November 2023: How to Host a Laid Back Dinner Party

For those familiar with me, it’s no secret that I thrive on hosting dinner parties. Potlucks are my go-to. I’ve organized everything from formal dinners to the most casual gatherings. The ongoing lesson I’ve embraced is that, regardless of the setting, the key is to create an environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging. Here are some tips that might come in handy this holiday season!

Hosting an informal dinner party is all about creating a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for your guests. Here are some tips to help you host a laid-back gathering:

  1. Casual Invitations:

    • Send out invites through informal channels like text, email, or a casual social media event. No need for formal paper invitations.

  2. BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage):

    • Let guests bring their favorite drinks. Have a designated space for a DIY drink station with mixers and ice.

  3. Simple Decor:

    • Keep decorations simple. Candles, fairy lights, or a small bouquet of flowers can add a nice touch without being overly formal.

  4. Flexible Seating:

    • Opt for a casual seating arrangement. Mix and match chairs, use cushions or even have a picnic-style setup on the floor.

  5. Buffet-Style Dining:

    • Consider a buffet-style meal where guests can serve themselves. This encourages a relaxed, communal atmosphere.

  6. Easygoing Menu:

    • Choose a menu with simple and familiar dishes. It could be a one-pot meal, a pasta bar, or a build-your-own taco station.

  7. Interactive Cooking:

    • Make the cooking process interactive. Have a DIY pizza station or let guests assemble their own wraps.

  8. Background Music:

    • Create a playlist with laid-back tunes. Background music sets the mood without being the center of attention.

  9. Comfortable Attire:

    • Encourage guests to come in comfortable attire. No need for formal dressing unless they prefer it.

  10. Games and Activities:

    • Have some casual games or activities on hand, like board games or a deck of cards. It adds an element of fun and interaction.

  11. Outdoor Gathering:

    • If weather permits, consider hosting the dinner party outdoors. A backyard barbecue or picnic can be very informal and enjoyable. I had a backyard birthday party that was AMAZING.

  12. Dessert and Coffee Corner:

    • Create a cozy corner for dessert and coffee. Guests can help themselves to sweets and a warm beverage.

  13. Relaxed Schedule:

    • Keep the schedule flexible. Allow for time to mingle, eat at a leisurely pace, and enjoy each other’s company.

  14. BYOD (Bring Your Own Dish):

    • If you’re comfortable, make it a potluck-style dinner where each guest brings a dish to share.

  15. Express Gratitude:

    • Before the night ends, take a moment to express your gratitude for your guests’ company. A simple thank-you goes a long way.

Remember, the goal is to create a laid-back and enjoyable environment where everyone feels comfortable and has a good time. Feel free to customize these tips based on your preferences and the preferences of your guests.

Until next time,


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