How to Throw an Expensive Dinner Party for Less

Do you ever want an enjoyable, classy night with your friends? Most of the time, these dinner parties will drain your wallet. However, this doesn’t take away the delightful intricacies of having dinner parties. They’re just so unique in a way that it’s much about the experience as it is about the food and booze. 

If you’re hosting a party for friends, one of your goals, perhaps, is to make it classy and Instagram-worthy. Dinner parties don’t always have to be draining on your finances as you can still make it expensive-looking. You can still impress your friends with a good dinner party without overstepping your budget. All you have to do is to be crafty, resourceful, and diligent in looking out for the best deals! 

Lucky for you, we’ve gathered just the most excellent tips for inexpensively organizing a dinner party! 

Group of friends surrounding a table full of food and wine while talking  

Fabulous but Frugal Tips for Throwing an Expensive Dinner Party 

1. Invite your guests online

Creating invitations and physically mailing them can have unnecessary costs. You’d be spending not only your money but also your time preparing for these invitations. In today’s age, it would be better to send online invitations! 

With this method, you wouldn’t have to problematize the addresses of the recipients while ensuring that everyone gets even the last-minute changes for the party as quickly as possible! All you have to do is unleash your digital creativity and put all the necessary details in your classy invitations so you can send them out through email to your guests. 

If you need help deciding who to invite, you can even post the invitation on Facebook! You can create the event through this platform while providing an RSVP to monitor who’s coming and who’s not. Invitations would be the best way to relay important information and even to send out messages to the group! 

2. Keep the menu simple

Having a theme can make your menu decisions easier! It’s also beneficial to stick to the music to narrow your food choices based on your motif. Remember to keep the theme simple, especially for the food. Food is the star of the show for dinner parties, so you want to make sure that everyone enjoys the food you serve. Don’t try experimenting with the food on the night itself by preparing something you’ve never tried. It can be stressful for you, as you don’t know how it will turn out, and add to that the pressure of serving it to other people.

To avoid unnecessary costs, you can also pick dishes made of ingredients you’d use after the party. Indeed, you’d be shopping for components, but there can be excess ingredients that you may use after the dinner party!

Serving the food on the guest’s plate 

3. Make it a potluck

The best way to save money on a dinner party is to be preemptive about what dishes the other guests will bring. Being the host entails being in charge of the main course, so make sure to be on top of that. Once they ask, you can tell the guests to bring food that can complement your central system, like bread, liquor, appetizers, and desserts! However, that also depends on their specialty dishes, even your own. 

4. Serve one spectacular entrée as the star of the night

Always go for quality over quantity. Make sure to focus on perfecting one delicious entrée rather than making multiple entrees that taste sub-par. You can serve more, but go for inexpensive yet innovative, and make sure there’s one main dish with a perfect taste that will surely be the star of the night.

Make sure to serve your main dish in a nice plating. Sometimes, your most delicious food isn’t picture-perfect, but the proper plate can elevate any dish!

5. Add an inexpensive yet classy ambiance

During the dinner party, guests will most remember the laughs, the conversations, and the delicious food served. Nevertheless, a classy and beautiful décor can do a lot to create the right ambiance and refined mood for the night. You can impress your guests with elegant yet inexpensive touches like vases, mason jars, and faux flowers! 

6. Cover your old table

You may not have that perfect, smooth-looking table that is presentable enough, but that’s okay. You can always add a table cover. Adding a table cover can also add to the ambiance of your dinner, so choose a design and color suitable for your dinner party’s theme. Just in case fabric table covers are outdated for your taste, you can also opt for contact paper that you can lay over your table to add a fake new finish. There are different designs of contact paper to choose from the selection! This cover can help hide the imperfections on your table and give it a sophisticated look.

Women setting up a table outdoors 

7. Pick up some pretty disposables

No one likes doing the dishes at a party. While everyone is sharing stories and laughing post-dinner, you wouldn’t want to be stuck at the sink. However, you can make it easy by providing pretty paper plates and elegant plastic flatware for the night!

You can choose disposable plates that look pretty and in line with today’s pop design trends. By choosing classy designs, you should be sure that at least one guest will take a pic and upload it on Instagram. You can even pair these plates with plastic cutlery sets that don’t look like plastic unless picked up! 

8. Get cheap yet sophisticated place settings

If you’re in for the real thing, find cheap yet sophisticated-looking plates and flatware. You can never go wrong with white plates and simple silver cutlery that looks nice enough to seem like they’re eating in a restaurant. Avoid picking up plates with too much design – the simpler, the better.

Make sure to serve drinks elegantly by providing your guests with proper glassware. Even when using essential yet elegant flatware and plates, it’s also great to have glassware to show that you’re responsible enough to handle fragile items filled with alcohol! 

Fancy plating with silver cutlery on a table 

9. Add mood lighting

What’s more romantic than candlelight on an intimate dinner? Setting the mood through lighting can significantly impact your dinner – it will look and feel more exquisite and expensive, even though you’re serving the simplest foods like pasta or pizza. 

10. Skip the fancy wines

There are a lot of cheap yet quality wines out there in the grocery, and you’ll only have to be smart with shopping for wine. After all, there’s no need to buy a fancy bottle for a dinner party that’ll only last you for a few hours. A bottle of inexpensive but great-tasting wine is enough to please your guests!

11. Keep desserts sweet and simple

After filling your guests with a tasty dinner, you don’t need an extravagant dessert. Sometimes, fresh fruit pieces are enough. You can even serve ice cream or caramelized apples. If you’re into baking or preparing food, you can also learn to bake easy-to-make desserts like truffles.

12. Provide free and fun entertainment

Once you’ve taken care of the dinner portion of the evening, games can liven up the atmosphere and start the natural party for the night. This part is where you can serve coffee, wine, dessert, or chips in the living room! It’s also the time to bring out some party or classic games for your age! 

Group of college students playing a guessing game on the dinner table

Dinner parties don’t have to be expensive but ensure that all the essentials are there. When thinking of how to throw a costly dinner party for less, make sure to consider these suggestions!  

If you want to make the party more fun and entertaining, you may also read our Guide to Picking Fun Games for Parties for the best tips and recommendations.