HOW TO THROW THE PERFECT DINNER PARTY

throw the perfect dinner party - backyard garden party - simple backyard dinner party - no basis in reality
throw the perfect dinner party - backyard garden party - simple backyard dinner party - no basis in reality

I get such a kick from being the hostess, but love it even more when my friends host lovely dinner parties and invite me to help!

Late Spring opens up a plethora of opportunities to host dinner outdoors, with the warmer evenings and little-to-no threat of rain. I feel very lucky to have great friends that enjoy delicious food and fun evenings together. That’s why when there comes a time to entertain, I revel in the opportunity.

throw the perfect dinner party - backyard garden party - simple backyard dinner party - no basis in reality
throw the perfect dinner party - backyard garden party - simple backyard dinner party - no basis in reality

My friend (and new website contributor) Kierstan, decided this past Saturday would be the perfect day to throw a dinner party. We were joined by three close friends for the evening, and we held it on Kierstan’s adorable little backyard deck.

We decorated with white hydrangeas and baby’s breath for the table, along with neutral and gold vases, candles and candleholders. These simple accessories were offset by a fun, bright tablecloth.

throw the perfect dinner party - backyard garden party - simple backyard dinner party - no basis in reality

throw the perfect dinner party - backyard garden party - simple backyard dinner party - no basis in reality
throw the perfect dinner party - backyard garden party - simple backyard dinner party - no basis in reality

Our menu for the evening was simple and delicious! We started with a cheese tray as an appetizer that we could all snack on while dinner was still being prepared. Wait, let’s be real, we started with a Summer-y cocktail made with rosé, vodka and grapefruit juice. I didn’t use a recipe for the proportions, but I’ve found two comparable cocktails here and here that would be amazing with this meal. Our main course was a Spanish Frittata with Herby Yogurt and Greens. The recipe is from Epicurious and is perfect for summer – light yet filling. Paired with the frittata, we had an arugula salad with toasted pine nuts and goat cheese. We used a salad dressing similar to this one. For dessert, a yummy Pear and Dried Cherry Cobbler topped off the night!

Anyway, after all of the preparation had been done, and the frittata was put together and placed in the oven, it was time to doll ourselves up! Kierstan wore a pretty white lace dress, sandals, and red lipstick for a pop of color.

throw the perfect dinner party - backyard garden party - simple backyard dinner party - no basis in reality
throw the perfect dinner party - backyard garden party - simple backyard dinner party - no basis in reality

This Wyldr wrap dress in blush had been on my radar to wear for a week or so, and I was just waiting for the perfect place to wear it. Paired with flat lace up sandals, my dinner party outfit was conceived. I also wore my new, super dainty gold necklace, which you can’t see in the photos, but it’s my newest jewelry piece and I’m so smitten with it.

If you were to ask me for some tips on how to throw the perfect dinner party, these would be my pointers:

  • Start early. Give yourself plenty of time to prep, clean and tidy up before your shower and get ready. You don’t want to be doing more than the entertaining after you’re all gussied up.
  • Choose a menu that will please the crowd. Recipes that are super spicy or have really unique flavors might not be what everyone is interested in eating. Those can be reserved for select friends you know love trying new things. Check up on allergies or diet restrictions, as well.
throw the perfect dinner party - backyard garden party - simple backyard dinner party - no basis in reality
throw the perfect dinner party - backyard garden party - simple backyard dinner party - no basis in reality
  • Purchase more than enough alcohol. Having leftover wine, beer or liquor isn’t the worst thing! And make sure you have thought of a fun non-alcoholic alternative for those that are abstaining.
  • Pick a chill playlist. One that you don’t have to continue to monitor or switch up is best, so you can concentrate on other things.
  • Once you’re dressed, be sure to wear an apron in the kitchen!
  • Definitely have a dessert. Homemade is best, but if you have to pick up something pre-made to save time, make sure there is something special in the way you plate it to serve. Adding a sprig of rosemary, a flower, or a scoop of ice cream can dress up a dessert.
  • Continue to host throughout the evening. Make sure your guests don’t have to refill their own drinks. Keep the drinks flowing!
  • Share the workload. Delegate simple tasks to friends or a partner.
  • Overdress. It’s way more fun for a backyard dinner party to feel elegant, rather than wearing what you might to just a barbeque.
  • Have your courses planned, and even partially plated, so that you don’t have to disappear for too long to prep the next course.
  • Put in all the effort your time and budget can afford. More effort is always better than less effort. Guests will appreciate a beautifully set table, special plates and napkins, and nice stemware.
  • Always add fresh flowers and candles to the table.
throw the perfect dinner party - backyard garden party - simple backyard dinner party - no basis in reality

Is it just me or does anyone else love to be the hostess with the mostest?!


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  1. Kierstan

    2 June

    It was seriously the perfect weekend evening! Looking forward to more!

    • meredith

      6 June

      OMG me too!!

  2. Marta

    4 June

    Aw, I love these pictures! Great post 🙂
    LA VEINE

    • meredith

      6 June

      Thanks so much! It was a fun thing to photograph =)

  3. Emma

    5 June

    Super amazing post dear!
    Happy week!
    Emma
    http://www.emmalovesfashion.com

    • meredith

      6 June

      Thanks so much Emma! Hope your week is fantastic as well =)

  4. We love the white little flowers 🙂 and the colours in the tablecloth!! plus everything looks really yummy 🙂
    https://bordeauxthebrand.com/

    • meredith

      6 June

      Thanks so much! The little white flowers are baby’s breath! So cute and they last forever!

  5. Kim

    9 June

    Love these tips! I am throwing an engagement party at my sister’s backyard next month and definitely want to be the best host!

    Kim
    Simply Lovebirds

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