How to Throw the Best Dinner Party

You hear about regular parties all the time - there’s even a university culture developed around them. But how often do you hear about dinner parties? My guess is you probably don’t really ever hear about them unless they’re mentioned in a rom-com situated in New York, where all the main characters somehow live in a huge apartment despite having low-salary jobs. However, even if you’re not a New Yorker in a rom-com, you can still throw a dinner party and make it the best one ever. Here’s my list on how to throw the best dinner party and have fun while doing it.

Practice beforehand

As I’m sure you’ve heard before, practice makes perfect, or at least practice makes better. By knowing what recipes you want to create and making them for your friends, family or for yourself before the event, you can test the waters and see what potential risks there are to making the food. Whether the risks include overcooking, undercooking or messing up the ingredient ratios, by preparing in advance, you can feel a bit more prepared for the actual event. By practicing the recipes, you can also know what they’ll taste like and not be surprised the day of if the recipe turns out sour.

a woman stands over the stove cutting an herb out of a pot on the window sill with a pair of scissors. there are pans of pasta stirfry on the burner. Tina Dawson | Unsplash


For invitees, make sure to invite people that you like and who will still love you even if you happen to burn the main entrée. The point of a dinner party is to have fun and what fun would it be if you invited that one sort-of mutual friend and felt judged the whole night? Invite your best friends and make it a small celebration. This way, whether the food is a score or not, you’ll still have the best time and you can laugh about it later. It’s also important to be sure to ask your invitees for any dietary restrictions. As the host, it’s important to make everyone feel welcomed and included, especially since this event is centred around food. To work hard on a meal only to have everyone that shows up not be able to eat it would suck for everyone included. Also, be sure to send the invites a few weeks in advance so that you give your guests enough time to clear up their schedules if needed and so that you know how much food to buy and make for the event.

Anna Schultz-Friends Cuddling In Holiday Pajamas Anna Schultz / Her Campus

Don’t go overboard

As someone who can’t cook very well or at all without something going wrong, I know that it’s important to know your limits. If you worry about using the stovetop and hot oils, just don’t. Simple as that. If you want to avoid anything oven related, there are plenty of good recipes that don’t require a stove at all. If you’re hosting this party, you want to be relaxed and have a good time. By cooking things that you know you can make, the prep and night will go a lot smoother, and you can be (at least relatively) worry-free! Also, even though this is a dinner party, there are no rules for what you have to make. Whether your idea of dinner is a singular plate of nachos or a Michelin-star-quality 5 course meal, it’s all up to you!

pasta Burst

Set the vibes

Will this be a formal occasion where you ask your guests to dress in tuxedos and floor-length ballgowns, or will it be a casual event where you ask everyone to show up in their sweats? Remember that this is your party and you can decide the rules. Pick your theme, if you even want to have one, and enjoy! If you want to you can even decorate a little by adding some candlelight, fairy lights or maybe a white tablecloth. Make sure to also pick your favourite playlist to play in the background of the clinking of glasses and laughter that’ll be prevalent at your amazing dinner party.

The most important thing of all is to have fun and enjoy your night. Even if you change your mind on recipes and decide to order in, as long as you and your guests have fun, it doesn’t matter in the end. You are the star of the night and any guest would be lucky to be invited.