If it's not something you do often, or if you didn't grow up in a household where your family hosted dinners or parties, inviting people into your home can be daunting. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves when hosting, but there are a few tricks to learn that can make everything run more smoothly. Here's our best advice for making 2016 the year of the dinner party.
- Know how to introduce your guests: It's all about sharing a tidbit about each person to get the conversation started.
- Know the answers to these etiquette conundrums: Here's how to deal with dietary restrictions (as a host or guest) once and for all.
- Learn how to make your guests feel completely at ease: Start by creating the right kind of atmosphere in your home.
- Prepare in advance for hosting duties: Having essentials on hand in advance of party season can make life easier for planned and impromptu get-togethers.
- Stock your cabinets for entertaining: If you're planning a wedding registry, add these items. If you're not, start watching the sales.
- Learn from the experts: Ina Garten knows a thing or two about entertaining.
- Know how to make the most of your space: Just because you have a tiny apartment doesn't mean you can't host a holiday party. You'll just have to follow a few smart rules.
- Take care of yourself: Introverts, we're looking at you. Whether it's a big meal like Thanksgiving, or a small dinner party, make sure you don't burn yourself out.
- Be ready for surprise guests: If you keep these snacks on hand, you'll always have something to offer unexpected guests.
- Reciprocate by being a good guest: Make sure when you're invited into someone's home that you are a good guest as well.
(Image credits: Leela Cyd; Bridget Pizzo; Gabriela Herman; Reprinted from Make It Ahead. Copyright © 2014 by Ina Garten. Photograph copyright © 2014 by Quentin Bacon. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.; Kristin Teig; Cambria Bold; Kristin Teig)