Dinner parties don’t have to be fancy pull-your-hair-out affairs. They can be a convenient way to fit in time with family and friends between work trips, holidays, and extracurricular chauffeuring.
The trick is to make them easy and fun.
Here are my favorite 5 dinner party ideas. I’d love to hear yours, too!
Who has time to cook a full Thanksgiving-worthy feast? And even if you do, chances are, you’ll have dinner parties less if they’re such a time (and money) commitment.
You make the main entrée and have everyone else bring a dish. Easy.
2. Musical Chairs Invite
Our most successful year of dinner parties involved a repeat invitation to all of our Seattle friends for the third Saturday of every month. Our dining table maxed out at ten, so the rule was: the first eight to respond make up the guest list.
The best part about it? Then we always had a new mix of friends each time, and it was small enough that people who didn’t know each other got a chance to talk and get acquainted in a more intimate setting than a big party.
3. Rotating Host
If you start gathering a committed group of dinner partiers, share the effort by taking turns having the get together at each other’s houses. Even if you only have six couples, that’s only two dinners you have to host all year, and yet you’ll have a dedicated friend event on your calendar every month.
The more creative, the better! Sure, picking a region can be fun, but think outside of the box, too. Three of our most talked-about dinner party themes were:
- Pumpkin Day (now a reoccurring tradition)
- Bring a dish that reminds you of your childhood
- Make something with a kitchen tool you never use
All of these spurred a lot fun conversation, both at the table and long after.
Have your kids help you make name cards or place mats. Monogram pastries. Play a dinner-table get-to-know-you game. Brainstorm … The key is to add a little recognition and appreciate for your guests. Who doesn’t like that?
Remember to send or post your ideas, too. I’d love to hear them.
Happy dinner partying!