If you’re like a lot of New Yorkers, you probably love the idea of entertaining guests, but you want to do it with class and style. You want people to talk about your casual dinner parties and get-togethers like they were something seriously special, not like you had MacDonald’s do the catering and you served your Trader Joe’s wine in Solo cups. So how do you host one of these gatherings like a boss? How do you put together an event with real style without a lot of stress or trouble for you? Follow a few simple tips.
Don’t Put Yourself in Charge of All the Food
First, you don’t have to spend the whole day cooking, and you don’t have to spend your paycheck on catering. Instead, make it a fun potluck and let everyone know what you’ll be cooking and what you need. Then just make sure that you have enough dishes and glasses for everyone.
Know How Many People You’ll Be Serving
Before you buy ingredients for your main dish or go shopping for tableware, make sure that you know how many people you’re inviting. You don’t want your guests to show up only to find out there’s not enough food for everyone or some guests will have to share wine glasses. That’s not exactly being the host with the most, is it? So know how many people you’re inviting and have a good idea of the maximum number of people you’ll have in attendance.
Spend a Little Cash on Matching Dishes and Glasses
Want to make the whole affair more stylish and mature? Get rid of your old mismatched plates and glasses, and take a trip to Ikea. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on table settings, but you can get a few sets of matching tableware that will make your guests feel more like they’re at an adult soiree than a college dorm party.
Invite a Curated List of Guests
Don’t just invite people you haven’t seen in a long time or the first few people who pop into your head. Really think about who you want to invite and how they’ll get along with each other. What do they have in common? Can you help some of your friends with some professional networking? Will there be a lot of single friends or will everyone be coupled up? In general, you want to avoid inviting five couples and two single friends, as it can put pressure on the two single members of the party. Things can get awkward.
Clean Up as You Go
The only bad part about throwing a lot of casual gatherings is that you end up having to do a lot of dishes and clean-up work on your own later that night or the next day. You can avoid a lot of that by casually cleaning up as you go. If people are done with their plates, go ahead and take a few of them at a time, rinse them, and put them in the dishwasher. If they’re done with the main course, go ahead and put it away and throw the serving dishes in the sink. Basically, by doing a few things throughout the night, you can make your clean-up job a lot easier in the morning.
Give Yourself Time to Prep
Finally, don’t try to do everything at the last minute. Give yourself an hour or two before everyone shows up to get ready and prepare all of the food and beverages. If you have time on your side, you can drink a glass of wine and get everything together at your leisure instead of rushing all over your apartment to get it all done.
Follow these tips, and you’ll be a soiree-throwing boss in no time. And the more of these gatherings you throw, the easier they’ll get. Have fun!