10 dos and don’ts for hosting the ultimate dinner party

Including what to serve vegan friends and a simple napkin trick.

Two women eating bruschetta with glasses of white wine in front of them.

We’re here to make all of your hosting dreams come true.

Photo by Adrienn via Pexels.

It’s time to party — dinner party, that is.

Make the most of your next soiree with these 10 tips for hosting a fun, relaxed, and delicious bash. We can practically smell your incredible meal already.

Do: Ask for dietary restrictions beforehand.

You might be surprised who’s avoiding certain food groups — and your guests will certainly appreciate the consideration.

Do: Build a statement piece into your tablescape.

Three wooden boxed wine dispensers and a glass of red wine on a table.

Boxed wine dispenser | $69.97+ via Etsy

Never underestimate the power of a conversation starter.

Don’t: Decline when guests ask to help.

Go ahead, unburden yourself — because the secret is, when guests offer to help, they usually mean it. Delegating a task can help people feel more comfortable in your space, and busy hands are happy hands.

Plus, there’s something about washing dishes at someone else’s house that’s just not as bad.

Do: Upgrade to linen napkins.

A napkin with black pebble print on it next to a tray of figs.

Oatmeal + black pebble dinner napkins | $28+ via Etsy

It’s a simple swap, but linen instead of paper makes the evening feel the right amount of refined. A few of our faves:

Bonus: Here’s how to fold your cool new napkins.

Don’t: Serve only alcoholic beverages.

It’s the age of the mocktail, and there are plenty of great options for those not drinking.

Do: Dazzle guests with a specialty food item.

We can help with that:

  • Put out a bowl of Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels — a popular brand from Velva, North Dakota, these pretzels have a huge following.
  • Upgrade barbecue items by marinating with Q39 Classic Kansas City BBQ sauce — trust that this award-winning sauce, hailing from a city that takes its barbecue seriously, will delight.
  • Serve Upper Crust Brownies for dessert — originating from Columbia, South Carolina, these fudgy brownies have never gotten less than a five-star review (seriously, check out the reviews).

Don’t: Let the food get cold.

Timing multiple dishes to be hot at the same time is notoriously tricky. Use a warming tray for parties to make your job easier.

Don’t: Underestimate chair comfort.

Two white boucle dining chairs in a modern dining room.

DYHOME white boucle dining chairs | $189.99 via Amazon

The secret to people sticking around and enjoying themselves might just be providing them with a comfy seat. In case it’s time to upgrade your dining set:

Do: Offer coffee with dessert.

Because, coffee.

  • Methodical’s Pink Lady coffee tastes like dark chocolate and berries, while the Blue Boy tastes like graham and brown sugar. Psst — This coffee’s been mentioned in Vogue, The New York Times, and Food & Wine.
  • Make your coffee look cool with basically any Fellow coffee accessory, including this matte French Press or this pour-over gooseneck kettle.

Don’t: Be afraid to whip out a board game.

Inject life back into your gathering with a game.

  • Sparks inspires thought-provoking conversations and is designed for two to eight players.
  • Quick, name three types of cheese in five seconds. That’s the gist of 5 Second Rule.
  • Play a mini version of Family Feud with Herd Mentality.

Okay, ready to rock your dinner party? We believe in you.


May your dinner party be as iconic as this one.

Gif via The Office on Giphy

Read next: Don’t enter a national park without these 10 items.

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