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Planning Your Own Dinner Event: A 101 Guide

Planning Your Own Dinner Event: A 101 Guide

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A restaurant prepared for a dinner event

Source: unsplash

Dinner parties are a great way to meet up with friends and family, share some delectable food and drinks, and just have fun. 

Even though it’s a lot of fun to organize a dinner party, if one is not well prepared, the worry that the visitors won’t have a good time, as well as the amount of effort and resources required to host an enjoyable dinner party, may be enough to discourage one from organizing a dinner event.

However, with the right guidance, you’ll discover that hosting isn’t quite as difficult as you thought.

Here are a few ideas for hosting a successful dinner party:

  1. Make a guest list, but keep in mind that the longer the list, the more resources will be required
  2. Pick a date and time
  3. Send out invitation cards or phone calls 
  4. Select a theme
  5. Choose a nice playlist
  6. Create your menu, which may include a main course followed by a dessert
  7. Select a variety of dinnerware. You can consult a reliable dinnerware manufacturer to supply your dinnerware
  8. Make provision for wine
  9. If convenient, make arrangements for a dance
  10. A fun game, such as board or card games, maybe played

How Long Should a Typical Dinner Event Last?

A typical dinner gathering is expected to last two hours or so. The length of the dinner can be influenced by factors including the location (at home or in a restaurant) and the event’s theme. 

Even though there are waiters to keep you in line, dinner shouldn’t last more than three hours. Additionally, the longer an event lasts, the duller it becomes for the visitors, and you don’t want to bore them, do you?

To avoid discomfort and to ensure maximum enjoyment, it’s important to time the courses properly. 

Most importantly, avoid rushing your guests while trying to move things along quickly.

How to Calculate How Much Food You Need?

Making meal calculations is a critical approach to figuring out your party’s budget. You should consider how much food is sufficient before arranging your dinner.

While doing this, you’ll be faced with the dilemma of not wanting lots of leftovers and your visitors to be satisfied after eating. 

Here are a few tips to help you determine the amount of food required for your event:

  • Your estimates should always be rounded up rather than down because it is preferable to have some leftovers that you can take home or give to your guests rather than letting them go home hungry or half-full.
  • Prioritize foods that will be most popular with the guests and serve more of them.
  • When estimating the amount of food required for each individual, you may want to use the “one pound for adults and half a pound for children rule” though some people may eat more; therefore, allowances should be made for these people. This does not include the number of drinks consumed.
  • Offer “heavy” and “light” options alike. Since some people will be more hungry than others, providing heavier food types will enable them to feel satisfied without consuming more of each dish.
  • You can anticipate that your guests will sample small portions of different foods at a buffet if there are several options. However, overall consumption will be higher than it would be if there were fewer options. 
  • Portion Size Per Person
 Portion size per person for a party

Source: pinterest

Even though it’s nearly impossible to predict exactly how much food you’ll need for each guest at a dinner event, you can give yourself a good estimate of how many servings of each item to anticipate by using the guidelines and tips provided.

Setting the Dinner Table

Setting a dinner table is essentially art in itself, and it is quite a lovely sight when done properly. Guests feel a sense of importance and satisfaction when they realize that a dinner table has been set in anticipation of their arrival.

The way a table is set largely depends on the type of food that will be served at the gathering and, to some extent, on how formal the gathering will be.

A nicely set dinner table

Source: interest

Here are a few guidelines to follow when setting a proper dinner table:

  • If there are any specific sitting arrangements, they should be made before the guests arrive. Place cards may be used, or the host may direct guests toward their prearranged seats
  • A tablecloth should be used to cover the table
  • Each seat should have a charger. A charger plate also referred to as a service plate or underplate is a decorative base setting used at weddings, banquets, or fine dining establishments during each course of the meal. Charger plates serve as a supporting element on formal dining occasions, catching spills and assisting hot dishes like soup in maintaining heat
  • Knives and spoons should be placed on the right side of the plate, while forks should be placed on the left
  • Place a folded napkin on the left side of the forks
  • Place a cup atop a saucer on the right side of the spoons and knife.
  • Above the charger, place a dessert spoon and fork with the fork handle facing left and the spoon handle facing right.
  • If wine will be served at the dinner, place the stemware on the right side of the plate in the order in which it will be used. From left to right, the water glass is placed first, then the red wine glass, and finally the white wine glass
  • The bread knife should be placed atop the bread plate on the left side of the plate above the forks and napkin.

Decoration and Hardware


Decoration and hardware type are important aspects of a dinner event. They help to set the ambiance and communicate the theme of an event. 

When considering the lighting to use for your dinner, try to make sure the lighting is bright enough for guests to see their food properly, and if it is a late-afternoon dinner, make sure there are enough shades or curtains to block the glare of the sun

To give your guests the ideal experience, try to avoid cluttering the surroundings when you are decorating or leaving it too barren.

 A nicely decorated dinner table with good lighting

Source: victoriana


Hardware for Dinner is the collective term for all of the dinnerware (including plates, cutlery sets, serving ware, and any other object set on the table for both functional and decorative reasons).

When hosting a dinner event, especially for multiple persons, you will most likely need to shop for stemware, dishes, and cutlery sets in order to cover every table. 

Beautiful porcelain dinnerware you should consider purchasing for your next dinner party

Source: pitochina

Here are a few handy hacks to select dinnerware for your dinner event:

  1. Make sure the color of the dinnerware complements the theme of the event.
  2. There is no requirement for color in cutlery sets. You can get wholesale stainless steel cutlery from a dinnerware manufacturer.
  3. White dinnerware looks nice and is very versatile if you do not have a specific theme in mind because it complements almost any color and even makes the color of food appear more vibrant. Additionally, white chargers and bases are excellent foundations upon which other colors can be added.
  4. You may need to speak with a wine glass manufacturer to get your own preference for red or white wine glasses, depending on whether or not there will be wine served at the event and what type of wine will be served.

Bonus Tip: When looking for a dinnerware manufacturer from whom to buy wholesale dinner plates, look no further than PITO, a ceramic company specializing in the production of porcelain, color-glazed, and bone china products. Dinner plate wholesale, customization, and manufacturing are all areas in which PITO excels.

How About A Dance?

Dancing is always a nice experience, whether it comes before, during, or after dinner. You should notify guests in advance if you intend to organize a dance at any point during the dinner. Choose a nice, danceable song for the dance and make sure the dance area is large enough to accommodate all of the guests and that the decorations do not crowd the dance area.

 Invitation message for dinner and dance

Source: bestmessage

The template above can be used to invite people to your dinner event.

Dancing in the restaurant during a dinner

Source: istock

Key Takeaway 

Dinner event planning is enjoyable, and guests are satisfied when they see that everything necessary for their comfort and enjoyment has been planned, especially when it has been done in accordance with their preferences. 

A dinner party is more likely to be memorable and stay in the guests’ and host’s memories for a very long time when it is well set, has an invitation that is either written or verbal, has decorations and theme-accentuating hardware, and includes a dance.


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