Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Raffaele Imperiale - Formal Dinner Party

Raffaele Imperiale - Formal Dinner Party

raffaeleimperiale.netIt seems as though much of the gracious entertaining that used to be commonplace in society has gone by the wayside. Elegant get-togethers have largely been replaced by casual "hanging out". Nonetheless, the art of gracious entertaining has not been completely lost, and with the right information, anyone can pull together a special party. Whether you are hoping to host a stylish Thanksgiving dinner, celebrate a birthday or anniversary, or simply round up your friends for a pleasant evening, this is everything you will need to know about how to throw a formal dinner party.

The first question that arises might be, "why bother?". Why put in the time and effort to throw an elegant party when everyone could just as easily sit on the sofa eating a pizza right from the box? The answer is that treating an occasion as a special one will make it special. We have not completely lost sight of that fact as a society; look at the enormous amount of time that is devoted to planning the "perfect" wedding. A formal dinner party follows the same principle on a smaller scale. Not only that, but it is just plain fun to have an occasion to dress up, bring out the good china, and serve an elegant meal.

The Guest List

The most important part of planning a formal dinner party is establishing the guest list. First, determine how many guests your table can accommodate. A novice host or hostess should limit the number of guests to six or eight, which will make a total of eight or ten at the table if the party is being hosted by a couple. Then there is the matter of whom to invite. A good balance and lively conversation should be the goal of the combination of guests chosen for a party.
A very important point of etiquette is that couples are always invited as a pair to social occasions. In some cases this may mean weighing whether or not is it worth it to invite a friend who has a boorish husband or a wife that you dislike. It is never acceptable to invite one but not the other, and a potential guest should decline a social invitation which deliberately excludes his or her spouse. This is not to say, however, that a married couple should only accept an invitation together, if one of the partners has a legitimate reason not to attend, such as a business trip. However, it would be rude for only one half of the couple to accept based on anything less than a pressing prior engagement (for instance if your husband hates the hostess' cooking!).
The general categories of potential dinner party guests include: those to whom you owe return hospitality, your dearest friends, old friends whom you have not seen in ages, an interesting person you just met at a class, a lonely widow or widower, and anyone you think would like to meet one of your other guests. Having a few guests present from the different circles of your life will add a dash of spice to the dinner conversation, as will including a friend from another country or of a different generation. One should, however, be careful about inviting guests whom you know have strongly held opposing views on "hot button" topics. Although etiquette states that the two subjects which should never be discussed at a dinner party are politics and religion, not all guests are able to hold their tongues on these topics. If you see a potential clash brewing, invite one set of friends to your next party and the other pair to the following event. Nothing ruins the tone of a party like a heated argument over the soup course.

Speaking of dinner party guests, they play an important role in the success of the event, and have certain responsibilities of their own. The first of these is to respond to a party invitation as soon as possible. If the invitation has been accepted, the guest has a few other responsibilities. One is to plan an attractive outfit that will add to the festive nature of the party. Casual clothes will bring down the elegance of the ambiance that the host tried so hard to create. Dinner party conversation should be kept light and pleasant, even if another guest is clearly trying to draw you into a debate. In addition, a polite guest will offer to help her hostess, though she will also accept it if her hostess graciously declines her assistance (some people cannot stand to have others work in their kitchen!). Above all, a dinner party guest should be on time to the party.

A polite guest will also pick up some sort of small hostess gift. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a good idea to bring a bouquet of flowers to a party, as the hostess has to drop everything to find a vase for them and a place in which to display them. Flowers are always a lovely hostess gift, it is just that they should be delivered either in the early afternoon before the party or the day after. Gifts that require no action, such as a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, or a designer scented candle can be brought to the party. The day after the dinner party, a thoughtful guest will take a moment to dash off a quick note of thanks to her hostess, and will mention what a smashing success the whole thing was (because the hostess may well be nervous about that!).

Invitation Time

After the guest list has been determined, it is time to get the invitations in the mail. For a formal dinner party, the invitations should be mailed about four weeks in advance. It is perfectly acceptable to have a "B" list of guests who can be invited closer to the event should one of the "A" list decline, so long as you do not make them feel like an afterthought. If the party is more spur of the moment, a telephone invitation can be made, but e-mail is never a polite way to send an invitation to a formal event, and it detracts from the special feeling of the party. The most traditional way to word an invitation to a formal dinner party is as follows:

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Holt / request the pleasure of your company (or less formally, cordially invite you to)/ at dinner/ on Saturday, December 15/ from six to eight-thirty o'clock/ 5501 Primrose Path/ Greenwich.
In the lower left hand corner, you may wish to include the notation R.s.v.p., along with a telephone number. Many people these days use the form "Regrets only", but a request for a response is really more elegant, as well as more certain when it comes to knowing exactly who plans to attend. If the dinner party is in honor of a special guest or occasion, be sure to mention it in the invitation. The above sample could be amended to say:...at a dinner/ in honor of their twentieth wedding anniversary... (or in honor of Mr. Charles Grant, or a birthday, or some other occasion.) For a holiday dinner, the wording would read: for Thanksgiving dinner, etc...
While this is the most proper form, many people prefer to design more creative invitations, both in terms of style and wording, which is absolutely fine and proper. The two main purposes of a dinner party invitation are to covey the specifics of the event (the who, what, when, where, why) and to generate excitement and anticipation for your party. Feel free to use any style of written invitation that will best suit the style of your party, from a formal engraved invitation, to an intimate handwritten note, to a pretty fill-in-the-blank invitation from your local stationer.

Original source: http://seabastian.hubpages.com/hub/Formal-Dinner-Party

Keywords: Food and cooking, Detenido en Dubai, capo de los capos, camorristas arrestados, a semana pasada en España, raffaele imperiale, madrid, raffaele imperiale dubai, raffaele imperiale boss of bosses, kilos de cocaína, Raffaele Imperiale individuos más influyentes, camorrista Raffaele Imperiale,  Rowdy Raffaele Imperiale, Spain, trattoria, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, The Godfather, Italian film, arrested,Christianity, Italian


No comments:

Post a Comment