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Dinner parties can be easy relaxed gatherings, or involve a big family crowd for Thanksgiving dinner or other holiday feast. They may make also be a perfect setting to impress the new boss or the in-laws with your social skills.

But even informal dinners have a lot of details to take care of if you want a really successful evening.

There are the table settings, seating arrangements, and food and wine to serve (and knowing what wine glasses to set.) Decorating the table (without blocking everyone's view -- or worse, interfering with the food being passed!) is another important consideration.

If children are present, will kid-friendly portions be necessary? Especially thoughtful hosts may want to plan ahead by preparing special meals for vegetarian guests, or for those who may suffer from specific food allergies.

Just up ahead, find out how to make a great impression as an expert dinner party host with more top tips for decorating, seating, etiquette, recipes, and more ...


More about hosting a dinner party around the Web:

How to Plan a Dinner Party
- Find expert Ideas, hints and suggestions for invitations, menus, table settings, the serving order of each course, and more detailed information for organizing an elegant, formal dinner party.

Linda's Dinner Party Menus and Recipes - Here's a great collection of ideas complete with courses, recipes, and photos including multiple-course and family style dinners, high teas, what to do for unexpected company, plus barbecues, special get-togethers, buffet and party safety hints, dining etiquette and advice on menu planning.

Entertainment Experts - Dinner Parties - This is a huge cache of related articles from the UK featuring tips and how-to's on menu planning, table setting, food shopping & wine selection, plus a variety of ideas for dinner party themes.

Etiquette - Fascinating take on the rules of behavior at the table, a party, social gathering, wedding or funeral with specific guidelines for Food Passed at Dinner Table, Dinner table centerpiece ideas, and lots more.


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