Dinner pary rules

“Less is more when it comes to apps and snacks. I used to start off with big, beautiful cheese and charcuterie boards, but guests got full before dinner. Now we stick to serving light bites during cocktails. Giant red Peppadews are a must-have on our spreads. They taste delicious, look gorgeous, and require no prep work.”—Bryan Batt

Actor, author, and designer Bryan Batt shares six dinner party rules for an ovation-worthy gathering.

  • DO put all the lights on dimmers. Ambient lighting is more affordable and far less painful than plastic surgery!
  • DON’T arrive too early or too late. And never follow Heidi Klum down a red carpet.
  • DO offer a festive “mocktail” for the designated drivers, mamas-in-the-making, and other souls not imbibing.
  • DON’T sweat the small stuff. Relax and have fun hosting because even the best actors and actresses can’t hide stress.
  • DO what you do best, and outsource the rest. To put it bluntly, if you’re not a cook, then cater.
  • DON’T cry over spilled milk. Or red wine. Think of a stain as a “parting gift” from a guest who had a really good time.

“It’s a party, not a production! Don’t attempt to impress your guests—simply aim to inspire them.”—Bryan Batt

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