With the party season upon us, there's no doubt that many of you will be hosting a dinner party sometime soon. Whilst being a centuries-old tradition of gathering your loved ones together for an evening of great food and laughter, we know that the pressure of being a great host can sometimes leave you feeling panicked rather than prepared. We've gathered our best dinner party tips which will ensure to impress and entertain your guests whilst working within a budget, because after all - 'tis the season to get creative!

Theme

A great place to start planning your event is by deciding a theme. A good theme makes planning much easier as you then have a focal point in which the food, decor, and vibe can take shape around. For instance, a Mediterranean theme could see you serve a Mezze platter to your guests, with rustic tableware and the sounds of traditional music to keep your guests fully immersed within this popular dining theme. Chosen to host a 20's style dinner party? Incorporate a murder mystery game into the evening! Our Sizzix Making Essentials Range equips you with all the tools and materials needed to create your own game. At this time of year, we would recommend hosting a Hygge Scandinavian themed evening, 'Hygge' being the Danish concept which describes a feeling of coziness and contentedness, which sounds like the perfect remedy for someone trying to avoid a potentially high-stress situation. Think open fireplaces, soft blankets and a relaxed table-setting featuring an unironed linen tablecloth, rustic candles and large sharing plates of comforting food - dining perfection!

 

 

Centrepiece

A centrepiece really helps to set the tone for the evening and is a brilliant opportunity to showcase your style, so make sure you choose to create something that really speaks of you. If you're hosting a themed party, incorporate items which represent the theme into your centrepiece, we recommend focusing on textures to make it visually interesting for your guests but make sure the display sits low enough to not become distracting. If you're looking to create something seasonal, why not opt for a botanical runner centrepiece spanning the length of the table to create a classic, earthy tablescape, using plants such as eucalyptus or pine which creates a stunning holiday aesthetic. Don't forget, if you would prefer to create a centrepiece which can be reused time and time again, you can create the same look using our elegant Eucalyptus Bigz die. Finish the look with different sized candles scattered amongst the foliage and perhaps some wintry fruits such as pomegranate and figs for a rustic feel.

 

 

Personalised touches

For those looking to host a more formally styled evening, make your guests feel extra special by adding simple yet professional touches to your dining. A great place to start is by creating individual place cards for each guest, which yes, are probably unnecessary for a party of 4-6 people, but we believe life is all about the little details which create something magical! Choose handmade place cards and perhaps write an individual sentiment on each to really make your guests feel welcome. Why not create your own menus for the table? We've got you covered with various dies such as our Floral Edges Thinlits and Succulent Wreath Die Sets which are a real showstopper when used together (see below).

 

 

Creating Atmosphere

There are a few dinner party staples which create the perfect atmosphere and simply shouldn't be overlooked if you want your guests to feel relaxed. Start by creating the perfect dinner party music playlist to ensure your full attention can be on your guests and the cooking - you don't want to spread yourself too thin on the night by playing DJ amongst everything else! Choosing the right lighting really adds to the atmosphere of the evening, why not opt for side lamps and candles instead of the harsher overhead lighting to create a softer ambience. Finally, go one step further in soothing your guests' senses by incorporating a light aroma to your home, fresh foliage or flowers are a visually pleasing option and we recommend using seasonal flora.

 

For more seasonal inspiration, check out our Christmas Hub!