How to Host a Dinner Party and Impress Your Friends!Adam Brinkman
If you think we don’t know a thing or two about throwing together a highfalutin dinner party that will impress with class and charm, get ready to see a whole other side of Cornhole Worldwide! We’ll explain how to plan it, what to serve, and what, exactly, you’re supposed to do for the “party” part of the dinner party.
Give Advance Notice
A dinner party is a full evening commitment, so plan accordingly. Especially if the friends you’re inviting are parents or have other caretaking responsibilities, give at least a couple weeks’ notice, so they’ll be able to make plans that will allow them to attend.
Let People Help
When your friends ask if they can bring something, tell them yes. Asking your friends to bring a bottle of wine, a six pack of local craft beer, or different components that add up to a themed craft cocktail is a great way to cut your bartending costs.
Prep Your Menu Ahead of Time
Any part of the meal you can make before the day of the party will save you a lot of time, and more time means more time to party! Chop fruits and vegetables a few days in advance (check storage times online), use the freezer to keep homemade desserts fresh (remember to pop them into the fridge to thaw the day of!), and depending on what you choose to serve, you could even prepare the main the night before and keep it in the fridge until it’s time to cook or bake it.
Don’t Clean the Whole House
When your house is at a baseline level of clean, you can cut the pre-arrival cleaning down to whatever creates the illusion of “clean and tidy.” Limit yourself to the common areas that your guests will spend time in: remove clutter, dust or wipe down surfaces, sweep or vacuum if the room needs it, and make sure the guest bathroom looks good.
To App or Not to App
Appetizers are fun to eat, encourage people to circulate the room and talk to each other, get everyone anticipating the meal to come, and are consistently popular. On the other hand, appetizers are a lot of effort to make. They can be difficult to coordinate and can fill people up too much to enjoy dinner. And honestly, no one misses them when they aren’t served. Consider your options and make your choices carefully.
Serve What You Know
While it’s tempting to impress your friends with a brand-new recipe none of you has tried before, that idea can just as often lead to hurriedly ordering pizza while everyone stands around awkwardly and makes sympathetic noises about the new recipe not working out. Better to make a dish you know so well you could do it blindfolded—or just order pizza in the first place (that part isn’t even a dinner party tip—it’s more of a general life tip!).
Make More Food
A good general rule of thumb is to make enough food so that everyone who wants to will be able to go for seconds—and if your signature dish is a family favorite, don’t pass up the opportunity to intentionally make leftovers to serve the next day (this is how we do “meal planning”).
Don’t Go Overboard on Dessert
Dessert is the perfect opportunity to set the mood for the rest of the party. If you’re going for a casual night in with friends and cozy conversations, don’t serve a large dessert that needs utensils to eat. Instead, choose something handheld, like cookies, brownies, bars, or fresh fruit.
Have a Good Time
You might be hosting, but it’s still a party, right? Don’t get mired down in the corners you didn’t have a chance to clean or the extra sides you didn’t make—as soon as the first (early) guest shows up, you’re at a party. Relax and have a good time—your guests will too!
Make a Playlist
Background music will set the tone and keep the party vibes going. If you’re good at time management and advance planning, you can choose a choreographed soundtrack that seamlessly transitions from the pre-game to the main event to the post-game. If you don’t want to bother with any of that, turn to your favorite music streaming service and search for the theme you want your party to have.
Consider the Lighting
Candles are a shortcut to big atmosphere. You don’t have to light enough for the room to be mistaken for a church; just place a few around the table, and dim the lights. Perfect!
Play a Game
Yes, we know: a dinner party isn’t the same thing as game night. However, dinner parties don’t always go perfectly; sometimes conversations stall out or people just aren’t vibing the way you expected them to.
When that happens, the only winning move is to have a popular game within reach and ready to break the tension. Now, we’re not suggesting you pull out Cards Against Humanity if everyone gets too quiet for a few minutes while eating lasagna, but we’re not not suggesting that.
Make an Impression After the Party
Remember to check in with your friends after the dinner party; make sure they had fun; let them know you had fun with them, too—and nudge them to start planning a dinner party of their own! One of the best things about dinner parties is the endless cycle of hosting a dinner party to thank the person who threw the last dinner party. Any party with friends where dinner is served is a dinner party by our definition.
If you want another way to impress your friends, do it by ordering a custom cornhole board with one-of-a-kind graphics—designed by you! Simply fill out our design request form, and our digital artist will get to work on your new cornhole board. Is it impressive enough to get you invited to more dinner parties? Well, it definitely can’t hurt!