January 19, 2018

Wowing Adult Friends When Entertaining Like An Adult

At some point in our lives, we seem to graduate from solely socializing by having a few drinks with the guys. Instead, we find ourselves being invited to dinner parties. With those invitations comes the dawning realization that one day, you too will have to host one. If that day is fast approaching and you’re unsure what you’re supposed to do, here are a few ways to smarten up, straighten out, and entertain your friends like a real adult.

Picture sourced by Stokpic

Remember your manners

Dinner parties are an awkward middle ground between the formal and the informal. Yes, you’re all friends around the table, but it is a civilized occasion and should be treated as such. For that reason, sites like Vanity Fair can be an excellent source of standard etiquette rules you should follow, such as being ready to entertain on time and providing drinks before the meal. There are broadly known rules of engagement for guests, too, but be aware it’s not strictly your role to enforce them. You might have your own house rules you can politely remind them of, but that’s as far as you should feel obligated to take it.

Picture sourced by Daniel Frese

Put some effort into presentation

You don’t have to host dinner at the Ritz, but do spend the day before tidying up throughout the house, or as much of it as your guests are likely to see. Don’t leave it until the day of the dinner party, as you can expect to spend all of it preparing the meal and setting up the table. A little mood lighting, such as candles, and learning how to properly fold napkins can go a long way and shows your guests you’re trying to make them feel welcome.

Picture sourced by Clem Onojeghuo

Push the boat out with your cooking

If you have a stellar recipe that you receive constant compliments on, then use it by all means. If not, then now is the time to prepare something a little more above-standard than your usual cooking. Sites like Recipe Savants have plenty of meals to practice and perfect before the big night. Make sure that you ask your guests about any allergies or food requirements before you decide the meal, however. Your beef stroganoff can be a ten out of ten, it won’t matter if 60% of your guests are vegan.

Picture sourced by Helena Lopez

Have something to talk about

In intimate gatherings like a dinner party, the conversation will have natural lulls and rises. But if a lull goes on too long, it risks becoming a silence that makes the rest of the evening awkward. Prepare a few conversational topics in advance to talk about. It can be art, sports, entertainment, anything except politics. You can take it a little more personal by bringing up personal news like a new promotion or a recent wedding. Just be careful if it’s a personal topic. Make sure it’s good news, not your guest’s latest breakup.

Hosting a dinner party can be a little stressful and it can be hard to have fun yourself when you’re so focused on keeping guests happy. But with a little practice, you’ll get into the swing of things and see why people enjoy them so much in the first place.

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