You did it! You’re all settled into your first apartment together, and now you’re thinking about throwing a dinner party to celebrate. But where to begin? After all, hosting a dinner party is a very adult thing to do (and it’s a truth universally acknowledged that the older you get, the less grown-up you feel).
Still, a dinner party presents the perfect opportunity for you and your significant other to introduce all your friends to one another (and, more importantly, to show off your brand-new apartment!).
Use these five party planning tips to ensure you host the perfect soiree:
1. Create the Guest List
Before you can even begin to think about the details of your party (like how to decorate your abode so it creates the ideal mood), you have to create the guest list. Because you’re throwing your first dinner party as a couple, it makes a lot of sense to invite other couples.
However, if you have some single friends that you know wouldn’t feel awkward attending the shindig solo, invite them too! Consider the mix of personalities and invite people whom you know would get along with one another.
2. Pick a Date
Now that you have a finalized guest list, it’s time to pick out the date for your dinner party. Rather than creating a quick Facebook invite (you’re better than that!), send out paper invitations to make the party official. Ask everyone to RSVP by a certain date so you can be sure you prepare the correct amount of food and beverages.
3. Choose the Menu
Your menu will help set the tone for the evening. Going for a cocktail-party vibe? Be sure to serve small appetizers prior to your dinner. Want something more laid-back? Host a barbecue so your friends can gather around the grill as they sip their drinks. Be sure to take your friends’ dietary restrictions into account before solidifying your menu.
4. Prep Your Apartment
Half the reason you’re throwing this dinner party is to show off your brand new digs, so be sure they sparkle! Do a deep clean the weekend prior to the soiree, then give everything a good wipe-down the night before.
And don’t forget about the bathroom! Make sure there’s a fresh roll of toilet paper and clean towels for guests to wipe their hands on (light a scented candle the night of the party for an extra-special touch).
5. Be the Host and Hostess with the Mostess
Just because you’re hosting the dinner party as a couple doesn’t mean you need to be glued to each other’s sides all night. Mix and mingle with your guests, introducing new acquaintances to one another and getting the conversation rolling. Take turns checking on items in the kitchen and refilling everyone’s beverages. If you’re relaxed and having fun, your guests will too!