light fixture at vancouver dinner party
Event Resources

How to host a dinner party

September 19, 2023
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Spending time with your friends can be as simple as having a cup of coffee together or ordering in some take-out to enjoy at together at home. But if you are looking to do something a little more put together and memorable, hosting a dinner party just might be what you’re looking for. Here are 5 tips to hosting a beautiful dinner party from Vancouver party planner.


While this time and age is all about convenience and efficiency, there is something special about receiving an invitation. The invitation can be physical ones or an e-invite, but physical ones will definitely elevate your dinner party. We would suggest saving the physical invitations for extra special events and e invites for a more relaxed gathering.

white textured invitation flatlay

Other than the usual information of time, date, location, we suggest including information regarding the dress code and RSVP information. The dress code will allow your guests to prepare accordingly and know what to expect before attending the party. Instead of dress code, you could also write the vibe of the dinner party so guests also have a good idea. For RSVP, not only will it help you prepare accordingly, but also ensures that your guests have received your invitation!

Place Cards and Menus

closeup of white menu
dinner place setting with gold flatware

For a dinner party that has 8 people or more, we suggest having place cards. Not only does it eliminate the awkwardness that some guests may feel as they stand around waiting for people to choose their seats. But it can also help facilitate the conversations during the party. 

As a host, you know best how your guests are like and you might want to seat certain people together or not. Just a note that it is not a must that married couples are seated together. Sometimes a better arrangement will have the couple be seated with other guests. 

Other than place cards, menus are also a thoughtful touch and elevates your dinner party. Regardless if the dishes are shared family style or plated, guests tend to be interested in what they will be enjoying that evening. This can be done as a few menu cards placed at the table, or a menu for each guest like they would experience at a restaurant. 

Table Setting

side shot of chairs at vancouver dinner
pink tapered candle

The table is where most of the dinner party will take place and we  believe that everyone likes to look at pretty things. A simple and classic way to dress up your table is to bring the outdoors inside. Whether it is lush greenery across the table or beautiful floral arrangements, this adds interest and beauty to the table. If you have a smaller table, we suggest having a few bud vases with fresh flowers in them scattered around the table so there are pops of colours or ‘freshness’ throughout. 

While the table is the backdrop of the party, the flatware, plates, and glassware all play a part and it’s often the details that can change the mood. For a more formal or refined look, the items should be of the same set or style. For a more laid back look, you can mix and match the items.


candles and wine glasses at dinner
floral arrangement in center of table

Lighting in a dinner party is important as it creates the ambiance for the evening. We love natural light and the warmth of the setting sun shining in the room is hard to compare. However, depending on the season and what time the sun sets, this may not be possible. 

If possible, we suggest dimming the lights in the room to low and use plenty of candles. Candles not only bring light, but also warmth and create an inviting atmosphere. If you are unable to dim the lights, we will suggest turning off the lights that are overhead while leaving the lights that are further away on.

While fragrant candles are wonderful and add to the mood, they are best left in the other areas of the house like the living room. We will suggest using unscented candles at the table as fragrant candles can interfere or cover the delicious smell of the food. Camilia Living based in Vancouver has a wonderful selection of decorative candles, perfect for your dinner party.


white floral arrangement with candle

Last but not least is music. Music goes a long way in creating the ambiance and can help people get excited or feel relaxed. You can choose a mix of songs that cater to different aspects of the dinner party. You may want to start off with some songs that your guests are familiar with as they arrive and mingle with one another.

During the dinner you might want to choose something that is instrumental so it wouldn’t disrupt the conversation but be a welcomed background music. Lastly, something relaxing to end off the night during coffee and dessert.

Vancouver Party Planner

dinner party design by vancouver party planner

Just a few things and you can transform your casual get together to something more special and memorable. We love creating everything from dinner gatherings to weddings and we believe there are always things worth celebrating with others. Host a dinner party for a special celebration or for no particular reason. Life goes by so quickly, sometimes we just need to spend a few hours with good food and good company to appreciate everything. 

If you love this dinner party aesthetic, contact us here and we would love to plan and design your party in Vancouver or in another special destination!

Photos featured in this post by Beige Weddings.

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