Top 10 Easy Dinner Party Ideas
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
July 30, 2011
Filed Under Entertaining
Contributed by Rosemary O’Brien, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
When the economy tanked, many people rediscovered the benefits of hanging out at home rather than going out on the town for a good time.
Instead of making reservations for a restaurant, they made dinner for their friends. If you want to throw an easy dinner party, just remember the easier it is the more comfortable your guests will be and the more fun you’ll have! Try some of these ideas for a great evening in.
10. Have a barbecue
Do barbeque, but don’t do the work! Try Kansas City barbecue at its best. Who doesn’t like a pulled pork sandwich or baby back ribs? Since you won’t be cooking, you can go the extra step and poll your guests as to their favorites. When you know, just call and order their favorites. I promise you. No one will be disappointment with your choices!
9. No cooking here – gourmet delivered
Gourmet food service delivers fine dining to your door without the chef. Then again, if you want to hire a chef, or someone dressed up as one, you can make it look like you went all out. They have all types of gifts of the month, birthday dinner baskets, and anything else you can think of to make a gourmet meal or to surprise someone else with their own easy dinner party.
8. Make it look good
There is nothing like a well-set table to make absolutely any meal look fantastic, and it’s really very easy to make a dinner party special with crystal and china. So set out your finest crystal if you want to! Even if you place a single crystal vase holding some flowers from your garden in the middle of the dinner table, you will be ahead of the game. It is still easy, just more glamorous.
7. Send out invites
Even though you are going for easy dinner party theme, there is nothing to say you can’t send out invitations. Order simple, contemporary invitations an inviting solution. Mail your invitations in an envelope or try a fancy fastener (like a colored staple or funky tape) to secure it before handing it out at the next PTA meeting. You don’t have to wait for a wedding to send out save the date cards either. Choosing a simple, funky design makes it less formal.
6. Cocktails anyone?
Why not make your dinner party a cocktail party instead? Serve heavy hors d’oeuvres instead of an all-out dinner. Online wine catalogs offer many options for award winning wines from far away. And you can order online in advance of your party, which saves time and frazzle by eliminating party-day errands. Pair wines with some fun finger foods and you are guaranteed to have a good time with your guests.
5. Gifts for the hostess
Depending on the formality of the party, guests often bring a little gift for the hostess. What is hostess gift etiquette? Basically it is that you bring something that will make the hostess’ job easier at her dinner or party. Make sure the gift you bring for your hostess is smaller than the main gift if you are attending say a birthday party or a retirement party where you will be giving a gift to an honoree. A bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers are common gifts, but you could also ask to bring an appetizer or dessert if the party is not a gigantic event.
4. Dress it up with kitsch
Another option for an easy dinner party is to forget the formality and just use the unusual items around your house and have a pot luck dinner. Try one of these beautifully-painted beverage dispensers and see how festive the party gets. It’s like a lemonade dispenser on steroids in Greenwich Village, isn’t it? Put this on your table and enjoy the fun.
3. Bonfires and campfires
If you live near a beach, why not serving dinner around a bonfire or campfire? All you need is a variety of fire-related items that set the mood and lend romantic ambiance to any dinner party. A nice fire pit or chiminea makes a great focal point that turns burgers and dogs into an event.
2. Flowers and plants as decoration
A garden is a nice place to hold an easy dinner party. Just make sure everything is weeded, pruned and dead-headed. (That is NOT the easy part, unless you can put the kids to work.) Dress up your garden with decorations. Try a simple wooden bench placed in a place where your guests can sit and prop plates while having a conversation. A simple garden gnome peeking out from beneath a bush will provide a conversation all on its own.
1. Ornament party
Years ago, a friend of mine held a dinner party where we all made a holiday dish to share and then created ornaments for Christmas. Each year they chose a theme such as glass-painting or pinecone ornaments and then had their guests decorate ornaments after dinner. A craft supply store will have has all kinds of items for this easy “dinner” party. Try some ribbon projects or do something with dried flowers. The projects are only limited by your creativity.
Dinner parties can definitely be easy if you so choose. Don’t go crazy engraving invitations or hiring a chef. Do it yourself and get creative for an easy dinner party your guests will be talking about until your next party.