15 Tips for Preparing a Big Family Dinner

Most people have to face the challenge of hosting a big, official family dinner from time to time. It is not an easy task, as not everything always goes according to plan, and sometimes you just don’t have the opportunity to do it the way you want. Fortunately, there are things you can do to heighten up your chances of a pleasant, stress-free party, like reading a comparison of Doordash and UberEats in case something happens to the food.

There is no guarantee that your evening will go exactly as planned, but with some smart tips, you will know what to do in case of emergencies or prepare, so others have a great time. Here, you will find things like how to delegate tasks to your family, why you should include both cold and hot dishes, or how to use all aspects of your kitchen. Read on!

Prepare a Schedule

In order to have everything in place, you should make a list of all the things you need to do. You can use it as a guide when doing your shopping or preparing the food. It helps you to organize your time properly, and you don’t forget any important details. 

Ask People What They Like and Don’t Like

If you don’t want any unpleasant surprises on the day of your party, ask everyone what they like and don’t like when it comes to food. This way, there will be no mishaps, and everyone will have a great time.

Delegating Tasks

Delegating tasks is a great way to make sure that everything is done on time and according to your standards. You can also save yourself some time by trusting others with certain responsibilities. For example, you can give your friends the task of bringing the drinks, or your kids can help you with setting up the table.

Prepare Cold and Hot Dishes

If you want to make your guests happy, you should serve both cold and hot dishes – choose the menu according to the weather outside. However, when serving hot dishes, remember to heat them beforehand – or start cooking them a little time prior to the party, so they are ready when everyone arrives. 

Prepare Everything Beforehand

If possible, prepare everything beforehand. For example, you can marinate the meat and vegetables the day before, then all you have to do is reheat or grill them when needed. It’s also a good idea to make some desserts a few days before the party, so they have more time to mature and taste better.

Prepare Something Special for Kids

If your party is meant for children too, you should consider preparing something special for them. For example, you can leave some extra space on the table for their food and drinks. You can also hold some fun activities to entertain them while waiting for dinner.

Prepare Your Kitchen for Cooking

You should prepare your kitchen beforehand so that you have enough space for your cooking pots and ingredients. If possible, try to cook in advance as well. This will allow you more free space when actually making the dishes

Make Sure Everything Is in Place

Before you start cooking anything, you need to make sure that everything is ready and in its place. For example, if you decide on a buffet-style dinner, the tables need to be prepared beforehand, and if you are planning a barbecue, start a grill prior to the party.

Prepare Some Healthy Snacks

When having a big family dinner at home, it’s always good to have some healthy snacks available in case people get hungry between meals. You can use nuts or fruits, for example – they are a great source of energy and add variety to the menu.

Prepare Extra Food

If possible, prepare some extra food in case something happens to your main course. For example, if you plan to grill meat, but it’s raining outside, you may want to have something else cooked instead. It’s also an excellent idea to have extra food in case someone wants seconds or thirds. 

Prepare Drinks Beforehand

If you want your guests to have fun at your place and not worry about anything, prepare all the drinks beforehand. If you are serving alcohol, make sure to provide several non-alcoholic drinks such as juices or lemonades – this way, everyone can enjoy the party. 

Keep Everyone Busy

If you want to make your guests happy and have a great time, you should keep them entertained while you’re busy in the kitchen. For example, you can ask everyone to help you prepare the table or offer them short board games. It’s also a good idea to provide some fun activities for children, so they don’t get bored and make trouble. 

Make Sure Everyone Has Something to Eat

If you’re concerned that someone may leave hungry after your party, make sure there are enough dishes available for everyone. You can also consider serving small portions in order to avoid having too much waste at the end of the party – however, don’t get stingy. 

Prepare Something Extra for People with Special Dietary Requirements

If you have a guest who has special dietary requirements, take care of them and offer them something special. For example, if someone is on a diet or has allergies, prepare a second main course that meets these requirements. You can make it smaller than the first one or order something from your local restaurant, so you don’t spend too much time in the kitchen.

Don’t Forget the Decorations

Preparing dinner at home doesn’t mean you can’t add some decorations to it. This can help your guests feel welcome and enjoy their time at your place. However, try not to overdo it – some yard lights, flowers, and candles are often enough.


Hosting a big family dinner party is challenging, but with the right tips, you can make sure that everything goes smoothly and everyone has a great time. Prepare a schedule of all the things you need to do beforehand, and also have a plan B in case something happens. Use the tips from this article to delegate tasks and make everything run smoothly.  

Remember that a dinner party is a great opportunity to get your friends and family involved and do something together – try not to get too stressed and have fun.