Who to invite? This is the first question that you would probably ask yourself. But this can be more difficult than you may think. There are various options to consider before you deside who to invite, you need to decide how many guests to invite!
For most people 6 to 8 guests including yourself is the most manageable number. Any more than that, unless you are an accomplished host can be stretching yourself just a little bit too much, unless that is, you are thinking of holding a very informal party such as a barbeque or a 'bring something along to share' sort of evening.
For your dinner party 6 to 8 guests is a good number. But there's nothing to stop you inviting less people if you wish to have a more intimate evening with close friends.
Good friends that all know each other are usually the easiest to accommodate when it comes to who to invite, as they are far more likely to be relaxed and at ease with everyone.
The stress of meeting and socialising with people they don't know is completely removed and every one can just get on with having a great time.
Couples work well, although mixing couples with singles can sometimes feel a little awkward, especially if the singles are out-numbered by the couples and they don't know each other that well.
After that various other groups of guests present different approaches. You may be planning a family get together or inviting work colleagues, neighbours, or planning a meal with just one other person in mind.
Family dinner parties are a great way to spend time with your loved ones especially at Christmas time or holidays and are best kept on an informal basis, particularly if children are going to be present.
Such a gathering can present some additional challenges in planning, for example, if your bathroom is upstairs, will Granny be able to navigate the stairs.
Or what time does little Johnny have to go to bed or will anyone need a lift to get there or home.
You just have to think about who your family members are and what particular needs they may have, then try and come up with ways to accommodate them as much as possible.
You may not be able to come up with an answer to everything that you think of, so don't worry too much. But thinking ahead really pays off and saves any last minute panics.
It's also important to consider if your guests would get along together. You might love everyone to bits that you are intending to invite, but its no good if you know that Bill and Ted can't stand each others company.
This isn't such a big deal if you are holding a large informal get together such as a buffet, as they will probably just try and avoid each other. But for a dinner party of six to eight people it's a non-starter!
It's true to say that sometimes it's more difficult to decide who not to ask or to leave out from the possible list of guests than who to include. Hopefully you know your guests well enough to judge for yourself, just go with your instincts and you won't go far wrong.