How to Host a Dinner Party

Dinner Party Themes

After you've determined what type of atmosphere will be the best for your guests,­ it's time to decide whether you'd like to have a theme for your party. Here's where you can really let your imagination run wild. Of course, there are the obvious themes that include birthdays, holidays and celebrations ranging from an engagement to a new job. You may decide to hold a Valentine's Day dinner with a romantic, couples theme or a party to celebrate the news of a friend's engagement. With any of these ideas, meals, decorations and music can be tailored to the person or event being celebrated.

Of course, there are hundreds of themes beyond the basic celebration and holiday ideas. You could choose a theme based on a specific region or country, such as a classic Italian meal, a Spanish tapas party or a traditional Asian celebration. Other popular concepts include island or beach décor, bon voyage parties that are focused on the country to be visited or classic Hollywood parties where guests dress up like their favorite film stars.


Some hosts may simply choose a theme to give them a framework for creating a meal, while others may want to take the idea further, adding decorations, music, favors and games that help accentuate the chosen theme. At some dinner parties, it may even be fun for guests to dress in costumes, or in traditional clothing associated with the theme. This could range from summer gear for beach party or luau themes to kimonos and slippers for Asian themed parties.

Now that you've chosen the type of dinner party you'd like to have and picked a theme, read on to the next section for help with creating a guest list and sending invitations.