How to Select the Perfect Guest List

IMG_4440My birthday is coming up and as it’s August I’ve already started thinking about how I’m going to celebrate and what I hope to accomplish in the upcoming year. One thing I’ve decided to bring back is to host a party a month. I did this without thinking in 2006 and then on purpose for several years while working at PopSugar. Hosting a party a month helped me create a lot of content for PopSugar Food, the online magazine formerly known as YumSugar.

Since Six Twists is a website devoted to hosting parties, I need to throw more! That’s why I’m challenging myself to host one dinner party each month. I’m hoping to begin this campaign in August and I’ve been thinking a lot about the guest list to this inauguratory dinner. My dining table sits 6 comfortably and 8 uncomfortably, so the dinners will be intimate with only 5-7 guests. This means I have to spend some time thinking about the guest list (which is important!). Who should I invite to my first dinner?

A specially curated guest list is essential to a party’s success and even more so when the party is a cozy sit down dinner with a small group of people. Here are some tips on how to select the best guest list.

• Unless you’re hosting an all female or male party (like my single ladies Valentine’s Day dinner), try to invite an even amount of men and women.

• If you are inviting couples, invite all couples. I’m not afraid to admit that I don’t get along great with all of my good friends’ boyfriends and husbands. However, it’s bad form to invite one couple and only the female half of another, especially if everyone knows everyone else. Use the party as an opportunity to get to know the boyfriend or husband better.

• Mix things up. Don’t always invite the same people — that’s boring! One of the things I’m looking forward to about my year of dinner parties is being able to invite a wide variety of people: old friends, new friends, friends of friends, cousins, cousin’s friends, etc.

• My general rule of thumb is to make sure that each guest knows at least one other guest. This ensures that everyone feels comfortable and that you, the hostess, doesn’t have to baby sit anyone. The exception to this rule is when you have a guest who is very outgoing. My friend Chris is this sort of guest. He can walk into a party and not know anyone and charm the pants off of the entire crowd in a matter of minutes.

• It’s always nice to invite one super outgoing person who you can count on to chat with your shy cheerleading team friend or to carry on the conversation while you’re pulling the roast from the oven.

• Invite like minded friends and think like a friend matchmaker. I always thought my old collage friend who is into acupuncture and astrology would get along great with my roommate from Spain who is a yoga instructor. When the three of us finally got together, they both asked me for the other’s number after the party. Success!

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