One of the best ways to bring a group together for great conversation, food, and drinks is by hosting an adult AF dinner party. But knowing where to start can be tricky. We asked Svitlana Flom of Art de Fete for her best tips to flawlessly hosting in her home. Scroll on to learn her secrets, including how to get an accurate RSVP count and what to make sure is on your menu.

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1. Pick a theme for your table setting. “I always incorporate a theme to follow through the whole design, whether it’s a color scheme, a movie, or a holiday celebration,” Svitlana tells Brit + Co. “Serving the food on different plates is my favorite part.” And she always likes to incorporate several courses: “Quick and delicious hors d’oeuvres get your guests intrigued and excited for what’s to come. A pasta or savory protein dish are the most important courses in the meal, and there’s always room for dessert. Don’t forget to snap a picture of everyone’s plates!”

2. Consider lighting and music. The ambiance of your dinner party can make or break the event. A great playlist is key, but make sure you don’t have the volume up too high. “Your guests will have trouble making conversation if they’re fighting with the music. I like to go on Spotify and find the most current, upbeat songs to keep the energy of the party up. If you’re really enjoying the music, people may even start dancing — the perfect time for an Instagram story!” And, of course, lighting is just as important. “As a blogger, I love to be able to document the evening,” Svitlana says. “Once the food is plated and surrounded by the rest of the tablescape, how could I not want a picture for memories!” However, she advises that the lights should never be too bright at dinner time. “I like to go with a romantic light, making my guests feel like they are at an intimate restaurant,” she notes.

3. Create a menu of your recipes that will wow your guests. Everyone knows a food blogger’s favorite hobby is experimenting with recipes, so for Svitlana, an enticing menu is a must. “Whether it’s one of my favorite recipes or something new to try, I always put together a menu first, in order to plan my shopping and cooking in advance,” she dishes. And if your guests know you’ll be making some to-die-for appetizers, they’ll have even more reason to look forward to dinner. Just make sure to ask if there are any dietary restrictions so you can prep for those in advance.


4. Invite your guests at least two weeks in advance. This way, people are more likely to not have made plans yet. It also gives a small grace period to RSVP and gives you plenty of time to confirm the guest list way before doing any grocery shopping for ingredients, for Svitlana’s Seared Scallops Over Potato Puree for example. “I love to send out fun email invitations because it feels more special than a text or a call,” she notes. “Sending out a formal invitation creates the tone that this dinner party is an important event.”

5. Go food shopping and prepare your recipes a few days before. Prepping everything in advance will truly save you time and make the day of the event go much more smoothly. You never know if your local grocery store is going to have all of the ingredients you need or if you’ll have to make more than one stop. Plus, Svitlana says, “I love to make my cooking time a photo opportunity! Getting shots of the ingredients step by step always reminds me how beautiful the different colors look together in pictures. On the day of, all you’ll need to do is heat up the food and make final touches for dinner. Also, it gives me a minute to indulge in a glass of wine!”

6. Serve the meal and keep the alcohol flowing. The best hosts know their guests’ favorite drinks. Svitlana’s favorite touch is to have the right glasses for each kind of drink, whether it’s Champagne, wine, a cocktail, or even a glass of water. “I like to make sure there are mix and match plates for each course, gorgeous glassware, an eye-catching centerpiece, and beautiful flowers to finish it off.”

For more hosting inspiration (for dinner parties or otherwise) check us out on Pinterest!

(Photos via Art de Fete)