How To Host an Intimate Dinner Party


Kimberly R. Jones, owner of Practical Stylish Living

Hosting a dinner party at home doesn’t have to be stressful? Making it an elegant and intimate dining experience requires a lot of planning and if done correctly it’s well worth the time spent. You’ll create an event your guests will appreciate and remember.

Practical Stylish Living table setting | Home Entertaining
  1. Determine What Kind of Party You’re Having
  • Buffet Dinner Party – guests serve themselves from a beautifully curated buffet table (more budget friendly)
  • Sit-Down Dinner Party – guests are served a specific meal by a staff of waiters (not budget friendly but a nice luxury if your budget allows)
Practical Stylish Living table setting | Home Entertaining
  1. Set Your Budget

Keep in mind the cost of food, rentals, music, decorations and libations. If you need help determining your budget get the Home Entertaining Budget Calculator Tool that’s free to Practical Stylish Living subscribers.

Remember to include the following when determining your budget:

  • Food – self prepared or catering? When serving a lot of people the best route to take is catering but if catering isn’t budget friendly choose food that can be prepared ahead of time and heated the day of the event.
  • Rentals – plates, silverware, serving utensils, chairs, and extra tables are great things to rent if needed.
  • Music – preparing a special playlist and using your home stereo system is perfect for setting the atmosphere.
  • Decorations – don’t go over board with decorations. Simple signage printed out and displayed in the appropriate areas are perfect reminders of what the celebration is about.
  • Libations – can be costly but cutting down on the expense can be shared with your guests pitching in. If a guests asks if they can bring something it’s ok to suggest they bring their favorite drink or bottle of wine.
Kimberly R. Jones of Practical Stylish Living

” The Difference Is In The Details “

  1. Some of My Favorite Don’ts When Hosting an Intimate Dinner Party:
  • Don’t forget to have a “Day of Agenda.” Having a time line helps keep the party focused on the special occasion and minimize unnecessary distractions.
  • Don’t take phone calls during the dinner party unless it’s an emergency.
  • Don’t Leave out people with food allergies or alcohol sensitivities. Ask guests about food allergies before you plan the menu and always keep a distance between alcohol beverages and non-alcohol beverages. Allowing at least a four feet distance is being considerate towards those with alcohol sensitivities.
  • Don’t Invite too many people… no more than twelve guests should be invited to an intimate dinner party. Inviting more than twelve guests causes a loss in intimacy and creates a more chaotic and loud atmosphere.
  • Don’t invite guests who are NOT a respecter of time… if their reputation precedes them as always being late. Respect them for who they are and do not extend an invitation. Guests who are known for being late are more suited for parties that aren’t held within time constraints.
Kimberly R. Jones, owner of Practical Stylish Living

” The Difference Is In The Details “

  1. Some of My Favorite Dos When Hosting an Intimate Dinner Party:
  • Do Save The Date – send out the date at least 8 weeks before the event so guests can adjust their schedules.
  • Do Set a Dress Code – make sure you include the dress code on the invitation [casual | business | formal].
  • Do Clean The House – ensure your entire home is clean or at least the areas where guests will be dining and socializing.
  • Do Adjust Dining Room Lighting – dim the lights in the dining area and compensate the low lighting with candle lights.
  • Do Use Pretty Dinnerware – using special dinnerware affirms the celebration of a memorable occasion.
  • Do Prepare Music – choose calming and soft background music. Music helps create the mood and is key in conveying the tone of your intimate affair.

Photo Credit: Priscilla A. Jones Photography


Need Help Planning a Successful Intimate Dinner Party in Your Home?


Get help planning and executing a successful dinner party your guests will remember. This is the exact planner Kimberly uses to prepare for intimate gatherings in her home. The content is appropriate for adult couples. Download The Intimate Dinner Party Planner today!

The Intimate Dinner Party Planner Includes:

  • 8 Week Planner
  • Party Day Time Line
  • Music Playlist
  • Dinner Conversation Questions (given to each guest 2 weeks prior)
  • Dinner Jokes
  • Drink Toasts

After purchase, you’ll also receive a link to The Intimate Dinner Party Planner to access whenever you like!

Delivery: Instant Download – This is a digital download and printable purchase. The Intimate Dinner Party Planner is available immediately after payment is confirmed.

Refunds: Due to the immediate access to the Intimate Dinner Party Planner after payment, no refunds, returns, exchanges or cancellations are given or allowed. However, if you have any problems with your order please contact Kimberly.

Usually responses are received within a few hours.

* Content Appropriate for Adult Couples *



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