You want to throw a dinner party. There are a lot preparations to be made, so let's get into it.
1. Food: When it comes to dinner you want to think about your guests. If any of them have allergies, or are finicky eaters, you should disinvite them. Nah, I'm just kidding. But really, you have to make sure that there is something for everyone, or at least options from which to choose. For example, you should have at least two different colored vegetables, a starch like rice or potatoes, and a meat or fish. If you're having pasta, feel free to mix the veggies and the meat, but remember that it's nice to have some alternative if you don't, get extra creative with the appetizers. And speaking of appetizers, you want to have numerous dips, crackers and cheeses, and perhaps some hot hors d'oeuvres, which is French for horses ovaries, just so you can impress your guests with some trivial knowledge.
2. Guests: If you're planning on having a larger party, it doesn't really matter who you invite, but you do, however, want to try to introduce all of your guests to each other. It's not a good idea to invite a bunch of work colleagues and some of your friends from college because it will be more difficult for them to truly mingle. Don't invite more people than you think your home can handle, and make sure the areas of high traffic are clean already, after all, this may be the first time that some of these people have seen your house, and you don't want to leave a sour taste in their mouths. Figuratively, that is.
3. Drinks: If your home doesn't do much drinking, then you should at least have some bottles of wine ready for the party. But if y'all like spirits, you should have some good gin (Tanqueray) and vodka (Ketel One) for martinis and gin and tonics, some quality bourbon (Jack Daniel's) or whiskys (Jameson, DeWars) and some beer (you choose, maybe a light and a heavy). Barware comes in handy for this area of entertaining but if you're trying to move away from alcohol, but still keep it classy, a glass beverage dispenser is a nice option to add for water, juice or even punch. Usually alcohol can help everyone warm up to each other, but if politics or religion start to invade the conversation, it's helpful for the server to interject and move the topics elsewhere.
4. Entertainment: Sometimes after everyone has eaten and is enjoying some coffee with dessert, it's fun to play a game. Usually word-related games like Scrabble or Bananagrams are fun. Charades is a classic, but if your party isn't in the mood for anything like that, just focus on the music. Before and after dinner, with maybe some lighter instrumentals or classical during the meal, music helps to set the mood and tone of your party. So choose accordingly, and don't just go with your favorites, ask for advice to get some good variety.
That about covers it. Just check to make sure that you have all of the necessary tabletop accessories, so that if you're having lobster, you aren't lacking a shell-cracker. Have fun, and remember that as the host/ess, it's up to you to make sure that you're the life of the party - people will work around your energy. Good luck!
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