Not all celebrations need to be planned well in advance. Perhaps you have friends visiting from out of town, you accidentally forgot your significant other’s birthday or just have a free Friday night that you want to take advantage of. We say you can plan this in less than 10 hours! Welcome to the art of planning a last-minute dinner party!
Not convinced? Here’s our step-by-step guide to planning the best last-minute dinner party.
1. THE GUEST LIST – 9:00 AM
Keep the guest list manageable. We recommend eight or less to keep this a pleasant dinner party and not a logistical nightmare.
Keep it to the maximum number of table settings you have around your table. Once that’s decided, spread the word with a simple call or text!
2. HIRE YOUR CATERERS (ALSO KNOWN AS ORDER TAKEOUT) – 10:00 AM
You can pretty much order anything online these days. Find your favorite restaurant and choose meals that you know can be easily replated. This is a sophisticated dinner party after all. Think of it as catering as opposed to takeout and you’ll soon be on board with this idea.
Place your order and ensure it’s set to arrive about 20 minutes before your guests are due to arrive.
3. CROWDSOURCING YOUR LAST MINUTE DINNER PARTY – 11:00 AM
The majority of guests will ask if there is anything they can bring. Suggest they bring along a dessert or a bottle of wine for your last-minute dinner party. That way you have those covered! If you’re providing wine, we recommend 3 bottles of wine for every four guests.
For those who do not drink wine, make a virgin cocktail (we love this virgin sangria for a summer last-minute dinner party) and pour it ready into your La Marsa pitcher. Save and add the fruit just before serving to keep it fresh.
4. SUPERMARKET SWEEP – 12:00 PM
Head on over to your local shop to pick up cheese, meats and preserves for a divine charcuterie board. We also recommend picking up a bunch of fresh flowers for the table.
Don’t forget to grab those extra drinks that weren’t covered by your guests and head to the bakery for an easy pie if desserts were not covered by your guests.
5. CLEAN THE HOUSE – 2:00 PM
Give your house a quick once over, focus on the areas that your guests will be in. Clear up the entrance way and hide away any clutter including shoes, coats and umbrellas. Clean the bathroom and put a fresh hand towel ready for those guests.
6. SET THE TABLE – 3:30 PM
Add that extra wow factor by setting a beautiful family-style table. Use your coordinating Carthage.co dinnerware, polished cutlery and elegant napkins to add elegance to any last-minute dinner party.
Add finishing touches to your space with some candles and an arrangement of the fresh flowers that you picked up earlier.
7. FRESHEN UP – 4:30 PM
This is probably the most easily forgotten part. Don’t worry we have you covered! Now is time for a freshen up before your guests arrive.
8. PREPARE FOR YOUR GUESTS ARRIVAL – 6:00PM
Before your guests arrive, put the hot takeout meals in the oven to stay warm. Use your Carthage.Co serveware to plate up the dishes ready for serving.
Get rid of those takeout containers to ensure you keep the vibe of a sophisticated dinner party. Prepare and serve your appetizers on your Zaghwan Canape Plate. Add your fruit to your virgin cocktail in your La Marsa pitcher.
9. TAKE A DEEP BREATH – 7:00 PM
Success! You’re ready for your guests to arrive. Pour yourself a glass of wine (or some of that virgin sangria) and relax and get ready to enjoy your last-minute dinner party!