• Natalie Belanger

Hosting A Successful Dinner Party

Recently as a family, we've taken a step back to assess how we're spending our time and how we're celebrating important events in our lives. While large gatherings have their place for certain occasions, we've found that by keeping our mind open to having smaller gatherings, we're celebrating more milestones with those small few who are truly important to us.

Here are a few tips we've found to make any dinner party a successful one without the stress.

Invest in the basics & keep only one place setting more than the number of people in your household in your cabinets & drawers (the remainder should be stored in dinnerware storage containers in an easy accessible spot)

1) Purchase two sets of good quality white china with a simplistic pattern (any occasion where you're needing more than this, look into renting).

2) Purchase an equal amount of napkins to the number of place settings you have, in multiple colours (our favourite colours to have on hand are: gold, silver, cranberry, moss green).

3) Purchase good quality cutlery to the number of place settings you have & ensure they're always full sets - because we all know how somehow forks seem to walk out of the house (we like to have both gold /rose gold sets in storage as well as the traditional stainless steel to jazz things up every now and then).

4) Purchase a few different coloured tablecloths and ensure they're always laundered and free of stains (we like to have cream & white varieties as they always serve as a good base to add colour to).

5) If you'll be doing your own food preparation and serving, invest in quality cooking and serving items that can also be used during your everyday (our go-to items: Instant Pot, several white serving plates and serving bowls for h'orderves that can easily be transitioned to serving for the other courses, serving utensils in stainless steel, wooden, and gold/rose gold varieties to use according to decor).

Keep planning simple

1) Keep the guest list small and intimate (this will also bring down the amount of food to prepare).

2) Keep the amount of courses to a minimum (we like to stick to h'orderves, dinner & dessert).

3) Layout platted dinner settings, but have guests serve themselves (think buffet or family style).

4) Be flexible on the timing (maybe a dinner party needs to be a lunch party to ensure children are present & in a good mood).

5) Invest in support to fine tune the details such as decor and menu (i.e. an event designer and/or caterer).

The day of the event

1) Start early with prepping, this allows for time if anything unexpected comes up (we like to layout the decor and table the night before if possible).

2) Invest in support - professional or not (It might be as simple as having your husband take the kids out for a few hours so you can focus your efforts or having a close friend come over early to help with prep).

3) Set the ambiance for the event about 30 minutes before the party is set to start, this will get you in a party mood & will create a positive vibe for those who show up a little early (we like to play uplifting easy listening music, light some candles and get our essential oils diffusing and in the kitchen, entry, and main mingling areas).

4) If you're doing your own food preparation and serving, ensure that all courses are on they're way to being started or done about 15 minutes prior to the start time of your event, this keeps you less stressed if someone shows up early & keeps you in the kitchen less.

5) Most importantly, stay calm and roll with the punches if something doesn't go as planned (you'll probably be the only one who even knew the difference).

I'd love to connect with you on how these tips inspired you or any not mentioned that you swear by! Comment below, or shoot me a personal email at hello@rare-events.com

To you health xo

#dinner #party #family #celebration #simple #mindful #host #holiday #ideas #candle #essentialoil #celebratelife #celebratethesmallthings #instantpot #upliftingmusic #partyplanner #partydesign

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