How to Host an Elegant Birthday Dinner at Home
There’s something special that happens when you choose to host a birthday celebration at home. While restaurants and bars can be lots of fun, they can also strip away some of the intimacy among your guests. And isn’t that the whole point of birthdays…to share a special moment with the people you love most?
We certainly think so. Which is why we’re such big fans of sharing ideas with our customers on how to plan birthday celebrations that take place at home. For an adult birthday party, we love the idea of doing a themed dinner party. No balloons. No sheet cake. Just a fun, classy, elegant evening at home with close family and friends.
Interested in throwing your own elegant birthday dinner at home? Let us show you how it’s done…
Picking the Right Theme
Though hosting an adult birthday celebration means no superheroes or princesses (that is, unless the guest of honor is still a kid at heart!), that doesn’t mean you should go without a theme. Not only do themes help transport guests into a certain state of mind, but they also make planning your affair much easier, as you’re working off a specific blueprint.
One of our favorite ideas for a fun, relaxed, yet still elegant birthday gathering at home is a Spanish-inspired wine and tapas party. It has the makings for a fun night in, yet still remains decidedly adult.
Let’s walk through all the steps you’ll need to take to host this beautiful, Spanish-style birthday fiesta next time you’re looking to celebrate at home!
Setting the Table
One of the most effective ways to make your party really stand out is with a beautiful, elegantly designed table setting.
For a Spanish-inspired tapas party, you’ll want to be sure you leave plenty of room on the table for shared dishes. That said, a simple floral arrangement will work as a beautiful centerpiece, without taking up too much space. Keeping Spain’s bold color palette in mind, opt for bright red roses as the focal point of your centerpiece (think Flamenco dancers). Couple this with a dark red or black tablecloth, which will serve as a wonderful backdrop for clean, white tapas-style dishes.
Don’t have the right dishes or flatware? A simple Google search can lead you to local options for renting small amounts of china for your gathering. Many services will even deliver the clean dishes right to your door and pick them up the day after. Or if you prefer, there are nearly endless options of elegant disposable plates, serving platters, and glassware. Just figure out what works best for you!
Making It Personal
If you plan on hosting six or more guests, consider assigned seating for your dinner…but with a twist. Split up any couples or close friends, so that guests have a chance to chat closely with those whom they might not normally engage.
We fail to realize how often we revert to established social habits, talking about the same subjects with the same people. By deliberately switching things up via an assigned seating arrangement, your guests will have decidedly different conversations than they would have if they were to select their own seats. And there is no doubt that these conversations will make for an interesting night they’ll never forget.
In lieu of a simple place card, elevate your affair with a custom printed wine charm and card instead. Not only will these serve as an indicator of where guests should sit, but they will also call attention to the guest of honor, and serve as a great party favor to take home at the end of the night!
Fiesta Part 1: Wine and Cheese
Before you dive into your seated, tapas-style dinner, be sure to leave plenty of time at the beginning of the night to mingle. This will help set the tone for a great evening, and allow you the host extra time to prepare for dinner as guests get settled in.
Keeping with your Spanish theme, consider starting your evening off with a wine and cheese tasting. Get a selection of various Spanish wines (reds, whites, and rosé), along with some Cava from the Rioja region if you’re so inclined. Most upscale grocery stores should feature a selection of Spanish cheeses and meats, making it easy for you to build a super delicious and elegant charcuterie board.
If you have a wine-loving friend attending the party (or someone that just loves to talk!), consider making them the “Sommelier” of the wine tasting, asking them to research a few facts on each of the wines you’ll be sharing so that you guests can not only enjoy, but they can learn something too.
Fiesta Part 2: The Tapas
With your wine and cheese tasting complete, it’s time to dive into your tapas-style dinner. Depending on the size of your affair, it may be worthwhile to consider hiring a local chef/caterer to take care of the meal. However, if you feel you’re up to the task, building a tapas-menu is actually less work than you may think.
Pre-select a handful of cold and warm tapas dishes that can be shared. The cold dishes can all be prepared, plated and stored prior to your guests’ arrival, so that all your need to worry about is getting the warm dishes out the door. Thankfully, tapas dining is all about serving and sharing as things come, so timing is not as important as a normal plated meal. Just prepare and bring out items to your guests as they are ready…the spontaneity of it all actually makes for a much more authentic experience!
Feeling super adventurous? Try your hand at making a big batch of paella to share. Not only will this be the highlight and talking point of the meal, but it will also serve as a great way to soak up all that delicious Spanish wine.
Fiesta Part 3: Post-Dinner Fun
Once dinner is complete, wow your guests with a themed post-dinner game or activity. To round out your Spain-inspired evening, perhaps you can have everyone retire to the living room for a surprise Flamenco dance show!
If there’s a local dance studio in your neighborhood, call them up and see if they have any teachers or students that would be willing to perform a short private show. It’ll be much less expensive than you may think and will certainly be the talk of the evening! Plus who knows, maybe a few of your guests will feel inspired and partake in a little dancing themselves. If they need a rose to hold in their mouth, just grab one from your centerpiece!
With the drinks, dinner and dancing all done, it’s finally time to say adios to your guests. Be sure to remind everyone to take home their special party favors so that there is always something to remember the evening by.
As you can see, planning an elegant birthday dinner at home is not as difficult as it may seem. And with a night as special as this, you can rest assured that guests will have way more fun than they ever could dining out at a local restaurant. So, the next time you’re tasked with organizing a birthday outing for someone you love, consider doing it at home. We promise it will be the fiesta of a lifetime!