4 Tips to Hosting an Autumn Dinner Party

4 Steps to Casual Autumn Dinner Party | www.reluctantentertainer.com

We have to be willing to make room in our world for others, if we want to be fulfilled and connected with people around us. I’m the first to admit that our family is very busy during this autumn season, so for entertaining to happen, it takes some planning. Today I’m sharing 4 simple principles for planning and hosting a casual autumn dinner party.

4 Steps to Casual Autumn Dinner Party | www.reluctantentertainer.com

Following these tips really does help. I’ve done it both ways – being prepared and not being prepared. It’s not a good feeling to feel horribly behind when your guests knock at your front door. On the other hand, I don’t believe everything has to be perfect, either. But having a goal, like my 30-minute window idea, does make a world of difference.

4 Steps to Casual Autumn Dinner Party | www.reluctantentertainer.com

Now maybe you’re thinking you can do this, too. I want to encourage you to NOT talk yourself out of it. You will be so blessed!

1. Set your mind: Look at your calendar, find a date that works for the family, and make a decision that you can and will plan a dinner party. Remember a dinner party can be as few as 4 people. Know in your mind that you will be blessed and happier, to be with friends or family who care about you and want to get to know you more, or just catch up with what’s happening in your life.

2. Know your finances: Look at your budget and see what you can afford before you plan the menu. Choose recipes that work with the menu, and then delegate a few dishes, drinks, bread, or appetizers if that will help offset your budget. Don’t let finances get in the way of having people over!

3. Make a plan: Decide what you can start preparing a day or two in advance, getting your grocery shopping done early, too. Give chores to the family, if needed, and think ahead to where you’ll be hosting (inside or out), and what you plan to use for the table. Thinking this through ahead of time relieves the feeling of panic the day of the party.

4. 30 minute window: Aim to be complete with cooking and chores, with the table set and your hosting clothes on, 30 minutes before the guests arrive. This helps you breathe a little, or gives you time to sit down and rest, with possibly a drink, so you’re fresh and ready for your guests.

4 Steps to Casual Autumn Dinner Party | www.reluctantentertainer.com

Dinner parties have a life of their own, and like fingerprints, no two are exactly alike. The secret for me is to think about the people who are coming, and gear up for great conversation and encouragement.¬†Of course, if your family is stressed and it’s a busy season for you, too, think hard about who you’ll be inviting. Possibly you read my post on how to deal with negative people at a dinner party?

I had these items set up on a side table on our back patio for our guests. It took me 5 minutes to gather the supplies, put the flowers in a Ball canning jar, and lay it all out.

I thought you’d like to know where the items came from:

Clear glass mugs: Canning jar look-a-likes with handles from Dollar Tree

4 Steps to Casual Autumn Dinner Party | www.reluctantentertainer.com

Large bowl holding mugs: Cash N’ Carry (bulk food service and entertaining supplies store in our area)

Napkin box and napkins: Repurposed Harry & David gift boxes; napkins from IKEA

4 Steps to Casual Autumn Dinner Party | www.reluctantentertainer.com

Sunflowers and vase: Grocery store sunflowers and Ball canning jar

Blue jars and silverware: My kitchen silverware in blue Mason canning jars (purchased at Target, but you can also buy online at Amazon)

4 Steps to Casual Autumn Dinner Party | www.reluctantentertainer.com

Candle: Outside entertaining so I purchased a citronella candle

What stops you from hosting a dinner party?

   

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8 Responses to “4 Tips to Hosting an Autumn Dinner Party”

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    1
    Susan — September 6, 2013 @ 7:45 am

    Once again, you inspire me to invite guests over – I often feel that I cannot do it and it is too much work, but you make it simple with easy steps and ideas! Thanks again! Love the sunflowers!!

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — September 6th, 2013 @ 8:25 am

      Thanks, Susan! Enjoy your weekend!

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    2
    Tara G. — September 6, 2013 @ 1:56 pm

    Such pretty colors, Sandy!! I love IKEA napkins. My last shindig was my birthday party and now I’m painting (still) in between schooling the kids. I’ve got a target date to get it done. :)

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    3
    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective — September 6, 2013 @ 7:11 pm

    Great tips, Sandy! Thanks! :)

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    4
    Nikki @Seeded at the Table — September 6, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

    Wowsers! You found those fabulous jars with the handles at the Dollar Tree!? Yep, you’re my hero! LOVELY!!

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    5
    sarah @makingitmyhome.blogspot.com — September 7, 2013 @ 11:10 am

    simple things like the silverware inside mason jars add the most elegant and fancy touch!

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    6
    Linda Ford — September 8, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

    Thanks SO much for the post including Pinterest links. I just love reading all your posts. I too love to entertain and you make it so much easier and less stressful. I do heed your advice!

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