Planning a Formal Dinner

As a Christmas gift to my husband’s parents we planned a 4 course meal and hosted them for dinner one night. Being that this was really only our 2nd time hosting others for dinner (read about our first time here). seeing as this was only our second time hosting, I would say we are nothing if not ambitious for choosing to do a 4 course meal.

We planned the menu ahead of time which was great because it gave us a chance to do a few trial runs with the various dishes but at the same time it meant that we weren’t sure how well the menu would work since we hadn’t made everything prior to planning- I know, breaking my own rules for hosting a dinner party.


Luckily we had time to try out all of the dishes and make the necessary changes before the actual dinner and it all worked out! Overall, the dinner was a LOT of work. We spent the entire weekend getting ready between cleaning the house, setting up the dining room and prepping all 4 dishes. I thought for sure by the time we had dinner on Sunday I would be under the table in a ball from stress overload but it went surprisingly well.

Dinner & Living Room.jpg

A few things that helped us successfully host a 4 course dinner:

  • Plan ahead: Give yourself plenty of time for planning and prepping. We had known since Christmas that we would be hosting his parents so we had 2 months to plan everything out and make lists.
  • Test it out: Like I said, we did a trial run of each dish the few weeks leading up to dinner. This gave us the opportunity to change anything about the dish that we didn’t care for and of course make sure we were actually capable of making everything taste good 🙂
  • Create a schedule: It may sound silly but we had a schedule for that weekend starting with Friday. We knew exactly when everything needed to be prepped this way we could spread our work throughout the weekend.
  • Clean as you go: Cooking a single dish can leave the kitchen a disaster so imagine what 4 different dishes can do to it. Clean things as you go this way you still have room to work and clean dishes/utensils available.

I can’t say that I will be anxious to host a 4 course dinner again any time soon but it really was a fun night and a great way to spend time with my in-laws. I know they enjoyed it and it was so much fun to do something special for them!

Dishes & Glassware used (seen above): Gratin Dish, Dinner Plate, Pasta Bowl, White Wine Glasses, Red Wine Glasses


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