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10 Tips For Hosting A Successful Dinner Party

November 05, 2015

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10 Tips For Hosting A Successful Dinner Party

Throwing a dinner party, whether for friends, colleagues, or simply to show off a new home, can be a very intimidating task… but it doesn’t have to be! Follow these tips from professional party-planner Jessica Upton of Uptown Events, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful, delicious, and stress-free dinner party!

Jessica Upton

Uptown Events is a Texas based event planning and coordination service that can help you to create your very own cohesive and stylish event. Our goal is to help you create the event you envision with stylistic details that will have guests swooning. We specialize in events throughout the Texas Hill Country including Austin, New Braunfels, and Dripping Springs.

Planning a wedding? Uptown Events is here to help you create your perfect day. With services ranging from day-of event coordination to full service planning, décor styling, budget management and every little detail in between, Uptown Events is here to guide you every step of the way. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation and we will create a custom service package, designed to meet your needs for your big day!


1. Keep it simple


It’s better to stick to your “tried-and-true” dishes than to attempt that intricate recipe in your newest cookbook. Choose recipes you’ve made before and feel comfortable re-creating without having to ignore guests because you’re glued to a recipe or constantly stirring the pot on the stove.


2. Choose appetizers that “wow” your guests

Walton's Fancy & Staple

This is a great way to impress everyone with your cooking skills, and you can prepare them ahead of time. Having food for everyone to munch on as they arrive makes for happy guests.


3. Ask about allergies and food preferences ahead of time

This may seem like overkill, but it will save you an awkward encounter, and it makes your guests feel appreciated.


4. Make sure you have the ‘Bar Essentials’

Home Bar Cart

Along with the red and white wines that pair nicely with the menu items, your bar should have ice, glassware, a bottle opener, and garnishes. Put this in an area where there is plenty of workspace, and it is easy to get around. For later, have the coffeemaker ready and don’t forget the creamer!


5. Plan ahead

How To Make Arepas

Do everything that you can in advance! Check your inventory ahead of time, chop veggies the day before, and set the table the night before. Last minute details always take longer than anticipated, so give yourself a cushion by knocking the bulk of tasks out ahead of time.


6. Choose centerpieces wisely

10 Tips For Hosting A Successful Dinner Party

They should be tall enough to talk under or short enough to talk over. The last thing you want to have to do is remove your beautiful centerpieces because your guests can’t see each other’s faces.


7. Create a seating plan

10 Tips For Hosting A Successful Dinner Party

This may seem overly formal, but it will actually make guests more comfortable, and the little touches like this will take your party to the next level.


8. Anticipate your guests’ needs

Bar Cart

Turn a side table or console into a refilling station with carafes of water and spare utensils. Make anything your guests may need highly visible, so they don’t even have to ask.


9. Set the mood

Don’t downplay the effect of dim lights, candles, and the perfect playlist to set your party apart from the rest.


10. Enjoy yourself and so will your guests.

How to make boozy milkshakes

Your attitude will set the tone for the entire night…Don’t get too caught up in everything – remember to have fun! Step back and enjoy the fruit of your labors – you’ve pulled off a successful dinner party!


Uptown EventsUptown Events was conceived out of founder, Jessica Upton’s passion for the details and love of celebrating life’s special moments. With over seven years of event planning experience, she enjoys nothing more than bringing her client’s inspiration to life through personalized details and seamless coordination. Founded in 2012 as a wedding coordination business, Uptown Events has since grown to offer full service event planning.


This post is in partnership with Uptown Events!


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.