i love giving dinner parties.
it’s not as trite a love as you might think …loving throwing dinner parties. after all, author hermann hesse wrote in his novel klingsor’s last summer:
“this day will never come again and anyone who fails to eat and drink and taste and smell it will never have it offered to him again in all eternity. the sun will never shine as it does today…but you must play your part and sing a song, one of your best.”
that’s kinda how i feel about having good friends over, cooking for them, clinking glasses, laughing, sharing and making memories.
here are 10 tidbits that have stuck in my head from the experts (or just mom) when entertaining.
#1 don’t wait until everything is perfect to have people over. things will never be perfect. your guests aren’t looking for perfect, they’re looking to hang out with you. don’t wait until you have a perfect matching set of dishes or replace that chandelier that is lopsided. don’t wait until you have enough money to serve fancy wine or cook a julia child french dinner. just do it. the most important part is the togetherness.
#2. linens don’t have to be perfectly ironed and matchy matchy. i learned that from ina. she said it’s much more casual to have unironed cloth napkins folded simply than perfectly starched ones. if she said so, then that works for me.
#3. have a dinner box.
#4. arrange small but multiple centerpieces of flowers all the same color – or a mix of 2. and design it so your guests and see each other over the flowers. best to always do an odd number. don’t ask me why. everyone knows that. i just use water glasses. big whip.
#5. people always end up in the kitchen so fix a small bar there so people can help themselves. we have a tiny back porch that we dress up as a bar:
#6 consider music. you can find my playlists on spotify. i have playlists for specific dinner parties and for general dinner parties. you can pandora it as well. good pandora mixes for dinner: john mayer, ella fitzgerald, frank sinatra and some dinner parties: beastie boys. i’m just sayin’.
#7. think about having a signature party. you know, one you throw every year at the same time. ROF and i started a post-thanksgiving chili party in honor of my aunt’s traditions in so-cal.
#8 ponder having a theme. i’d love to take credit for this, but we threw a birthday party for suzanne last year and she suggested making it a wig party and that was quite the fun time:
#9 use the whole house and be creative! we love entertaining outside during those 2 days in dallas when it is under 80 degrees. we have also used our garage. we’ve put a band in the back yard and “the burger man” in the driveway. he flipped the best burgers for my mom’s 70th birthday party which we had at the house:
#10. i can’t think of anything else. oh yeah i can- mix up the guests. we haven’t done this as much as we’ve wanted to but would love to have a “random friend” party. i actually attended one once and it was a blast. lots to learn about from new people!
what are your favorite parties to throw? and are you due for throwing one? over and out. hope you enjoyed!