Dinner parties are a great way to spend the evening with friends or to celebrate a formal occasion. No matter what style of dinner party you’re hosting, it’s really important to think about the order of events and the timing to make sure the night runs smoothly.
- 0:00-0:30 Arrival window and prep starters
- 0:30-0:45 Serve the starters
- 0:45-1:00 Prepare the main courses
- 1:00-1:20 Serve the main courses
- 1:20-1:45 Short break
- 1:45-2:00 Prepare the desserts
- 2:00-2:15 Serve the desserts
- 2:15-2:30 After dinner drinks
- 2:30-3:00 Relax or have some activities
How Long Should a Dinner Party Last?
We think a dinner party is best when it lasts around 3 hours. This is the perfect amount of time to let your guests relax between courses, enjoy your menu fully and gives you enough time to prepare without rushing. This is a party after all. It’s not a hectic celebrity chef’s kitchen (not naming any names). So take your time and relax.
What Time Should a Dinner Party Start?
0:00-0:30 Arrival Window
0:30-0:45 Serve the Starters
0:45-1:00 Prepare the Main Course
1:00-1:20 Serve the Main Course
1:20-1:40 Take a Break
1:45-2:00 Prepare the Dessert
Again, your dessert should be pretty much ready to go if you’ve been organised and prepared everything beforehand.
Once you’ve taken a break to let the conversation flow or enjoy an activity or game, then start preparing your dessert. This shouldn’t take any longer than 10-15 minutes, but if you think it might, then excuse yourself earlier to start prepping.