It really takes two people to make a dinner party go smoothly (wasn’t that a C+C Music Factory song?). Not that it can’t be done solo, but the other night as I hosted seven guests at the house sans husband, I was reminded how much I depend on him…I do sweetie, I really do!
Having a partner in hosting helps you stress less and actually enjoy the evening, which really should be what entertaining is about. If you don’t have a significant other, enlist a friend to be your wing wo/man for the night. My husband is always the beverage guy— everything from water to wine throughout the night. He plans ahead for the next wine and makes sure we have what we need before we sit down for the meal. I also hand him a lighter and have him light the fireplace and all the candles — powder room candles included! As I kept running around the other night, I realized that those jobs are really important.
And no matter how “casual” an evening, you still need the same ingredients to make it go smoothly. You need candles lit when the sun goes down, the table set and looking pretty, and not to get all “Sandra Lee” on you, but you still need to make sure the house is ready for guests. Then there’s the food; you still need a good amount of eats, especially if the friends invited are big drinkers, and let’s face it, that’s all of my friends.
Whenever I’m entertaining, one of my goals is always to have fun myself. If the host isn’t enjoying the evening, chances are the guests aren’t either. So, without sounding too square dance-y, grab a partner, divide and conquer duties, and two-by-two you’re off to a great night.