Have you decided it’s time to throw a fun dinner party? Whether you’re welcoming friends and family into your new home for the first time or celebrating a special occasion such as a milestone birthday, anniversary or work promotion, a fun dinner party is a great way to gather with friends and commemorate the event. If you’re a novice host or hostess, chances are you’re both excited and nervous. Follow these suggestions from the professional party and event planners and you’ll soon have the makings of a great dinner party. Remember, the main point of a dinner party is the guests. The real goal is to create a warm and welcoming setting where guests will enjoy the time spent visiting and reconnecting. Food and décor are important but definitely play seconds to the mood you, as the host, set.

The first steps are to establish a budget, guest list and date. Send out an email or create an invitation to mail at least three weeks prior to the scheduled date. eVites are perfectly acceptable and can create a fun anticipation for the event. The dash boards offered on many of the sites can also help keep track of those who have responded and those who have yet to open the email. Confirm with the invitees that the eVite didn’t end up in their junk email folder.

Begin planning the menu. If you’ve come across a new recipe that you would like to try, test it out on your family before the big occasion. Otherwise, plan on preparing your favorite recipes that you know are crowd pleasers. Select items that can be prepared in advance either the day of or day prior to the dinner party. You don’t want to be in the kitchen chopping vegetables with a house full of guests.

Take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and select from the stunning array of tableware available from Amazon. A centerpiece and fun napkins will add to a festive mood. Depending on the size and familiarity of your crowd, consider place cards for designated seating. It’s also fun to have two place cards at each seat and have guests switch seats for dessert. Best of luck on a great evening!

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