Dinner parties are an imaginative adventure enjoyed by hosts and guests alike. Whether it’s throwing a themed dinner party or a culinary adventure into the unknown, there are several different types of traditional dinner parties.
- Basic – Most dinner parties are informal. These types of dinner parties are perfect for friends, family or large gatherings. Whether it’s roasting chickens, grilling steak or sharing a big batch of New Mexico-style chili, informal dinner parties are simple. These types of parties may also involve passing dishes around a family-style table or having guests casually serving themselves from a buffet. Basic dinner parties are informal and homey. Traditionally, there are no wrong meals, but dessert usually consists of home-baked cakes, cobblers or pies. Simple dinner parties are often potluck-style, with hosts supplying entrees and asking guests to bring side dishes.
- Fancy – Fancy dinner parties are usually reserved for special occasions, such as graduations, birthdays and anniversaries. These types of upscale dinner parties usually have defined menus that are served in formal dining areas. Dining tables are decorated with table runners or tablecloths, fine china, circle charger plates and linen napkins. These types of dinner parties often begin with cocktails and hors d’ouevres. This is then followed by seated courses, which includes soup, salad, entree, sides and dessert dishes. Wines are generally paired with each dinner course and popular entrees include prime rib, baked salmon, pork crown roast, leg of lamb, beef Wellington or glazed ham with sides of braised asparagus, new potatoes, creamed spinach or sautéed mushrooms. Desserts are generally elegant with rich flavors. Champagne is often served with desserts.
- Formal – Formal dinner parties spare no expense and are lavish, posh events. For these types of events, hosts do not serve or prepare the food, but opt to hire caterers or professionals. After each course, the dishes are removed and wine is poured throughout the meal. The table is usually adorned with an elegant centerpiece or candles. Food is not left on the table and no dishes are passed. The meat course is carved in the kitchen and the waiter passes the course from guest to guest before returning platters to the kitchen. The dining table is neatly arranged with fine china, crystal glassware and silverware. Special spoons, forks and knives are used for each course, including soupspoons, dessertspoons and butter knives. Glassware generally includes water goblets, red wine glasses, white wine glasses and champagne flutes.
Whether it’s a basic, fancy or formal dinner party, hosts should begin planning soirees well in advance. Disorganized, frazzled hosts can make guests feel out of place or uncomfortable. Hosts should keep a calm, peaceful demeanor, which contributes to a successful dinner party.
Just Charger Plates offers charger plates for all occasions, whether it’s fancy or casual dinner parties. Their most popular charger plates include gold beaded glass charger plates, round charger plates, mirror charger plates, copper charger plates and colorful royal purple charger plates.