3 Tips for Hosting a Valentine's Day Dinner Party

A table on top of which lays a charcuterie board, linen napkins with golden forks, and round white plates with a rose flower in the center

Created by: Sharon Garofalow, Cupcakes and Cutlery

My husband and I love to host people in our home. But to some, the idea of throwing a dinner party can be overwhelming. I have 3 tips to share that will help you host without the stress and provide a wonderful experience for your guests.

1. Prep Ahead

If you’re hosting your dinner party on Friday night, don’t wait until Thursday to start planning! Plan your menu well ahead of time and make sure that you aren’t trying out a new dish that night (it might turn out differently than you expected). Hit the grocery store for all your supplies several days before your party so you’ll have time to pick up anything you may have forgotten. Are there dishes you can make ahead of time? Do it! Create your playlist in advance too so you only have to hit “play” on the day of the party. Make a list of all the things you need to do to feel like your dinner party will be successful and mark off the tasks as you complete them.

2. Keep it Easy

Always try to incorporate a few store-bought items to round out the meal so you don’t have to prepare everything from scratch. No one expects you to make your own dinner rolls, so don’t! Opt for simple items like a cheese platter for when your guests arrive. That way there are snacks to keep everyone happy while you’re making adjustments in the kitchen. You also don’t need elaborate tablescapes or centerpieces. Pick up a few grocery store bouquets and group like-colored flowers in their own vases.

3. Pay Attention to the Details

Do your guests love a certain wine? Serve that at dinner. They will notice, and it will make them feel special. Browse Facebook in the days leading up to the party and see if there are any events or topics you could bring up as conversation starters. Have your spouse help keep the small talk going as you finish up dinner, or consider having a neighbor or close friend over to help you with service. It’s helpful to have another set of hands to pour drinks, keep and eye on the food and make sure that every guest is taken care of.