planning and recording details of your dinner party.
Final Thoughts
  • Make your guests feel comfortable.  If you have a lot guests who don’t know each other, consider name tags. Some may resist, but those who are unfamiliar with the group will be grateful.
  • Plan a great menu.
  • And for me, the most important element to a fabulous evening is great conversation and laughter, lots of it.


Happy Entertaining!


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