An inspiring dinner party idea may be just the encouragement needed to invite friends over for a meal. Whether you are hosting a formal sit down dinner or a casual chili night, it's about so much more than food. Focus on making the most of precious time with family and friends, and that includes the host too.
A dinner party is all about taking pure pleasure in food, decor, and good company. Take a look at each dinner party idea here and let your imagination guide you in creating the perfect gathering. Life is short...take the time to live, laugh, and share a meal.
Invitation for dinner party at home.
Send an inviting welcome to family and friends full of personalized details. From the first glance, these stylish invitations send the message that a must-attend dinner party is coming soon.
Menu ideas for dinner party.
The menu matters. It's best to plan a menu of simple recipes that you are experienced in preparing. And with less stress, you'll have more time to focus on new ideas that will make a big difference. Escape the ordinary with menu cards that will let everyone know what's cooking...
Cater dinner party.
Who has time to throw a dinner party? Anyone can, there is no written rule that you actually have to cook the food yourself. Catering a dinner party can be as simple as Chinese take-out. Without getting too complicated, transfer food to your own dishes and serve buffet style. Sounds like a successful dinner party idea...all the fun without the work.
Guess who's coming to dinner?
Desserts for a dinner party.
Saving the best for last is part of the reason that desserts are served at the end of the meal. And when a dessert makes its final appearance, make the presentation just as enticing. These glass dessert dishes make the perfect reveal. Looking for a showstopper? Serve dessert first and work backwards to the appetizers.
Themes for a dinner party.
You've committed yourself to hosting a dinner party and are not quite sure where to start. Choosing a theme may be just the creative direction you need. The party planning suddenly becomes easier as you draw inspiration from a favorite season or particular color. Take a look at these dinner party themes ideas...
Mexican fiesta dinner party.
Bring your dinner party to life with a Mexican fiesta. It's easy to reinforce the theme with the bright, bold colors found south of the border. Create a scene at the table with a striking table runner, tablecloth, or napkins. Cactus or flowers are always a good choice for centerpieces. And for dinner guests that really want to get into the fiesta spirit, amp up the fun with sombreros and maracas.
80's dinner party.
Throwing a dinner party is an exciting way to capitalize on the excess of the 80's. Throw back with neon dinnerware, a black light, or set the mood with popular 80's music. And after dinner, send guests home with a blast from the past...retro candy.
Take guests down memory lane with
photo props that are totally 80's inspired.
Progressive dinner party.
The secret to a successful traveling dinner party is enthusiastic participants. With each host focusing solely on one part of the dinner, each course is destined to greatness. Entice guests with a compelling invitation that lets guests know that dinner is about to become an experience.
Dinner and a movie at home ideas.
A dinner party idea doesn't have to be complicated, it can be as simple as a dinner and a movie at home. Here's a fun twist...choose a movie that appeals to the most and carry the theme of the movie throughout the party details. Whether you're planning a relaxing popcorn and movie night or a horror movie with mysterious decorations, transport guests to another place without ever leaving home.
Invite friends over to watch an event such as the Kentucky Derby, Super Bowl, World Series, or Daytona 500 Race. Ask guests to dress to match the occasion...big hats for the Kentucky Derby, Nascar t-shirt, etc. Be sure any special instructions are clearly stated on the invitations, so everyone can participate. Take a look at these invitations that leave nothing to the imagination.
Italian menu dinner party.
Let your love of Italian food be your guide in planning your next dinner party. Most Italian dishes taste better when prepared the day before making it an easy meal for dinner party. Consider lasagna for dinner party, carry-out pizza...delicious food is always a hit.
Gratitude dinner ideas.
Showing your gratitude to one person or a group with a dinner party is a lovely thing to do. The invitation is important as it serves as yet another way to call attention to someone's contributions. Then continue your gratitude at the dinner table with a personalized place card setting. Saying thank-you never gets old.
Ideas for summer dinner party.
Salads for a dinner party.
Looking for ideas for easy dinner party? A salad supper is a cool dinner party idea for hot summer weather. Arrange two or three salads down the center of the island or dinner table and allow guests to serve themselves. All you really need is a large salad bowl, tongs, and individual salad bowls. There's no shame in buying restaurant salads and transferring to your own dishes. It's the perfect solution for busy hosts that love to entertain.
Summer outdoor dinner party.
The outdoors has everything going for it...it's relaxing, clean up is easy, and seemingly more spacious than indoors. However, behind every great outdoor dinner party idea, there are challenges that you must be prepared for...bug spray, net for the food, or inclement weather plan. And who wouldn't want to be invited to a backyard barbeque or a poolside dinner party? Check out these invitations inspired by the great outdoors.
You know you have magic in a bottle when guests feel like they have been transported to another place. Exotic invitations, decorations, and bursts of tropical color make it all possible...
Dinner party themes for winter.
Looking for a dinner party idea that isn't fancy and involves comfort food? Soup is the perfect remedy for a cold winter night and often requires less preparation. Take a look at these invitations to soup night that make getting out in the cold worth it.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to taste soup that you have never tried before? Or sample a familiar soup that has been stirred up with a new twist? Invite guests over for a soup exchange asking them to bring their favorite soup along with the recipe. Whatever you get, you know it will be fun to try.
With the first burst of cold weather, we all crave chili. So, why not plan a casual meal to satisfy those cravings? Invite guests to a chili supper or challenge your besties to a chili cook-off. Either way, these invitations will get things cooking.
A soup tureen isn't necessarily mandatory, but we dare you to find a better vessel to serve soups and stews. Choose one that works with your existing basics, so that you can put it to plenty of good use at future dinner parties.
Check out these soup bowls...
Some like it hot, so consider using soup warmers to keep soup at the perfect serving temperature. Choose the size and style that best fits your needs, and remember you'll need a soup ladle (a purchase you'll never regret.) Some sets come with ladles or they can be purchased separately.
In home murder mystery dinner.
Murder may not seem like the perfect dinner party idea, but it's one guests will be intrigued by. Take a look at these invitations that are as compelling as a murder mystery and will have guests dying to attend.
Murder mystery dinner party game...
Buffet dinner party ideas.
If your favorite dinner party idea involves a buffet and good company, begin by planning the menu. Once you have decided on the food, make sure you have the proper serving pieces on hand. It can make all the difference when it comes time to serve. Place everything within arm's reach, so that guests can easily find what they need.
Use food labels.
Consider food labels to stylishly identify each food being offered. Especially helpful when serving a buffet, these food labels are erasable and reusable.
Table setting for a dinner party.
Since most of the time at a dinner party is spent at the table, each place setting should be special. Consider investing in white plates, so that no matter the theme you can easily adapt without additional expense. Add visual interest with color or layer neutral tones to create the perfect tablescape for any menu.
When a centerpiece graces the table, it serves as the foundation for all other design elements. Candles, flowers, and color coordinated table linens add drama and interest to the table. Another trick used by the pros is to elevate the centerpiece to give it more presence. The more creative the tablescape is, the more impressive it becomes.
Conversation starters for dinner party.
A big part of any dinner party is socializing and when guests don't know each other it can become awkward. Take control and break the ice with conversation cards by TableTopics...
Games to play at a dinner party.
Playing at the table is acceptable when it's part of the game plan. Place secret messages or phrases under each dinner plate. Each guest must use their strange phrase in casual conversation without being caught. If you accuse anyone of using their phrase, and you're wrong, you're out of the game. Make up your own silly phrases that fit the personalities of the people invited to dinner...
I like cheese. because it's so cheesy.
The best way to end a meal is with exercise.
Monkeys eat with their eyes.
Pick a word that's taboo for the night. When guests arrive, give them a necklace, lei, sticker...and inform them of the word they are not allowed to say. A player claims the necklace of the guest who uses the word and the one with the most at the end of the night wins.
Entertaining dinner party ideas...
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