A group of friends eating dinner at home

How to Throw a Great Dinner Party

So you’ve worked really hard to decorate your beautiful Phoenix apartment and now you’re ready to show it off. It’s time to throw a dinner party! It’ll be great, really. Just remember, the most important rule to throwing a successful dinner party is planning ahead.

We’ve put together a few helpful tips to ensure both you and your guests have a great time.


A theme can run through everything – from the décor, music and place settings, to the food and drinks. Choosing a theme isn’t necessary, but it helps tie things together and can make your party easier to plan. Themes can be simple like a Mexican Fiesta, or more challenging like a “Tour of Italy,” featuring cuisine and wines from several regions.


This is where planning ahead is most crucial.

  • Appetizers are a wonderful way to get things started and can be made ahead of time. Don’t torture yourself by serving hot appetizers. No one ever scoffs at a beautiful cracker and cheese platter, especially if it includes fruit, nuts and cut veggies. Dips and/or spreads are a great addition.
  • Drinks – Arrange a self-serve bar area with glasses and ice. For cocktail drinkers, have liquor, mixers and cut fruit. Have an ice bucket for cold beers, soda and water, and offer a couple of wine selections.
  • Dinner is as hard as you choose to make it. Serving lasagna with garlic bread and a big salad isn’t difficult. Individual Cornish game hens, roasted potatoes and asparagus with Hollandaise sauce is an entirely different story! If this is your first dinner party, start simple and make sure to prep whatever you can in advance.
  • Dessert – Unless you are famous for creating confectionery specialties, you can visit your favorite bakery and let them supply the sweets. No one will fault you for that and dessert can be taken care of in advance. Just don’t forget the coffee to serve with it!


Nothing makes dinner guests more uncomfortable than watching their host running around, being stressed. Throwing a dinner party is a lot of work, but the trick is to run around before the dinner party.

  • Place settings and table décor – This is the fun part. Make it look amazing. Visit a site like Pinterest for some great ideas.
  • Dishes/Glassware – If you choose disposable, you’ll have no worries. For real dishes and glassware, keep the dishwasher ready to go so you don’t end up with a sink pile-up.
  • Garbage – Make sure you have a discreet place for guests to dispose of their waste.
  • Don’t forget the little details – It’s always wise to be sure you have enough hand soap and bathroom tissue, extra ice, ample guest parking, a place for handbags and coats and if there are kids… something to keep them busy.

Even if you make lists, plan and prep like crazy, you’ll still probably miss something. Who cares! Just remember it for next time and enjoy yourself.

Contact Heers Management for more information about great apartments in Phoenix.

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