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8 Hacks for Hosting Dinner Parties

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8 Hacks for Hosting Dinner Parties

The ultimate host makes a dinner party seem effortless and simple. Here are seven hacks that will surely amp up the hosting game for any dinner gathering.

1. Provide Options for Restricted Diets

These days, it seems like everyone has some sort of dietary restriction.8 Hacks for Hosting Dinner Parties

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2. Amp Up the Atmosphere

Strike a match and light some candles on the dinner table. Add a twinkling scented candle or two in the guests’ bathroom as well. Use cloth napkins and plates that aren’t made of paper. Play background music through your home’s speakers to give the room a more festive feel. The little things in the party’s atmosphere will make the dinner gathering truly memorable.

3. Take Advantage of Meal Delivery

Hosting a dinner party doesn’t necessarily mean that the host needs to cook. Plenty of restaurants offer precooked meals to bring the quality dining of a restaurant right to the home. Restaurants can also work with a list of guest dietary restrictions to create meal options that suit the diets of each guest. To ensure a stress-free meal delivery on the night of the party, hosts should order food from their restaurant of choice at least a week in advance. Following up with the restaurant the day before the party is another measure to take in order to make certain that every component of the meal is on track for the dinner party.

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4. Vary the Bar

When serving alcohol at a dinner party, be sure to provide nonalcoholic beverages for guests who do not drink. Festive nonalcoholic beverages include sparkling water, ginger ale, and iced tea. If a guest requests a nonalcoholic beverage, pour the drink into a glass to give the table a sense of unity.

5. Designate Space for Guests to Leave Belongings

When guests walk in the door, their first thought is, “Where should I put my purse?” or, “Where should I hang my coat?” Have a coat rack or closet handy and open for guests’ use during the party, and a spare chair or room for guests’ purses and other belongings to gather. Hosts who’d prefer for their guests to remove shoes for the length of the dinner gathering should denote a space for the shoes near the guests’ place of entry. A great way to accomplish this without saying a word is lining up a few pairs of the host’s own shoes near the front door in order to encourage guests to remove their shoes as well.

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6. Consider Delivery

While this may seemed frowned upon, there are a lot of companies now that can delivery healthy, fresh meals that look and taste exactly like their homemade counterparts. Some of these companies, such as Fresh N Lean, focus in tiny niches such as vegan diets. This means there are very few dishes you couldn’t order fresh and ready.

7. Keep the Guest List Simple

When hosting a seated meal, keep the guest list free of clutter. Guests tend to enjoy smaller groups, and this cuts down on clean up at the end of the night as well. Be sure to consider seating arrangements, too, and take advantage of place cards in order to position the guests in a comfortable fashion.

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8. Save the Dishes for the Morning

A hospitable host takes time with their guests during their dinner party. Time spent elbows-deep in a sudsy kitchen sink is valuable time spent away from one’s guests. After dinner, hosts should gather the dishes into the sink, put on a pot of coffee and tea, and serve dessert. Enjoying time with guests is the most crucial hack that amateur hosts often leave out. After all, isn’t that the point of hosting a dinner party?

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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