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Dinner Party Tips: Atmosphere

Ambiance is a big part of hosting a great dinner party. The wrong playlist or lighting can put a damper on the mood, while the right centerpiece can really make the party (well not make it but it certainly helps…). I’m sure everyone can remember a party where the music was all wrong and too loud, or when the flowers decorating the space were old and shedding, decreasing from the potential pleasure of the party. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart or cash out your paycheck to create a beautiful atmosphere that will greatly enhance everyone’s experience.

1)    Centerpieces

Centerpieces make a dinner party seem both more formal and luxurious and can be created at a very low cost. A bowl of freshly cut flowers, or tea candles floating in water, are both beautiful and inexpensive. Keeping the décor in a similar color scheme is also a good idea because it is reminiscent of a restaurant or fine dining.

2)    Music

Having pleasant sounds in the background of your meal greatly adds to the ambiance and can lead to interesting dinner conversation as well. However, don’t let the music dominate the meal. Music with intense vocals or too fast of a tempo can be off-putting. I usually play music in a different language so that lyrics are not distracting, but it also makes the silence less awkward and keeps people more relaxed.

3)    Lighting

Turning the lights down a little can do a lot for a party. Lighting candles down the table, casts a soft, luminous glow and makes the meal feel more intimate. And lets face it; candlelight probably makes both the guests and the food look better. Less lighting puts people more at ease and allows them to focus on the company and the flavors of the food.

4)    Snacks

People tend to come to dinner parties very hungry and unless you plan on eating immediately, set out some snacks or make appetizers. It is never good to have the guests focused on their grumbling stomachs or how long you are taking to cook. Snacks can be very simple such as cheese and crackers or even Chex Mix. Putting these snacks in matching fancy bowls or platters also adds to the ambiance.

5)    Table Settings

Setting the table makes guests feel like they have a place at your party and makes them feel immediately welcome. Using nice plates and silverware, even simple white china, also makes the meal more glamorous. Also always use cloth napkins, as paper napkins have a bit of a barbeque or picnic feel. Throwing on a simple napkin ring will also instantly elevate the atmosphere.

Let Feastly know if you have any other tips, we would love your suggestions! We hope you can utilize some of this advice, although we know most of you Feasters are already dinner party pros. In the mean time, keep calm and feast on!

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