Progressive Dinner - Defined

The Table is Set Entertaining at home is making a come-back.  We live in a neighborhood and enjoy a retro-dining concept to engage and get to know our neighbors known as Progressive Dinners.  Here are some of our best...

The Table is Set
The Table is Set

Entertaining at home is making a come-back.  We live in a neighborhood and enjoy a retro-dining concept to engage and get to know our neighbors known as Progressive Dinners.  Here are some of our best strategies for success if you might want to try this entertaining concept.   We usually have about 30 - 40 neighbors to participate in these gatherings each and every fall and spring.  We have learned some lessons over our years of party planning that I am willing to share.  We have learned to requested monies early in the planning progress from the participants to both reserve their space and to cover the cost of the wines and beer.  We have a group that enjoys many micro-beers and great wines so we have taken it upon ourselves to do this buying ahead.  I would suggest $35 USD per couple as a budget for the beverages.   We limit these beverages to a variety of beers and usually offer a Chardonnay and a Cabernet as the wine choices.  The pre-purchasing of the wines and beers also takes a burden off of the hosts/hostesses.

Line-Up:

  1. We meet for Drinks and Appetizers at one home (6 p.m. -- Sharp)
  2. We split up for Dinner at 4 – 5 different homes (by 7:30 p.m.)  We ask for a table for 8 at each home.  More,  if they have the space to accommodate.  We have found eight is the minimum optimal number.
  3. We all meet again for Dessert at another home in the neighborhood (about 9 p.m.)

Party Rules:

*Early reservations and payments are requested to do the initial planning of how many houses are needed for this party.

*The “Party Planning Team” makes the dinner assignments.

*Every couple will be asked to bring an appetizer OR dessert to get this party started or to create a memorable ending and also a side dish for their dinner home.

*If you host dinner you will be responsible for cooking the entrée, and your guests will bring the side dishes.  If you host a dinner, you will have no other responsibilities for food beyond the entrée.

*It's really not a big deal to host a dinner (we can speak from lots of experience….) and you can even team up with a neighbor - one can volunteer their home for hosting and one can do the cooking!

*Hosts/Hostesses, we, the “Party Planning Team”, have become known as the Wine and Beer Fairies.  We will bring the beer and wines and ice to your home ahead of the festivities. We work to make this as easy as possible for everyone.

The Table is Set Inside
The Table is Set Inside

Best Practices:

  • Hosts/Hostesses who have someone else cook for them has become a very popular option.
  • As this tradition grows, encourage new neighbors to open their home and get more involved in the process.  You do not want to burn out your best participants.
  • Hosts/Hostesses announce their entrée and tell their guests what they prefer as side-dishes.  Some host/hostesses even share recipes.
  • We have had non-cooks bring in BBQ from an area hot spot for a great celebration.
  • These dinners are all about sitting down at a meal, breaking bread and getting to know your neighbors.

--A word of warning, this is not a LAST MINUTE event, as the “Seasoned Party Planners”, we need to know commitments early as there are many moving parts to this PARTY!

Cheers!

Cheers!
Cheers!

What is your best idea for easy entertaining?