When it comes to hosting a party, the timing of your event can speak volumes about the kind of food you should serve. It’s not just about what’s on the menu; it’s also about when your guests will be enjoying it. Understanding this subtle communication can elevate your hosting game.

If you’re planning to start your party between 4 and 7 pm, you’re essentially signaling a dinner invitation. Guests attending a party that begins in this window will likely expect a full meal. This is your chance to showcase a well-rounded menu, even if this “dinner” takes place on a food table. Think starters, a main course, and dessert. Your menu can range from a casual buffet of hearty dishes to a more formal sit-down dinner, depending on the vibe of your event. The key here is to offer sufficient food to constitute an evening meal, ensuring your guests won’t leave hungry (or reach for that stash of old granola bars in their purses).

On the other hand, a party that starts at 8 pm or later sends a different message. It subtly suggests, “eat before you come.” For these later gatherings, the focus shifts from full meals to lighter fare. Think finger foods, appetizers, or a selection of snacks. These could include items like bruschetta, sliders, cheese platters, or mini desserts. The food serves more as a complement to the evening’s activities, whether it’s mingling, dancing, or enjoying a cocktail. It’s about adding to the ambiance without the pressure of providing a full meal.

Regardless of the start time, always consider the length of your party and the mix of guests. A longer event might require more substantial food options or a second wave of snacks, especially if you have guests staying late into the night. And of course, dietary preferences and restrictions should always be taken into account to ensure everyone has something to enjoy.

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Murder mystery party tip!

Get the package that fits your CONFIRMED guests, not the “maybes” and “on-the-fencers”. We live this hosting life, and know that not everyone can firm up an RSVP (and let’s face it, some are just flaky… yup, we are just dropping truth today…). The packages are designed to have everyone, even if they aren’t a suspect themselves, be fully involved with the mystery, so don’t worry about anyone feeling like they aren’t involved. Trust us – most times the Sleuths have more fun than the Suspects.

Try this Hosting Hack when planning your next party, and let us know how it goes!

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