Once the excitement of the wedding and honeymoon have died down, many newlyweds find themselves ready to tackle entertaining. For many young couples, the parties and dinners that they host as newlyweds are their first foray into elegant entertaining, and they don’t know quite where to begin. This is an easy-to-read exploration of entertaining 101 for newlyweds… before you know it, you will be throwing parties and hosting dinners like old pros!Tip No. 1: Start small! When planning your first party or dinner as newlyweds, keep it small and simple. A cocktail party for 50 is bound to be way too much to take on for novice hosts. A much better idea would be a dinner party on a Saturday evening for about six guests (so a total of eight at the table including the newlyweds). As you gain experience hosting dinner parties, you can experiment with inviting a different mix of guests, but for your very first attempt at entertaining, it is best to invite only your closest friends. You know, the ones who will make you feel relaxed and will not care if the souffle falls or the roast is dry.
Tip No. 2: Make your party feel like a special occasion. Send invitations on cute stationery, decorate the table with fresh flowers and candles, serve a nice bottle of wine. This is your opportunity to use all of the china and crystal that you received as wedding gifts (in fact, that may well be your motivation to have a party in the first place!). Wear something festive, like a pretty dress and your Swarovski bridal earrings. A great hostess look for the winter is a flowing pair of velvet pants worn with a beaded sweater and the Swarovski bridal earrings.Tip No. 3: Keep your menu manageable. Experienced hosts learn that it is no fun missing your own party because you spent half of the evening fussing over a complicated dish in the kitchen. It is best to choose “can’t miss” dishes that you have made before. Your first party is not the time to try out something new, unless you are a terrific cook. The more that can be made the day before, the better. That will reduce your stress level, and allow you to spend more time with your guests.Tip No. 4: If a formal dinner party sounds too intimidating, think about having an open house. Housewarming parties and holiday gatherings often revolve around the open house concept. You set a span of two or three hours over which guests are welcome to stop in at their leisure to visit and nibble on snacks and have drinks. Most of the food served is the sort that can be set out on platters around the living room: cheese and crackers, fruit and veggies with dip, cookies, that sort of thing. The only potential pitfall of an open house is that it can be hard to get a clear picture of how many of your invited guests will show up, which can make food quantities hard to accurately judge.
Tip No. 5: Remember to relax and have fun at your own party. Many newlyweds will get so wrapped up in the idea of “perfection” that they forget to enjoy the event. Keep a sense of humor about any minor mishaps that occur. Your guests take their lead from their hosts, so as long as you are convivial and upbeat, they will have a great time, even if not every detail turns out the way you had planned.