How to Host a Fancy Dinner Party

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There’s no denying that having the right combination of good friends, food, and drink is essential to creating a successful dinner party. After all, there’s no point hosting something if everyone is unlikely to have a fun and enjoyable time!

Dinner parties are great excuses for social get-togethers, and they’re excellent ideas for bringing together a large group of your friends together in one place. You’ve probably hosted a few dinner parties in the past.

Have you ever hosted a fancy dinner party? Arranging an elegant evening with your friends might seem like a stressful concept. However, it’s not as hard to organize as you might assume, and it’s a fun way to have an enjoyable evening with some awesome people!

The following is a handy guide to help you get started planning a fancy dinner party and provide you with the inspiration you need to create a successful night:

Start Planning Your Fancy Dinner Party in Advance

One of the most stress-inducing ideas you could ever consider is arranging a last-minute dinner party. As you can imagine, it’s a sure-fire way to raise your blood pressure and put your friends on the spot when you ask them over for dinner on extremely short notice.

That’s why a better idea is to plan your fancy dinner party and give yourself plenty of time to organize everything you need. Give yourself at least a couple of weeks to organize everything, and start by asking for firm availability from all your guests.

You’re also giving your friends plenty of notice to arrange things like babysitters or book time off from work, for example. Here are some other considerations to make when planning your fancy dinner party in advance:

Create a Guest List

If you’re only inviting a couple of people around, you can probably skip this step as you can mentally remind yourself of the guest list. However, if you’re planning to invite several couples, a proper guest list makes sense.

Send Out Invitations

Why do you need a guest list, you might be asking yourself? The answer is simple: so you can keep track of who’s coming and send out formal invitations! Remember that the theme of your dinner party is elegance, so formal invitations are a must!

Be sure to send out paper invitations with an RSVP date, so you don’t have to worry about no-shows or schedule conflicts. Personalized, hand-written paper invitations work best to set the tone for your evening.

Check Everyone’s Dietary Restrictions

You could create some delicious dishes for your fancy dinner party, but if some people can’t eat them due to dietary reasons, it can create a sour note for those people that are otherwise expecting to have an enjoyable evening and go home having eaten mouth-watering food.

For example, some people might be on a plant-based diet (vegetarian or vegan), while others might have severe allergic reactions to ingredients like peanuts. Once you have a note of everyone’s dietary restrictions, you can then plan the best meal options accordingly.

When preparing the meals for that evening, keep in mind which ingredients are in season and what you can prepare at least 24 hours before your fancy dinner party. If you prefer, you could always outsource your catering to keep your stress levels down!

Have a Fully-Stocked Bar

Let’s face it: some of your guests will be partial to alcoholic beverages. Don’t be the dinner host that only serves guests tap water! With that in mind, you should have a fully stocked bar that contains a myriad of popular spirits and liqueurs.

It’s also a good idea to have a stock of fine wine and champagne and perhaps a selection of chilled beers so that everyone has plenty of beverage choices. Other things you should stock include fruit juice, carbonated beverages, and seasonal flavors and garnishes.

If you don’t know which beverages are best to stock, it’s worth checking out a bar guide to mixed cocktails online for some inspiration.

Think About Your Dining Area

As you can appreciate, a fancy dinner party involves sitting at a proper dinner table with perfectly laid-out table settings. You can’t expect your guests to eat “TV dinners” from your couch or to sit down on the floor in your backyard!

That’s why it makes sense to start thinking about your dining area right now. If you don’t have a dining table or one big enough to accommodate all your guests, consider buying, renting, or borrowing one.

Of course, you’ll also need to have matching seats that are also comfortable for all your guests to use. If one or more of your guests is a wheelchair user, be sure to utilize an inclusive dining table solution that best accommodates their needs.

Other dining area considerations to make include having premium-quality napkins, table linens, cutlery, glasses, and flatware. Again, if you don’t have those items, you can buy, rent, or borrow them.


Having excellent food, drinks, and company is one thing. But, what else have you got planned for your fancy dinner party? It makes sense to organize some entertainment that everyone can enjoy once they’ve eaten their meals.

The entertainment you provide should be something that befits the theme and mood of your event. Here are a couple of examples of what you could do:

Casino Games

It’s no secret that one of the best ways to entertain guests at a fancy dinner party is by organizing some casino-themed games. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it might not be possible to go somewhere like Las Vegas.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring casino fun to your venue, whether it’s your home or elsewhere! Did you know that casino party rentals are possible, where you can rent equipment like blackjack and roulette tables and authentic slot machines?

If you’ve got a large enough outdoor space at your home, and your fancy dinner party is during the warmer months of the year, you could always host some casino games outdoors.

Murder Mystery

Another idea that will undoubtedly be the highlight of the evening is by having a murder mystery game where everyone can participate! Murder mystery games are one of the most fun and common dinner party games, and it’s one all your guests will love.

You can download free game packs online or buy one specifically tailored to your fancy dinner party.


It comes as no surprise that flowers are an excellent way to brighten up any indoor space. You can buy flowers that are bright, colorful, and even emit a fragrant scent. Flowers also help to lift a person’s mood.

You should invest in some bouquets for your fancy dinner party and add some to your dining table and dotted around your home. Flowers always add a dash of elegance to any dinner party and help fill voids on large tables.

Setting the Mood

Lastly, it’s worth keeping in mind that you should take steps to help set the mood when your guests arrive for your fancy dinner party. For example, dim your lights so it’s bright enough that everyone can see what they’re doing but dark enough to set the tone for the evening.

You may also wish to experiment with lighting some strategically placed candles for added enhancement. However, avoid using any scented candles. That’s because you want your guests to smell the aroma of cooking and cocktails, not essential oils.

Good luck with your fancy dinner party; hopefully, the above tips will have given you some inspiration!

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