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Savvys, I know that all of you have been extremely busy. I was just sitting here thinking about what happened to the days where people would invite guests to their home for a dinner party. You know, before all these social media kicked in you had to either call someone to chat or invite them over to your home. I personally want to make some time for a few dinner parties. I hosted some great parties both large and small ( one of my many trades is an event planner) and I just wanted to share some tips with you. Fall is a great time to have an intimate dinner party at your home. The weather is brisk and people have settled back into their post summer routine. Here are 4 steps to ensure that your next dinner party will be the talk of your circle.
Preface: You can have a fabulous event no matter if your budget is large or small. The key is, if you have a small budget you will just have to scale down the number of people that you invite. This tip is not just for dinner parties but for any event. An example of this is, I once had a client that was getting married. Her dream wedding was to have a destination wedding at the four seasons hotel. She wanted her guests to arrive on Friday, wedding on Saturday and post wedding brunch on Sunday. Now, we Savvys know that a wedding at the Four Seasons can cost a pretty penny. Well, let me tell you… She was able to have the wedding of her dreams by scaling down the number of guests that she invited to just 40 people. When you only have 40 of your close family and friends to your wedding you can turn it into ANYTHING that you want it to be. Notice she did not invite everyone she knew or people that she said “hi” to in passing. Now that’s Savvy!
Step 1: Determine Your Budget
Determining the budget for your event will let you know that number of people that you will be able to invite to your event. It sets the tone for the event. Make sure that once you set your budget that you stick to your budget. Some people set their budget and then they exceed their budget.
Step 2: Food & Beverage Selection
You can get very creative with dinner party menus. You can have hot and cold appetizers, seated dinner, buffet and themed meals. Since the dinner will be right in your home you can decide it you want to cater the event or if you want to do all the cooking yourself. Some of you Savvys really know your way around the kitchen and can really pull off a great meal. For those of you that are always short on time or come up short in the kitchen, catering will be your best bet. Doing all the cooking is great because you will save on cost and be able to allow your guests to sample your recipes. For those of you that will be doing all the cooking make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to get the cooking done. Make sure that you do all your prep work (shredding cheese, cutting onions, bell pepper, etc) the day before and that will give you more time to get all your other items prepared the day of the event.
Catering is a great idea that will give you time back in your day for the event. There are a lot of different catering ideas that you can do based on your budget. I highly recommend when it comes to catering stick to a simple meal such as appetizers, main course and dessert. Do not try to order everything you see. Some people try to order several different types of meats and several different types of side dishes. At the event, they end up having an excessive amount of leftovers that no one is going to eat. You can keep your menu simple by just ordering 1-2 meats and 1-2 sides dishes.
This is the time to take our your special fountains or glass containers for your beverages. It really sets the stage at your beverage table.
Step 3: Decor
Decide on the mood that you want to set for your dinner party. Are you going to have a theme or no theme? Is your dinner party going to be lively? Perhaps, you are going to have a Karaoke theme, cards, board games (yes, I said board games) or book club. Are you going to use china or paper plates? How are you going to set the mood for this party? Well, one item that I always purchase for a dinner party that is very affordable is flower arrangements. I get them from Trader Joes so I can save on the price. I either go to Trader Joes the night before or the morning of my dinner party. They have a plethora of beautiful arrangements available.
Are you going to have soft music playing as your guests enter the door? Are you going to have music playing during the entire event or are you going to have music playing for just a portion of your event?
Step 4: Invitations
Last but not least do not forget the invites. For those of us Savvys that are very crafty, I know that you would love to create your own personalized invitations. Hallmark, Michaels and Hobby Lobby sells invitation paper that you can run on your computer to personalize.
Savvys, make sure you do your research and any great event starts with a budget. Please share with the rest of us Savvys your event planning tips in the comments section below. Share this post with your followers on your favorite social media account. Stay Savvy!