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20 Foolproof Hacks For Throwing The Perfect Dinner Party

Stress less, eat more.

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2. Let guests fix their own drinks, and provide an array of garnishes.

Like this cool muddling bar. That way, everyone gets something they like. And you don’t have to spend time mixing a punch. (Unless you want to. Punch is tasty). Adorbs Mad Scientist party from here.

3. Supply ingredients for nonalcoholic drinks, too.

They can be really tasty and feel just as special. That way people who have to drive home don’t feel like they’re missing out. Get a recipe here.

4. Throw a lot of parties? Keep your bottles on a tray for easy transport to the table.

Or even better, a bar cart. (Sometimes alcohol is just better if you can wheel it from room to room). From here.

8. If you want to cook yourself, make the food ahead.

No, seriously. Make-ahead dishes are so important. Here are a bunch of recipe ideas. And see how you can plan your dinner party by doing a little bit of prep every night of the week here.

You should also have a food rehearsal — make the dish for dinner a couple of weeks before your party so you’re sure it tastes good and is easy enough to make.

9. OR you could make it easy on yourself and host a potluck.

That saves you money and time. You can still decorate to make it feel special. Just make sure everyone commits to a dish. This website makes it easy to see who is bringing what.

13. Write on fruit with a paint pen for pretty place cards.

Just use fruit with thick skin, like this pomegranate or an orange, so the paint doesn’t seep through to the edible parts. From here.

15. Save a couple of weekends’ worth of wine bottles to use as candle holders.

It's a perfect excuse to drink extra wine. They don't even all have to be clear bottles. IMHO, you get bonus points for lots of different shapes, heights and colors. From here.

19. Let other parents bring their kids over and feed them en masse.

Grilled cheese typically appeases even picky eaters, and won't take too much time away from cooking the grown-up food.

Plus...the grown-ups might be kind of into them, too. From here.

20. Make a bowl of mocktails.

This is just watermelon and seltzer (directions here). So. Easy. Then send them outside to play! Or put on a movie! Anything to distract them while you enjoy all of the delicious food you just cooked.

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!