I love hosting friends and family... My number one rule for having guests over is - keep it simple. Prepare as much as possible ahead of time. Let's face it, no one wants to watch you rush around the kitchen - they want to spend time with you. Prep the table, place settings, or buffet before the party.
How to decide between setting the table or creating a buffet style meal:
Formal or casual:Formal meals are usually plated by the host and served to guests, if you are going for a fancier feel - a seated style dinner is your best bet. Add some cute place cards and you're golden!
Number of guests: How many guests will be attending your party - if you can't seat them all at one table - buffet is a great option - it will give your guests the freedom to choose where they sit after they make their plate!
Prepared meal: If you plan to be preparing a hot meal, seated style is a great way to keep your guests out of the kitchen while you prepare! Set them up with some drinks in the dining room or outside on a nice night so they can mingle while you finish up!
Guest List: Let your crowd mingle with buffet style - which is a little less structured; this will help the conversation flow as your guests make their way around the room getting to know each other!
Remember: both are fabulous options - it's about what is easier for you!
One of my favorite entertaining essentials, Tableluxe- a ready-made tableware company will help you with either party theme. I fell in love with the Tableluxe Faux Flatware with Napkins set - each napkin has a place for the spoon, fork and knife making it a cinch to prepare a party! I chose to style my tablescape using the utensils but, if you'd rather, each set comes in a table-ready, stylish caddy that may be set directly on the buffet table for your guests to serve themselves. These sets are ideal for both seated meals and buffet style parties - the utensils have the look and durability of real silverware. They are also easily disposable for quick clean up, or you can wash them by hand to reuse! [LOVE that!] Once the soiree is over, the extras can be stored back in the packaging to keep your pantry organized!