6 Secrets to Saying Goodbye to the Awkward Dinner Party
Say GOODBYE to that awkward beginning of any dinner party! I know you know what I'm talking about. You've arrived at the party, careful not to be the first or last. You don't know everyone so you're looking around trying to figure out where to start, who to talk to, what to do, where to sit?
Let's kick awkwardness to the curb and make the beginning of the dinner as amazing as the cherry on top dessert. Here are our top 6 Secrets to Saying Goodbye to the Awkward.
1. MUSIC :
Music sets the mood - without music it feels like you're not ready. Weird I know, but it's true. Music fills in the gaps, helps people feel at ease and it sets the tone better than any bit of decor. Even if you're eating outside...there MUST BE MUSIC.
So turn it on WAY before your guests are supposed to arrive so you can be sure that you are ready for them even if they are early.
2. Have a Greeter :
You will probably be busy finishing the final details in the kitchen, appetizers or drinks so ask one friend to be the greeter. They're in charge of welcoming the guests at the door, making sure everyone knows where to put their coats, purses and such.
3. Give Directions :
This is a biggie! Have the greeter give each guest directions. People LOVE knowing exactly what's expected, so tell them what they can do next, where to find what they need, where the bathroom is and so on.
Unless your guests are at your home a lot, they won't know what to do or where to go. Take the guessing out and give clear directions : go ahead and grab a drink, help yourself to appetizers, check with so and so in the kitchen, find your spot at the table and so on.
4. Give them a Job :
We all love to be useful, to be part of the action. Be strategic with your planning and prep and purposefully leave things to be done once your guests arrive.
I know, it's going to feel backwards like you should have everything done but trust me - your guests will be thrilled to help you.
Have someone open wine bottles, light candles, toss the salad, bring the bread to the table, walk around and serve appetizers, slice the meat, stir the soup - include as many people as possible.
Having a job makes people feel like they belong, it makes them feel like they are needed - and as silly as it might sound it makes them feel special.
5. Fill their Hands
Get a drink or appetizer into their hands as soon as possible. Standing in an open space with something in your hand makes you feel more comfortable. It gives your hands something to do and it immediately helps people feel at home.
Even if you're planning to ask for help with the drinks or appetizers, have a few items ready so your guests can munch and sip and have their security blanket aka glass in their hand.
6. Seating Chart
The final bit of awkwardness to avoid is when everyone goes to take a seat at the table. You can avoid this completely by planning out the seating chart beforehand!
Once you know who is coming, think through all of the guests and seat them as strategically as possible. Who might have something in common? Who will have fun sitting next to each other? Is this person kind of quiet - then seat them next to someone who is more talkative. Then plop yourself smack dab in the middle of the table so you're at the heart of all of it.
Now you're ready to host the best dinner party ever! Awkward not Invited. Want even more how to host tips?
Click here for our Free How To Host a Dinner That Makes a Difference Guide!
But if you're thinking, gosh I still don't know what to make and how to make sure it all comes out at the right time, check out our book Dinner Changes Everything. We filled it with 6 complete menus, tips on how to prep each dish and full timelines that include everything from when to put the meat in the oven to when you should stop to turn on that music.
Cheers to gathering your people!