How to Host a Last-Minute Dinner Party

So, you're hosting a dinner party this week. Wait. You agreed to host a dinner party this week? Whether you’re new to hosting or are a seasoned pro, having to throw everything together last minute can feel like a ton of pressure. We suggest you pause, take a deep breath and follow these tips to help make sure your evening is flawless.   


Don’t take everything on yourself, this will just end with you being stressed and overwhelmed. Ask your partner or a friend to help. Maybe they make a mean potato dish or have a knack for beautiful table settings. Also, say ‘yes please’ if guests offer to bring something.

List It

When it comes to planning something with a lot of moving parts, lists are your friend. Plan your dinner party menu, list out the ingredients for the recipes you pick and create a to-do list. This will save you from that feeling like you’ve forgotten something.

One Stop Shopping

Make the most of your time by planning in advance what you can get from where. For example, get your flowers at the grocery store or pick a market with a great bakery to save you another stop.

Set It & Forget It

Don’t spend the evening fidgeting with music or skipping songs. If you’ve invited a guest that has great taste in music, ask them to bring a playlist. Or find a playlist on an app like Spotify or Apple Music.


Don’t feel like you should make everything from scratch. Get small things like appetizers or dessert from a bakery or even the freezer section at the grocery store. Then you can focus your time and energy on main meal.

Save On Fridge Space

Cooking for a group of people often means you’ll have a lot more food in your kitchen than you’re used to. If space in your fridge is scarce, consider serving a few dishes that can be served at room temperature (a nice caprese salad or bean dip are great even if they’re not chilled).

Cook Something Easy

This one totally depends on your comfort level in the kitchen. Don’t go trying a bunch of new recipes. Make some recipes your familiar with (everyone has their go-to dishes) and if you’re feeling ambitious, try one new dish. Also, don’t make things complicated. We suggest picking something with little cleanup.


Remember, your friends will love whatever you decide to make and will appreciate your effort. Oh, and don’t forget to sit back and enjoy yourself! Serve up the food, pour yourself a glass and enjoy the company of your guests.


Download 3 gourmet, crowd-pleasing dinner party recipes from local Calgary chef, Ryan Blackwell.

Download Free Recipes


If you love hosting dinner parties, you’ll love life in Westman Village. The variety of amenities in Mahogany makes prepping easy. Plus, the spacious in Westman Village will take entertaining to a whole new level. Get more out your door in Westman Village.   

Topics: FoodEntertaining