The holidays are coming and I know hosting can feel overwhelmingly stressful. That’s why I am going to teach you how to host a simple dinner party SANS stress! We recently hosted a sustainable and conscious backyard dinner – to thank the people who were intimately involved in my son’s accident and healing. (For that miraculous story, see Bub’s Eye).
++ we have our top tips & exact menu at the bottom of this post for you.
How to Host a Simple Dinner Party: Keep Entertaining Simple
First, you want to consider your invitations. Think about inviting close family and friends; people who are important to you. Next, you can consider your space. Is it small? Could you move furniture around to make more room or host the event outside (like we did?) Bonus: you’ll get some grounding in if you set blankets on the lawn and enjoy barefoot time!
You can set simple but welcoming mood by lighting candles and using natural decor, maybe a simple string of warm lights. I suggest planning ahead to keep things easy! Plan out the menu, any games you will play, and how long you’re all going to hang out!
The Food Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated
Our menu was simple, local and deeply nourishing. I tweaked all the recipes to be supportive of our health and everything was sourced from within 10 miles of our home!
To start, we offered spiced organic apple cider kept hot in instant pots, organic local decaf coffee, and remineralized water. There was something for everyone, simple and nourishing!
We chose just a few good dishes, which makes everything easier and keeps the meal very simple but good! We decided on apple pork chops with bourbon and sage, cheddar mashed potatoes, and spicy deviled eggs with rosemary (all recipes from Sunday Table and I just adapted them to be supportive for our bodies). It was so delicious and made of warming foods that are perfect for fall!
If you’re looking for a perfectly simple and fall-flavored dessert, we had a really fun caramel apple toppings bar from Athol Orchards. With her homemade apple cider caramel. (And you can get it too!)
Simplifying Your Dinner Party: Sustainable Serving
In addition, we were fortunate to have a sponsor for the gathering: Bambu, who makes eco-friendly, compostable bamboo plates and utensils. They sent us some of our favorites products that we use regularly in the home and in our time of van life. This kept clean-up easy (no dishes to wash!) but was gentle on the environment (which I love!) Bambu is great because it reduces our over reliance on plastic by using beauitful, non-toxic products that are made from nature. This is a huge perk when learning how to host a simple dinner party! Less mess = great for everyone!
Economical Entertaining & Being Practical
I had a caterer for the event and kept it low budget for over 50 people! We achieved this by hosting outdoors in our backyard with simple decor and local flower arrangements, which I had fun arranging myself! Also, by keeping the menu simple and the food local, the food was delicious and economical. We kept the kids bored aka let them get creative. We had a few activities for them but nothing fancy. They mostly ended up playing in our mulch and compost even though we had a bounce house and butcher paper for them to color on!!
It’s not everyday you have 60 people over for dinner so don’t go crazy buying chairs, tables, etc. Source from your community, church, etc. We asked our church if we could borrow 3 tables for the evening and they would have just been collecting dust that evening anyways. Another alternative here is to find a local event rental company. Here in Northern Idaho I did a quick google search for this post on how to host a simple dinner party and about 10 popped up. THEY ARE SUPER AFFORDABLE, too. Like $3-$10 to rent tables and chairs for a day. They also have items like glassware, heaters and other necessary items for your event.
It was lovely for us to enjoy such a great celebration in our newly fall weather. We are so grateful to everyone and the outpouring of love! I’m excited to see you use our post on how to host a simple dinner party for your next event! Tag us in your beautiful breakfasts, evenings or whatever it is you host!
Our Final Tips & Menu
#1. Decide on who you are going to invite + how you will invite (paper or mobile)
– you’ll need to create an RSVP method with a hard RSVP by date or you will not get peoples RSVP
#2. Decide on your menu, keep it simple and local as this cuts costs and makes it the most delicious
– we went with a caterer because I didn’t have the capacity to cook for this many people in this season
#3. Choose where at your home you’ll setup & start gathering what you need
– rental companies, friends, etc. don’t be afraid to ask for help!
– we needed entertainment for the kiddos so we asked a friend for their bounce house!
#4. Tie it up with something special – we desired for our guests to feel absolutely loved and thanked so we got them all a gift.
– I found local paragon, phthalate and nasty-free candles to give to each family, I asked that every time they light it, they pray for continued miracles in the world everyday
#5. If you find yourself getting stressed, step back and see what you can remove. This is a time to enjoy and it’s so fun to be surrounded with those you love