Dinner Party Essentials
A Dinner Party can be an intimate gathering amongst friends, or it can be a larger affair with a more formal dress code or theme. We believe that no matter the atmosphere or menu, there is always cause to send a paper invitation and dress your table. Our founders, Messrs. John Dempsey and George Carroll, published “The Art of Dinner Giving and Usages of Polite Society” (1882) as a way to educate their patrons on how to prepare for an elegant affair.
“We ask people to dine with us because we like them for certain inherent qualities. If our circle of friends be large we must be acquainted with many who differ extremely in all their social characteristics, to say nothing of their pursuits, sympathies, and occupations; and it is, therefore, by a judicious admixture of the guests that we bring about a successful party.” – Messrs. Dempsey & Carroll, 1882
We continue to refer to the words of our founders while offering a more modern approach to the timeless tradition of throwing an elegant dinner party.
“Prompt attention to the hour named in the invitation is a matter of the greatest importance.”
The invitation sets the tone for any event, alerting your guests to the aesthetic for the evening. As soon as the guests open their invitations, the event begins to take shape. The invitation not only gives your guest a preview of the affair, but also contains pertinent information such as the dress code and time frame.
Though emails can be sent quickly, a paper invitation will always make an impression as the proper way to introduce an event. There are two timeless ways to craft the perfect invitation to fit your celebration. Fill-in invitations can be personalized with the hand-written details of your event. There are some hosts who opt to create custom invitations for more extravagant affairs with a larger guest list and a long lead time to the event. Depending on the event, these invitations can be classic and simple or can be embellished with an opulent motif or edge treatment.
“The customary old-fashioned dinner party has given place to what is called a fête. The guests sit down to a table which is an elaborate work of art. The decorations and service are brought together from the four quarters of the globe; and, above all, they must be different from anything ever seen or heard of before.”
There is no better way to highlight the delicious cuisine that is to be served with a menu card because after all, the meal is the main attraction. The menu cards can be designed to fit within the aesthetic of the table settings. The contents of the menu can either be printed or you can opt to have the menu handwritten.
Place cards add a personal touch to the table and it shows guests that the host took time to think about them. Place cards are especially important for larger events with multiple circles of acquaintances. There are multiple types of place cards available depending how you would like to display them. The foldover, or tented, option is a popular way to dress the table. Though, there is also the flat option, which can rest on the table or a small dish.
“The hostess cleverly arranges the seats of the gifted conversationalists, so they will occupy, as near as possible, the centre of the table, between the host and hostess, to enable all of the invited to be entertained.”