How to Plan and Prep the Perfect Summer Dinner Party

How to Plan a Summer Dinner Party! - The Chattanooga Butter Company

Hosting a dinner party is no easy task, yet the time and hard work you put into it pays off. As a host, it is crucial that you do not obsess over minor details or take on too much responsibility. Your guests will pick up on any vibes you are giving over, so do not stress yourself out. Throwing an excellent dinner party, especially one in the summer, is less about perfection and more about having fun and being in the moment.

Here are the essentials of hosting the perfect, stress-free summer dinner party, that you will be able to enjoy.

1. Plan Your Menu Well In Advance And Keep Your Guests In Mind

The best dinner parties have a thought-out menu. When hosting a dinner party, it is essential that you keep your guests food preferences in mind. If everyone attending your event is vegetarian, try incorporating vegetarian meats and focus on fresh summer vegetables and fruits. The same rule applies to dietary restrictions and allergies. If a guest is highly allergic to peanuts or is lactose intolerant, be sure to keep this in mind to avoid any issues. Nothing is worse than going to a party where you cannot eat anything. If you are unsure of your guests' dietary restrictions, print out label cards for the dishes or lay menus on the table to list all the ingredients used in each meal. Planning your menu well before the event gives you an excellent time cushion in case anyone has concerns about the menu. Be sure to have a good dessert menu as well, keeping it to two or three options that are light and airy. We recommend anything from a fruit stack sandwich to a simple pound cake with some of our strawberry butter.

2. Choose Easy Ingredients To Prepare and Cook

Want the ultimate secret to a stress-free evening? Select a menu using ingredients that can be prepped and cooked in advance. Chicken, steak, and seafood are great proteins to prep the day before the event by marinating them overnight in olive oil and your favorite seasonings. Before the event, toss the proteins on the grill and add a little sea salt. Pair any protein with a classic summer dishes such as a grain salad or grilled vegetables. For a simple yet elegant dessert, serve ice cream with fresh berries on top.

3. Pairing The Proper Wine With Your Meal

What is a dinner party without wine? Matching the proper wine with your meal choice is essential when planning your summer dinner party. The wrong drink options can throw off the entire taste of a meal. Skip sugary cocktails and malt beers, and serve wine as it allows your guests to enjoy their beverages without worrying about how many glasses they have had and if they will get a hangover the following morning. In the summer, there are three ideal types of wines: a light wine with low-alcohol content that is perfect to serve with appetizers, a coastal white wine that goes well with seafood and vegetables, and a red wine that brings out the fruity flavors after being chilled.

4. Create Tasteful Center Pieces Using Summer Flowers

For outdoor entertaining, summer flowers are the best way to go as they are easy to find and come in a gorgeous array of colors. Choose one to two local flowers the day of the event so that they remain fresh and vibrant throughout the evening. Place your flowers in vases, mason jars, or any type of vintage bottles you have lying around. Summer is a care-free season, meaning that mismatched sizes and colors work very well with the aesthetic.

5. Dress Up Your Table With A Stress-Fresh Approach

When setting your table, keep the colors simple and do not over clutter the table with unnecessary items. Whites, yellows, purples, and pinks always look lovely in the summer months as they compliment the colors of the seasonal flowers. Be sure to have extra napkins on hand, and extra wine or water glasses even if they are not on the table. Use your favorites colors for accent pieces such as placemats, glasses, or a tablecloth.

6. Keep The Bathroom Fully Stocked

A dinner party goes beyond the table. It is almost a certainty that your guests will be going in and out of your bathroom all night. Make sure that you have all your toiletries fully stocked so that you do not have any bathroom mishaps during the evening. Refill your hand soap and lotion the morning of the event as well as display a new roll of toilet paper on the holder. Have fresh hand towels available for your guests to use after visiting the restroom. Your guests will appreciate that you went above and beyond the dining table.


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