Wish to organise a successful dinner party? Keen to know what the best dinner party ideas to impress your guests are?
Like many things in life, hosting a dinner party is an art that requires practice. There is no surefire recipe for success, but getting your priorities in order will make a difference. Rather than turn your dinner party into an exercise in self-indulgence, seek to create a memorable experience for guests—one where they feel treasured and at ease.
Whether you intend to host a dinner gathering for business associates, or a social event with friends and family, planning is essential. Are your party hosting skills rusty from months of limited mingling? Simply follow our guide to get back on track.
The elements that truly matter for any party are food and drink, as well as interesting people and engaging conversation. Consider everything else a bonus—good to have, but nothing you should lose sleep over.
Below are three ways to take the stress out of party planning:
- Plan Well in Advance
To avoid feeling overwhelmed, plan your party at least two months in advance.
For those in Singapore, Covid-19 group size limits have finally been removed, which means you are now free to organise a gathering without fear of contravening the law. At the same time, you may still want to restrict your invitations to about eight to 12 guests, which will allow for meaningful interactions. Not sure whom to invite? While familiar groups of people will always bring cheer, you can also fill your guest list with friends who are not yet acquainted but share something in common, so that new connections can be forged.
- Fix a Date, Time, and Dress Code
To arrange a date, you should first send an informal message to your intended guests to check on their availability, before following up with a formal invitation. Handwritten or printed invitations are still regarded as the gold standard of formality, but many dinner party invites are sent over email as well.
In the mood for an elegant dinner gathering? Include a dress code for your guests, so they will know what to expect.
- Hire a Catering Service
The ideal duration for a three-course dinner party (with starters, a main course, and dessert) is about three hours, and you can refer to a sample sequence of events as a guide. To fully enjoy your own party, we recommend that you use a catering service.
A crucial part of hosting also involves making sure there is enough wine for everyone—a rule of thumb is to have a bottle of wine for every two people within a two-hour timeframe. You can also use a wine planning chart for better estimations.
For the seasoned host, setting a dining table is part etiquette, and part creative expression. But even novices can quickly master the rules of table setting—it is worth the effort, because a well-appointed table is the hallmark of fine dining.
To lay out a beautiful table for your guests, consider these pointers:
When it comes to cutlery placement, remember that guests will use the outermost cutlery for the first course, and work their way inwards. A basic way to set the table for a Western three-course meal is to start with a charger or service plate (a large decorative plate that holds a dinner plate) in the centre. Place a dinner fork followed by a salad fork on the left of the charger plate, and a dinner knife and a salad knife on the right. If you are serving soup, the soup spoon should go on the right side of the knives. (Watch a video demonstration or save a step-by-step guide.)
Dessert utensils can be placed above the charger plate, with the dessert spoon above the dessert fork and pointing left, while the dessert fork points to the right.
As for the bread plate, it should sit in the upper left corner, carrying a butter knife angled to the left. In the upper right corner will be the glasses for water, red wine, and white wine. A napkin can be placed on the left of the dinner and salad forks.
In the centre of your table, you can add flowers, fruit, or a candlestick display—but do avoid anything too sizable, as it may hinder conversation between guests seated across from each other.
To pick a dining table that makes a lasting impression, look for traditional shapes and clean lines, as well as an interplay of texture and quality finishes. Avoid pieces that are overtly trend-driven, and instead, keep an eye out for timeless designs that will fit seamlessly into any decor scheme.
Prefer rectangular dining tables? We recommend the following luxury dining tables for six to eight guests:
Planning for a post-dinner poker challenge? Marano Furniture’s Poker Fantasia Collection draws inspiration from the world’s favourite game of chance—or skill, as some might say—so that you can ‘show or fold’ with panache.
Leading the deck is the MOROSI Dining Table, which exemplifies skilful joinery in a bold, yet minimalist design. Consisting of a delicate pearwood tabletop with a diamond motif supported on a bronzed stainless steel base, this table blends wood, metal, and stone in perfect harmony.
For the consummate host, we suggest pairing this delightful table with the matching BODD Bar Cabinet, featuring sleek hardwood veneer-and-stainless steel door panels, opening to reveal spacious compartments lined with premium Nappa cowhide. Your guests will be charmed by the spade handle, fashioned by hand from exquisite natural marble in midnight black—a lustrous dark jewel that catches the eye!
Alternatively, consider the LERUS Dining Table, a sleek showpiece with a black-and-white marble tabletop, supported on an M-shaped brass-capped base. With a functional yet refined aesthetic, the LERUS Dining Table is worthy of the spotlight in any dining room.
Looking for round dining tables? The following round tables are suitable for eight to 10 guests:
Inspired by tropical rainforest trees, the PORTICA Dining Table is a masterpiece of precision and artistry. Showcasing a textured leg of oak resembling the intricate trunks of yore, this is sealed with protective white lacquer, and rests on a splendid gold barrel for a subtle touch of decadence.
Or consider the ALONA Round Dining Table, made of natural luxury marble with an ebony veneer and a bronze hairline finish. Featuring an elegant patterned grain, the tabletop is supported on a sturdy base designed to resemble twined branches. This striking statement piece will bring a touch of ancient Rome to any dining space.
To journey through Marano Furniture’s dining collections, click here.