Tips for easy dinner party hosting

I love hosting dinner parties. I love everything about it, from menu planning through to doing the dishes afterwards. A few weekends ago we hosted a great group of friends we’ve known for….well, forever it seems. With friends like these I want to spend as much time as I can visiting rather than worrying about food.

Advance preparation is key. So, here are my tips for easy hosting duties. (Brace yourself for some not-super-awesome food photos…)

1) Get all your shopping done early.

I bought all the groceries two days in advance. Giving me room to get the cooking done in advance too.

2) Cook, chop, and prep as much food as you can the day before.  Never make a crazy complicated dish requiring you to be absent from your guests (unless that’s the plan!).

The day prior I made a very simple soup, a curried leek and zucchini from one of my most loved cookbooks. I also made the meatballs and a roasted garlic marinara sauce. I chopped all the veggies for the green salad and put them into containers for easy salad assembly when the time came, and laid out all the dishes & serving platters.

Meatballs and dinner party prep tips via @heathernheels

3) Only do last minute or easy things the day of.

The morning of the dinner party I made the chocolate cupcakes and set the table. And then I enjoyed my day:)

Soup salad and cupcakes via @heathernheels

About an hour before everyone was to arrive, I set out all the cheeses, meats, crackers, veggies, etc. and started to re-heat the meatballs and sauce. From there, a lovely evening with great food, great company, and some #cards was enjoyed.

Charcuterie platters via @heathernheels

Cards Against Humanity & Dinner Party tips via @heathernheels

See, I make it sound so easy:)!


  1. by Lindi on February 13, 2015  12:09 pm Reply

    Love this! These are great tips. I'm also a frequent dinner-party-hoster :)

    • by Heather on February 13, 2015  3:11 pm Reply

      thanks! isn't hosting just the best?! I love it:)

  2. by Sabrina @ Pink Little Notebook on February 13, 2015  12:26 pm Reply

    Great tips! I always find hosting so stressful at times. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I don't prepare in advance. Must try that next time around :)

    • by Heather on February 13, 2015  3:11 pm Reply

      advance prep is so key! good luck Sabrina:)

  3. by fynesdesigns on February 13, 2015  2:43 pm Reply

    Wow, looks like a swanky party! Hope you all had a great time!

    • by Heather on February 13, 2015  3:12 pm Reply

      absolutely! with such wonderful friends, even bad pizza would have been a great time:)

  4. by Meagan on February 13, 2015  5:58 pm Reply

    I love hosting as well! Thanks for the tips

  5. by Brooke on June 10, 2015  10:20 pm Reply

    Bringing back some memories looking at those pictures.... you did an amazing job and made it look so easy.

    • by Heather on June 11, 2015  7:04 am Reply

      those are some great memories:) always love making memories with you Brooke:)

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