Friday, November 25, 2011

fall feast

 My husband and I had a few couples over a few nights ago for a fall feast! Here are some of my tips for organizing a dinner party on a budget without feeling overwhelmed

Prep: I think it's important to do things little bit little so you aren't spending your entire Saturday getting ready for dinner that night. Here is my timline of how I organize myself (as best as possible)

2 weeks before: pick the night & invite your friends
1 week before: pick a menu, distribute (see below)
3 days before: grocery shop
 2 days before: set the table (if it's a table you don't use everyday)
1 day before: clean the areas of your house where your guests will be
day of: cook your portion

Step ONE: the scene

Beautiful fall leaves in my backyard!!!

Step TWO: the menu

My favorite way to do a dinner party is to have each person bring a part of the meal. We had 3 couples are ours so each of us made 1 part. My friend Holly made a salad, Jill a soup and me, the main dish, a risotto. I picked out the recipes before hand and gave to each gal the week before so they could shop and prep. This takes the pressure off of preparing a large meal and saves some money!

Step THREE: the table

I hate our dining room table, old hand me down, but I dressed it up with minimal things! A table runner, some fall decorations and some fall flowers did the trick! I also hate when tables look too full so instead of using 6 brown placemats I just used 3 and did every other place. I always have paper napkins on hand that I find wherever I go, these are from Ikea (... 100 for $4 maybe? super cheap)

Step FOUR: enjoy

Step FIVE: dishes

Since there were 3 courses we did the dishes as we went. Always have a clean/empty sink when gets arrive and have an empty dishwasher ready to load. After each course we would take a quick break, load those dishes, eat, etc. This left with less clean up at the end. The night of after guests leave, I usually clean up the table, counters etc. and leave everything in the sink. The next morning I (or my husband) tackle the big dishes. This gives you a break after a long tiring and hopefully fun night!

Hope you all have a great holiday season and aren't afraid to entertain!!


  1. These are great tips! Your dining table looks very pretty and festive!

  2. Great tips:-)

    I LOVE to host holiday dinners/parties. SO MUCH FUN!

  3. i really love how you broke it all down. i'm having friends over tonight so it's a bit too late but i will definitely do this in the future!

    life spelled jen


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