In the age of social media popularity and group texts, face-to-face encounters with friends and family are a refreshing oddity. The weekly family brunch or bi-monthly coffee date provides a public setting to socialize without posting on someone’s wall, liking their status, or commenting on a new profile picture. For a more intimate gathering, many people decide to host dinner parties to connect with their closest confidants.
Dinner gatherings are making a comeback due to their immense appeal among guests and hosts alike. The ability to converse, connect, and bond over a bowl of homemade spaghetti allows guests to feel comfortable. Dinner attendees are able to debate and ruminate without overstaying their welcome, while dinner party hosts finally have an audience to admire their newest cooking creations. It’s a win-win for all involved.
In order for dinner gatherings to be labeled a success, hosts must ensure guests are having fun. While “fun” is subjective, there are a few key factors to consider when attempting to achieve an atmosphere welcoming to all. For many dinner party enthusiasts, gatherings are the most fun when guests are able to relax, interact, and enjoy the ambience. Besides serving the most scrumptious meal, hosts can guarantee a good time with a thought-out theme, various activities, music selection, and mood lighting.
To make dinner gatherings an enjoyable experience, hosts should choose a relevant theme. Though dinner party themes vary, they typically revolve around the invited company and their collective interests. Friends and family members often share hobbies or work in the same field; dinner hosts should capitalize on these similarities and provide an atmosphere that celebrates them. For a diverse guest list, dinner hosts can offer seasonal themes or those based on upcoming holidays. Everyone loves a holiday party.
Party hosts should also provide activities for guests before and after dinner. While the promise of good food and wine forces many to RSVP, having pre-dinner games or post-dinner book discussions entice guests to stay. Choose activities that correspond with the theme. The most successful party activities will provide fun and allow for ample conversation.
Another key element to any dinner gathering is the music selection. Hosts should carefully choose music that enhances the theme without drowning out guests. For relaxed settings, choose a music genre or style that appeals to all. A larger guest list might include more upbeat tunes. No matter the size, small gatherings and large events both benefit from mood music, so make an appropriate playlist beforehand to maximize the fun.
Dinner hosts wanting to ensure the most fun for their guests should also consider the lighting. While lighting needs differ based on theme and party size, lighting in the dining area is especially important at dinner gatherings. Sporadically placed groups of candles provide an intimate feel while eating under a boisterous chandelier allows louder conversations. Lighting is one of the easiest ways to create atmosphere at a party, so be mindful of what it says about your dinner gathering. Thankfully, the invention of smart home devices can help hosts create the desired ambiance with the simple press of a button.