Summertime dinner party meal ideas.

Planning Your Summertime Dinner Party

If you are one of many homeowners who have recently renovated their kitchen, now is the perfect time to show it off by hosting a summertime dinner party. Whether you’re hosting a formal sit-down dinner or a more casual buffet-style soirée, here are some entertaining tips for a memorable occasion.

  • Who’s Coming to Dinner? – Write out your guest list and send invites at least three weeks in advance so that you can plan your seating and grocery or catering list to gauge how much food you will need.
  • What Are You Serving? – Warm weather entertaining typically brings lighter foods, colder drinks and a more relaxed atmosphere. Choose grilled meats or fish for your main course and serve lighter salads with a vinaigrette dressing instead of heavier mayo-based salads. Assorted grilled vegetables or steamed vegetables tossed in olive oil and fresh garlic are an easy way to serve your sides at room temperature without the fuss of keeping them hot.
  • Drink Up! – For a fun bar setting, let your guests make their own drinks by offering a specialty drink. Flavor-infused vodkas with a selection of juices and mixers are a great way to get the party started. Offer chilled beer and wine to round out your bar. Be sure to offer non-alcoholic beverages to your guests and don’t forget the cardinal rule…you can never have enough ice!

Drinks can help get the conversation flowing when guests arrive.

  • Set the Mood – Choose music to set the overall mood for the party and select your playlist a few days ahead. During the first hour when guests are arriving, choose songs that will get the party started as everyone settles in, mingles and relaxes. For dinner, select music that is relaxing (but not so soothing that your guests want to take a nap after dinner). For dessert, pump it again, but this time create a montage of songs that are reminiscent of times spent together to create a feeling of nostalgia. Your guests will leave with a happy heart.

Show off your new kitchen with a summer dinner party

Tips and Suggestions to Host the Perfect Summer Dinner Party:

  • Iron your napkins and tablecloths a few days before your party.
  • Set your table ahead of time.
  • Empty your dishwasher.
  • Keep centerpieces low and elegant for easy conversation.
  • Serve beautifully arranged appetizers “family style” at the dinner table.
  • Use your china. (What are you saving it for?)
  • Set up the bar the day before. Start making ice, or buy enough ice and store in a cooler.
  • Decide on which platters and serving pieces you will be using.
  • Plan seating and use place cards for cordial and stress-free conversation.
  • Serve one-bite appetizers and have bowls of munchies and dips on cocktail tables and buffets.
  • If you plan to grill, make sure you have an extra propane tank on hand or fill the one you have.
  • Allow for grill time while your guests are mingling before dinner.
  • Don’t be shy when your guests ask to bring something. Keep a list of items you may want – like a unique dessert, a specialty coffee, or even a favorite family recipe side dish.
  • Don’t forget the powder room. Placing a pretty flower arrangement and disposable guest towels in your powder room are elegant ways to show your guests you are thinking of them.

If a new kitchen or bath renovation is on your summer to-do list or you’re interested in learning more, the experts at Granite Transformations are only a call or click away. Contact us today for a free in-home consultation.