Hosting a small dinner party can be almost as challenging as planning a big event at home. The devil can be in the working parts, which can appear simple enough on the surface but hard to execute. Recently, I planned an intimate dinner party for clients, where functionality was as important as the menu and other details, including the guests.

Here are some considerations for overcoming small dinner party challenges.

What happens when table space is tight?

I used glass plates and have the menus placed between the plate and charger. To avoid cumbersome interactions that interfered with guest conversation and engagement, I placed a lazy susan in the center of the table, enabling guests to turn it in their own direction versus the formality of passing items around the table person-to-person. A small flower centerpiece was used to cultivate conversation and I used ghost (clear) chairs to make the space feel light and flowing. Individual carafes were used for water service, and glasses were narrower such as the Collins glass used for water.

Additional considerations.

  • Do not overcrowd the table.
  • Keep the flowers or centerpiece simple and below eyesight.
  • The food is most important, create an incredible menu.
  • Know your guests’ allergies and dietary restrictions.
  • Balance your lighting. Not too dark and not too bright.
  • Seat assignments can be important to help stimulate a good flow of conversation if all the individuals don’t know one another.

One of the best tips I can offer is to always keep your guests’ comfort in the forefront. Yes, the impression is in the presentation but as Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Anthony