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How to Host a Summer Dinner Party


Summer means spending time with family & friends, enjoying the warm outdoors and creating lasting memories. Here are some tips to add some merriment to the summer and how to throw the best dinner party.

Whether you head to the cottage during the break or entertain at home, gathering everyone around the table for some tasty food, riveting conversation, and, of course, some laughs can be fun...if you know what you’re doing.

oSetting the tone – From the invitation that goes out with all the details, such as arrival time, start of cocktail hour, dinner served and even the ending to the table dressing. Let your guest in on the theme/tone as the visual of it will put them in the mood.

oHow much food to serve – You should encourage guests to rsvp as this isn’t a stop in and say hi affair. Getting a head count is crucial. For everyone hot dish there should be three cold. It’s always better to have too much than too little. The leftovers can hide in the kitchen.

oThe most common mistakes made at dinner parties – As the host you are in charge. Assign seating. It allows you to place people with others who may help conversations. Keep the powder room stocked, have the appropriate music playing, etc.

oWhen should it begin and end – You should have concrete times of arrival and cocktail hour and then when dinner is served. You could also have an end time too so guest prepare for the length before it ever begins. Asking for Coffee and Tea can help transition the night to an end. Of course, adjusting the timeline happens and you’ll have to go with it.

oKeep the mood light and conversation flowing – Avoid taboo and charged topics. The objective is to have fun and addressing serious issues can damper the mood. Again, as the host you are in charge so if the conversation goes somewhere unpleasant bring it back to a good place. Encourage questions as they open the chatter to getting to know each other better. Remind one guest of how you met another to spark common interests.