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The day after a party a gracious guest will follow up with a thank you note or phone call. Do this within 1-2 days so your appreciation does not seem stale. The formula for a thank you looks like this:

Some dinner parties require a more formal protocol. For example, a military dinner will have strict guidelines as to where personnel will sit. If you are hosting a client dinner, you might also prefer a more formal arrangement. Even in a casual setting, you can choose to follow protocol to honor a special guest. The below description is based on a social party (vs. business), a rectangular table, and includes both men and women:

When hosting a dinner party, where you place your guests around the table is a crucial element for the success of your event. You presumably put thought into who you invited to the gathering. Do not stop there. The placement of each person around the table is something that should not be thrown together at the last minute.

I love entertaining friends and family in my home, especially during the holidays. But I must admit, it can be a bit overwhelming hosting a dinner party in the stage of life with little ones running around. The cooperation I receive from my toddlers is a significant factor in how efficient I am on a daily basis. Add in hosting a party, and it can be overwhelming. If you find yourself wanting to gather friends for a festive evening, here are my tried-and-true tips for entertaining with young children:

Planning a party can be fun, but do you know the best way to ensure everything runs smoothly? Have a rehearsal for your party. Yes, you heard correctly. You have spent a great deal of time planning your theme, creating your guestlist, and delivering your invitations. Now is the time to do a mock rehearsal which will allow you to create an action list of outstanding items around your home that might need attention. It also helps solidify any last-minute details.

These thirteen tips will get your through any dinner party. Here is a quick refresher. 

1. Leave The Cocktail Glass Behind:

If you are attending a dinner party, there may be cocktails offered before the meal begins. When the hostess signals it is time to head to the dining room, leave your drink behind. Why? The dining table has been pre-set with the glasses you will need and adding another to your place setting will only clutter the minimal real estate in front of you. Your palate is another reason to leave the cocktail behind. Many hostesses go to great lengths to pare wine with the food being served. Once seated at the table it is time to switch to wine or water.

You just received an invitation to a party, and the attire says: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture. What??? Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for a party, make it clear. We do not want our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

Table manners are the area in which I receive the most questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in managing an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction. Even if you are unsure, most people do not care.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food, drinks, a clean bathroom, and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest. When a hostess plans a party, a great deal of time is spent deciding who she will invite. What group of friends go well together?

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party looking scared, so unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screamed, “I wish I was anywhere but here!”

You are invited!!! There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP. Follow the six steps below and the hostess will be singing your praises!

  • Alina Gersib

Sheet Pan Salmon and Asparagus

Are you looking for a simple dinner recipe that is ready in about 30 minutes and keeps clean up to a minimum? Then a sheet pan meal may just be your solution! By cooking everything on one pan, you have a healthy vegetable, protein, and carbohydrate for your meal all in one place.

Ensure you start your potatoes before everything else as they will take the longest to cook. Other than that, this recipe is flexible to what you have on hand. Substitute the asparagus for bell pepper or zucchini. If you don't have peewee potatoes, any others cut into small pieces will cook just as well. Make it work for you and your family's preferences and enjoy!

Sheet Pan Salmon and Asparagus
Download PDF • 316KB

Makes 4 servings

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes


*1 pound peewee potatoes, halved

*1 tablespoon olive oil

*Sprinkle of salt and pepper

*1 pound of salmon

*3 cloves garlic, minced

*2 teaspoons rosemary, minced

*3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

*1 large lemon, set aside 4 slice and juice the remainder

*1 bunch of asparagus, woody ends cut off


*Preheat oven to 400F.

*Toss potatoes with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper on a large baking sheet. Spread in an even layer and bake for 17 minutes.

*While the potatoes are baking, combine the melted butter with lemon juice.

*Move the potatoes over to one side of the baking sheet and place on the salmon and asparagus.

*Take half of the garlic and rub it into the salmon. Sprinkle the other half over the asparagus.

*Pour the melted butter and lemon juice over salmon and asparagus and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

*Return the baking sheet to the oven and cook for 8 minutes.

*Remove and add lemon slices over salmon and mix the rosemary into potatoes.

*Continue cooking for 3 more minutes.


Recipe Creator - Alina Gersib