7 Dinner Party Planning Tips

I’ve recently given a dinner party for 20 people. Leading up to the dinner is kind of a blur, actually. That’s because I was to be in meetings all day the day of the party and the night before. I also had a To Do list that included cleaning out a utility closet, touching up paint in the bathroom, kitchen and foyer. I had to print out some digital pictures, rearrange some pictures and hang new ones. It included shopping for extra water glasses, small vases, and hand towels. You know I ended up at Ikea on a weekend day. (I hadn’t even smoked crack the night before). Shoot me.

It went off without a hitch mostly. I forgot to serve the strawberries and whip cream for dessert because I was distracting by the Krispy Kreme donuts I’d provided as the non-gluten free dessert. It got me thinking about my past errors.

  1. Check the calendar if you have a co-host. Like your spouse. You wouldn’t want to hold it on a day when your spouse is out of town with his family for their annual get together and you’re supposed to be with him.
  2. Maybe check your white formal napkins before the day you pull them out to iron them. If you don’t, you could very well see that at least ½ of them are soiled with Who Knows What.
  3. Make sure the night before the freezer door is shut all the way.
  4. Use a tried and true recipe, that doesn’t include an ingredient you can’t fix. Like rice.
  5. Count and recount your guests. Nothing like having to reset the table when everyone is standing behind a chair to sit down.
  6. Think about those incidentals that could mean a lot if you run out of like toilet paper and propane for the grill.
  7. Now listen to me…whatever you do, don’t put off dealing with that toilet plumbing issue. It can be kind of embarrassing for your guest to cause an overflowing toilet and have to come running out of the bathroom in a panic.

Bon Appétit!

About Julia Roberts

Laughing at raising your two kids with special needs is frowned upon in certain circles, you know? Like Grandma and Grandpa find it especially annoying. Blogging since 2005 at Kidneys and Eyes and co-founder of a social networking site, Support for Special Needs, she stays pretty busy working in her business with her husband (yeah, they're crazy) and insurance receipts. A night owl, Diet Coke lover, and vintage photo collector she hopes to raise advocates and activists.


  1. Good tips but I couldn’t stop looking at the picture with the donuts

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