Tips on hosting a potluck dinner party

Potluck parties are supposed to be a stress-free way to share a meal with friends and family. However, without minimal preparation you could wind up with a dozen bottles of wine and no main dish. Take some tips from this party planning guide to host your most memorable shindig yet.

Theme
Choosing a theme for the evening will streamline the dinner so the drinks and dishes can match up nicely. A couple fun options are regional Italian cuisine or Thai food. If you want to go further into a concept, try focusing on one food like heirloom tomatoes. Everyone will have to feature the chosen item in their dish, which can prove to be a fun project that will bring out the creativity in your friends.

Invitations
Once the theme is planned, send out official customized invitations as a mood-setting reminder. Provide your email address so guests can RSVP and let you know what dish they will be bringing. Try using our save the date cards as invitations!

menus

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Arrange courses
Once you hear back from everyone as to their contribution, you can organize the menu. Ask yourself if all your bases are covered. For instance, there should be an appetizer and a soup or salad. Next up are the entrees and side dishes. Most guests might opt to bring a side, which is fine as long as they all are different. To ensure you have a main dish covered, make one yourself and have a close trusted friend make an alternative protein or vegetarian option. Try this Creamy Summer Pasta Salad from Barefeet in the Kitchen.

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Beverages
Another fun task is to ask guests to bring a bottle of wine that pairs well with their dish. Or, in contrast, they could bring a non-alcoholic beverage. This way all your drinks are covered. However, it’s best to also have a few extra sodas and juices on hand.

Decorations
Since you won’t be in charge of making the whole meal, you’ll have free time and money to spend on decorations. Show guests how creative you are with customized coasters. You can design a full-color image or write a simple saying. Another decoration tip is to customize stir sticks. If you know ahead of time which drinks will be available, you can write the name of the cocktail on each stick.

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Another great product that we are able to offer now is our full bleed napkins. Our Luxe cocktail napkins with a full bleed are the perfect accessory to an appetizer table.

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Extra tips
Dishes should be ready to eat once the dinner starts. If everyone makes their item hours ahead of time, you could be stuck trying to reheat a bunch of food at one time. For extenuating circumstances, guests should let you know if something needs to be chilled or heated so you have time to prepare.

For an assortment of party favors, napkins, coasters and more, check out our customizable collection of decorations.

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