When hosting a dinner party for your friends and family, you want everything to go as smoothly as possible. Bar the odd hiccup – you accidentally serve an alcoholic popsicle to one of your non-drinking friends, for example – you hope everything will go according to plan. However, aside from the icy reception you will get after the mistake we have just mentioned, there are some other dinner party faux pas that are worth taking into consideration.
Take a look at the following faux pas common to many a host, and be reminded of them the next time you host a dinner party of your own.
- Neglecting to ask guests about specific food requirements. Be mindful of individual guests coming to your party. It’s difficult to cater for everybody – you will always get a fussy eater or two – but you need to be particularly mindful of those with cultural differences to your own, vegetarians, and those with food allergies. Alternative foods will always be available at your local store – Halal bacon, soya mince, non-dairy ice cream, as examples – so ensure you are aware of your guests needs ahead of time.
- Preparing a new recipe for the meal. You want to wow your guests with your culinary skills, but it’s a brave woman who attempts to prepare something she has never tackled before. At the very least, you should have a trial run in the days leading up to the dinner party, as you don’t want anything to go wrong on the day itself. Sometimes, tried and tested food options are the way to go; those foods you can prepare with ease, with little risk involved. You may have some very hungry guests otherwise.
- Not having enough food. It’s better to have too much food rather than too little, so always prepare more than you need to. A previously cancelled guest may change their mind, or somebody may have brought a plus one without you specifying otherwise, so the extra food will always come in handy. You won’t be as embarrassed, and as before, you won’t have any guests going home hungry at the end of the evening.
- Not being properly prepared. Food is one thing, but there are other preparations that need to be put in place. Your home should be clean and tidy, so your guests don’t walk into a mess. The meal table should be set up properly, with everything in place. Planning a few icebreakers is always useful, especially for those guests who don’t know many other people. And you need to be fully equipped for the evening, with enough drinks glasses, napkins, chairs, etc. to make sure everybody is catered for.
- Getting overly-stressed. You want your dinner party to go well, but don’t get overly stressed. If you are always fussing every time something goes wrong – a drink is spilled, the cake deflates, a guest is late, conversations dry up – you are not going to enjoy yourself, and you are in danger of making your guests feel uncomfortable. Provided you have prepared as much as you can beforehand, relax and go with the flow. Your guests won’t judge you too harshly if something does go wrong (hopefully), so don’t sweat the small stuff.
Bear these things in mind the next time you have a dinner party, and hopefully, your evening will be a resounding success. Take care, and thanks for reading.