When it comes to entertaining, being organized is truly what saves me. It helps to save my time, focus energy, and creates space for my creativity. When I have an event or a dinner party that I'm hosting I treat it as a work project that I have a deadline to meet. The way I approach it, however, is my secret to dinner party success that I want to share with you.
Before we get there, I have assembled a simple list of what you may want to focus on, that can help you with your next event.
- Set your date.
- Determine how many guests.
- Send invitations (post or email).
- What is the occasion you are celebrating?
- Is there a theme to consider?
- Food menu options.
- Beverage options.
- Selecting your décor.
- What you are going to wear?
- Ordering your flowers.
Now that we have this list, we can start checking things off, and that always feels satisfying! We all know when the event date is, as the calendar does not change, so there is no excuse to be late or not prepared.
Here's a great way to keep yourself organized:
Step 1: You've decided to host a dinner party, so you send out your invitations. I have a particular soft spot for ones in the mail, but all forms of invitations are great! The thrill of receiving an invitation makes your guests feel special.
Step 2: Once you've sent out your invitations you can plan your theme or style for your event and start designing. This creative design session should take you 3-4 days MAX. If you are ordering anything new DO IT IMMEDIATELY following your design session so that you have time for returns and/or exchanges.
Step 3: Now here's my secret!
Take all the next steps and begin to work BACKWARDS.
Grab your calendar and follow along, TRUST ME here.
Now go to your calendar and start marking in the following reminders starting with the dinner date. For example:
- FRIDAY night, mark “Dinner/Event”
- THURSDAY, the night before, mark "set the table".
- WEDNESDAY write “have the flowers arrive".This way they can blossom to their fullest plus they make your home smell divine.
- TUESDAY Have the clothes you are going to wear out, pressed and ready to go.
- MONDAY If you are cooking, purchase all of your groceries (and plan what you can make ahead for the next two days, so it's not all done on the day of) or if you are hiring a chef touch base with them to ensure everything is ready to go. This night should also be allotted to selecting and purchasing all of your beverages.
SUCCESS: You are all set and ready for your dinner event! Now it's just time to execute which you will do swimmingly because it's all in your calendar and you are organized. You have your plan ready for action. Remember to have fun as you are creating this wonderful experience for those you've invited. And should any mishaps occur, you have time to rearrange for any errors or mistakes or even if a couple cancels on you.
This may seem daunting and a lot of work, but now that it's all mapped out - TRUST ME - you are ready!
You will approach your dinner event feeling calm, cool and collected. You TOO should enjoy the entire evening stress free because you did all of the work ahead of time. Most importantly you were so darn organized that your execution was flawless.
Enjoy the benefits of working backwards!
February 21st, 2021
Love this! Such great advice for someone like me who doesn’t entertain with ease. Saving and printing to make notes on for the next time I host. Reading this makes me realize I leave too many details to the last minute. Thank you!!!