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Why Am I Hormonal?
Why Am I Hormonal?
December 4, 2023

How To Plan the Perfect Dinner Party: A Beginners Guide

Table setting from Valentine’s dinner party, February 2023

If you’ve ever been scrolling on Pinterest and fantasized about throwing dinner parties, you’ve come to the right place. After throwing bi-annual dinner parties for two years, I consider myself an expert! I’ll find any excuse to plan a dinner party—birthdays, small holidays, or anything that remotely warrants a celebration. I love cooking, dressing up, decorating my living room, planning events and hanging out with my friends, so these parties never get old. 

Step 1: Planning.  Creating a blueprint is the most important part of any dinner party and usually happens two weeks in advance. I  have a document or a page in my notes app to keep organized and get some ideas down. The people make the party, so ask around and make sure you pick a date that works for everyone. Think about who you want to be there (friends or family), what you want to eat and a theme.

Step 2: Decorations. It can be fun to have some cute decorations—they make the party closer to those inspirational Pinterest photos! I threw a dinner party in February 2023 with a “Galentine’s” theme, so I set the table with some pink roses, festive napkins, a colored garland and some candy. Party City and Target are great choices for these items. It’s best to have your decor in advance so you’re not stressing out while preparing the dinner. Something that I like to include in the decorations is the dress code. I have my friend wear dresses most of the time, just because that makes it feel like a serious dinner party, separate from us hanging out regularly. For the Galentine’s party, everyone wore pink and red dresses, matching the decorations perfectly. 

Step 3: Food. Usually, the day of the party is spent in the kitchen or running around to a bunch of grocery stores. If you’re homemaking desserts, it’s best to do that in advance because you’ll have more time to prepare the main. If you want to feature appetizers and snacks, Trader Joe’s is a great option for that. Charcuterie boards and chips/guacamole are staples at my parties. They are easy to get and always a crowd-pleaser! Cooking dinner with all of your guests is fun if an activity is needed. For a previous party, I got pre-made pizza dough and toppings and we all helped make pizza as a group, which was an amazing experience for my friends and me. Baked pasta and salads are another easy and delicious meal to prepare! One of my friends and I usually tag-team the salad and pasta, making cooking easier for me. 

Step 4: Enjoy the party! Set up your decorations if you have them, ready the food and get yourself ready! Your guests will be here soon! These dinners have become so sacred to me and my friends. Sitting around a table and having dinner together stimulates great conversations, serious or unserious. I have made some of my favorite memories at these parties and I hope they do the same for you! 

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About the Contributor
Mia Kitaeff, Food Editor
Hi! I’m Mia Kitaeff! I love to bake, watch movies, read, take walks, and hang out with my friends. My personal goal for this paper is to inspire others to find joy in baking and help people discover new ways to approach it.  
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