Host a dinner or party that your guests will remember for all the right reasons with JLife’s top hosting tips.
…offer a warm welcome
Make your guests feel welcome by personally greeting them on arrival. Invite them in, show them to your entertaining space, and swiftly offer them a drink.
You have provided your guests with a warm welcome, now be attentive. Take an interest in their day, check that everything is to their satisfaction, and keep the food and drink flowing.
…check dietary requirements
If you are catering for your guests for the first time, check their dietary requirements prior to finalising your menu. You don’t want to serve them a meal they can’t actually eat due to an allergy or intolerance.
…set a dress code
You are dressed to the nines in formalwear and your guests turn up in more casual attire. To avoid embarrassment, be clear on the dress code when you invite your guests.
Set the mood for the evening with subtle background music for a dinner party or something more prominent for a party. Music is also a great way to mask any awkward silences!
…add a personal touch
Why not place a small gift or add a personal touch to your guests’ place at the dinner table? Even something as simple as a handwritten place name won’t go unnoticed.
…entertain your guests
The last thing you want is for your guests to be bored in your presence. Introduce party games, engage in fulfilling conversations or even hire outside entertainment – just make sure it’s entertaining!
Think about how much space you have in your house and realistically how many people you can cater for. Don’t overdo things or it will be your guests who are left feeling uncomfortable.
…forget to introduce everyone
Be sure to properly introduce those guests who have never met before. Think of a talking point in which they share common ground and watch as new friendships blossom.
…limit your drink options
Are your guests driving, do they prefer red to white, are they on a health kick, or does anything go? Check your guests’ preference and stock up appropriately.
…spend all night in the kitchen
Create a menu which is easy to prepare beforehand, so that you can spend more time with your guests. Don’t tie yourself to the kitchen – you deserve to enjoy the evening too!
…hog the limelight
Don’t overshadow your guests – let them be the stars of the show. Make sure everyone has their turn to talk, tell a joke, or get involved with the conversation without having to battle for attention.
…let your guests clear up
It would help you if your guests washed up and cleared away but be gracious and decline their assistance should they offer. It’s their night to be looked after, so don’t give in to temptation.
…forget to say thank you
Follow up after the event, with a note thanking your guests for attending – especially if they were kind enough to buy you a gift or contribute to the drink or food.