April 11, 2013

Simplifying Big Dinners

This last week was a busy one for me. It was my mother’s 54th birthday and then two days later, my husband turned 30. Due to the fact that my mom’s birthday is only two days before my husband’s, we usually just do a small family birthday to celebrate. However, my husband turned 30 this year. While I don’t find the idea of turning 30 (my birthday is April) scary, my husband thought it was literally the end of the world. Therefore, I had to do something a little different this year because it was a “big” birthday for him. So, I hosted a large dinner at our house in honor of his (and my mom’s) birthday, inviting all of his close family members.


It doesn’t matter if you’re throwing a big dinner for a birthday, holiday or another special occasion. In fact, it may not even be a large dinner, but a large birthday party for your little one. Regardless of what it is, there are certain things that you can do to make it all easier. Below are a few of the tips I picked up that will hopefully help you.
1.      Invite the guests. If you are planning on a large group consisting of family, friends and other acquaintances then you need to get your invitations out…at least two weeks before the event. In my case, it was all close family members so I just picked up the phone and personally invited them all. When you invite your guests, whether through invitations or personally, ask them to let you know if they will be able to attend.
2.      Plan the menu. Once you get an idea of how many people will be there, plan the menu. Take into consideration the people who will be there. For instance, if you know one of your guests has a food allergy, don’t plan on having that food present. Once you’ve got the menu planned, make out the grocery list.

3.      Get the “extras” ordered. If you are planning on having anything extra made for your event, get it ordered at least a week in advance. For example, I had a special “Over-the-Hill” cake made for my husband and chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate truffles special made for my mom at my dinner. I had to order those a week in advance to make sure they were done on the day I needed them.

4.      Get the groceries and cook in advance. A couple days before the event, go to the grocery store and get the groceries you need. Then, cook what you can in advance. The one thing I always like to cook early is the dinner rolls. Then, I just heat them up the night of the dinner. Desserts are another thing you can do in advance.

5.      Accept help! Finally, if any of your guests ask to help and you need it…accept it! Large dinners are hard to pull off without feeling overwhelmed, so if you need help and someone offers, don’t hesitate to accept.

All of the tips above can be applied to events other than large dinners, such as kids’ birthday parties, holiday parties, etc. The key is to plan in advance. If you can plan in advance and stay organized, then you’ll have a successful event and actually get to enjoy it!

1 comment:

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