Wednesday, September 7, 2016


This post is going to share the steps that I take to picking out our dinner party theme, picking a date and how we inform our guests.

When planning an event I try to look at the dates. Depending on what month it is I usually try to coordinate our dinner parties with a holiday that is that month or has something to do with an event around that time. Example: May = Cinco de Mayo, June = Summer Soiree (to kick off summer), July = Red, White, & Blue BBQ, November = Friendsgiving, December = Friendsmas. An Olympic themed dinner party would have been great for August this year.
Other themes to consider: Christmas in July, Halloween party, Outdoors movie party, chili cook off, a Valentine's themed dinner party, New Years Eve party. There are so many, just get creative!

Another idea to consider is not having a theme...WHAT?! Yep, you heard me, even though it is fun, you don't always have to have a theme. In fact we haven't had themes at all of our dinner parties. We had people over for tacos and to play a few games one night. No big theme there, just dinner and some games to play that we already had.

Next comes picking your date. We usually invite anywhere from around 8 people to 20 people. Not everyone can make it to every event and that's just the way life goes sometimes. Once Matthew and I have checked our calendars and decide on a date we throw out a date, sometimes two, to our friends in a group text to see what works best for them. A good chunk of our friend group is still in the campus ministry that we were involved in when we were in college, so we try out best to work around their schedule. I always try to plan our dinner parties for Saturday afternoons. Just so I'm not rushing home from work on a Friday to get everything prepped and ready before everyone gets there, and having it on a Saturday gives us more time to all be together! Once we have a date confirmed we move on to the next step.

This step just so happens to be one of my favorite steps of planning/hosting dinner parties. After we have confirmed our date with our guests I make invitations to mail out to them about 2 weeks before our event. Just so they have something to remind them of the date/time. I enjoy creating the invitations and look forward to finding different ideas/inspiration from Pinterest! Here are some of my previous invitations that I have made: Friendsgiving 2015 invitation, Summer Soiree 2015 invitation, Red, White, & Blue BBQ invitation, and I have already created our Friendsgiving 2016 invitation, but I'll wait and share that closer to time! If our dinner party is going to be potluck style then we usually create a private Facebook event so that everyone can sign up for a dish to bring and we don't have duplicate dishes. Also, one thing I really like about the private Facebook event, is that in case they misplace the invitation that we mail out, Facebook always sends out a reminder of your upcoming event. 

Where do I make my invitations you ask? I create them in PicMonkey! The best part about PicMonkey is that it is so easy to use and a lot of it's features are free, which I love. I always make our invitations a 5x7 so that they are easy to mail off, and because you can buy the envelopes for a decent price on Amazon. 
PicMonkey offers a lot of clip art on their website that I have used before, but I also search for free clip art or backgrounds if I am wanting more than what PicMonkey offers. Example: Say I am creating an invitation and I want mason jars on there and PicMonkey doesn't offer any that I like. I just go to Pinterest and search mason jar clip art... many different options...and they are cute! A lot of websites/blogs offer free downloads, so that always helps out even more. If I don't find any on Pinterest that I like then I just google "mason jar clip art" and believe it or not, sometimes I find better ones that way versus finding something I like on Pinterest! 

It takes a bit of time to create our invitations, but like I said, I enjoy it! If that does not sound appeasing to you then you could definitely skip the whole paper invitation and just use group texting and/or Facebook to invite your friends.

That's it for the first few steps of hosting dinner parties! These steps are usually the easiest part, occasionally it is hard to find a date that will work for every single person, but you just have to go with works best for you and majority of your guests. If you have any specific questions regarding these topics, don't hesitate to ask in the comments or shoot me an email!

Tomorrow we'll talk about building the menu for your dinner party!


  1. I adore everything about this post! Thanks for sharing and linking up today! Xo

  2. K. So I think you need to do an Ebook on this or a coffee table book!! Brilliant advice so nicely compiled. I am the same, I center the theme in relation to the month. Next up menu goodness, yay!!

  3. This is so awesome! We don't do a lot of dinner parties, sadly, because we don't have a table with which to entertain, but we do have friends over a lot! It's truly my hope that at our next duty station, we can make the time - and space - to entertain! Such great advice :)

  4. You always plan the cutest little nights at home! I love it! I've thought about mailing Caleb something in the mail to a date night in... so cheesy, but I can't help it!

  5. This is such a fun idea! I appreciate that you make invitations because that is one of the most fun parts about getting invited to something like this! It's the little things.

  6. My husband and I had our first theme party at our home this year, and there is so much more work than you think goes into it! I love your tips!


  7. These are all great ideas!! Love this series!

  8. Love!! I really need to remember to use pic monkey for stuff like that! You have the cutest themes :)


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