Mom’s got nothin’ on you.
The wedding is done and the honeymoon is over. You’ve officially settled into newlywed life, so now it’s time for you and your darling hubby to celebrate your new couple status. How? By breaking out the CorningWare and inviting the in-laws over for a divine dinner. No need to panic over this party planning! Our hostess how-to will have you throwing a fabulous fête.
Make the Call
How many times has your beloved mother-in-law asked you, “Why don’t you call me?” Too many. But our excuses for not calling are equally infuriating. So end the drama, dear daughter-in-law, and just invite the Mr. and Mrs. for dinner before they invite themselves. Give them plenty of notice (giving you plenty of time to prepare) and make them feel special by asking them what they want to eat. Parents love to have a say, so allow them to make suggestions. If you decide to take them up on it, the bonus is that there will (hopefully) be fewer complaints once dinner is served.
We all know the adage “mother knows best,” and we bet your new hubby thinks his mother does too (insert rolling eyes here). Whether you agree or disagree, humouring him for by asking his mom for her dinner menu ideas couldn’t hurt. Nothing beats her home cooking, right? So ask her to pass on some of her secret recipes and feature her favourite dish at the upcoming feast. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t taste quite as good as hers (she’s had years to perfect it), you’ll still score some major brownie points for trying.
Plan of Attack
We’re all for trying new things. As tempting as it may be to test out your new tuna casserole recipe on your in-laws, it’s downright wrong. They’re your guests, not your guinea pigs. If you want them sauntering off stuffed, satisfied and singing your praises, serve up something familiar (not fancy) like lasagna. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep the spread simple. Yes, we know that you want to impress, but cooking a three-course dinner filled with red-wine reductions and sautéed fois gras is complicated and could be dangerous. For a completely stress-free feast (one that requires minimal organization on your part), we suggest playing around with foodtv.ca’s meal planner tool. This foodie resource will send you off with an entire meal and a shopping list to match. Could entertaining be any easier?
Prep Your Party
Once you have the menu chosen, plan some time to shop and stock up for your big soiree. You don’t want to have to make any last minute ice runs the night of. Set the table, arrange the appetizers, put on some mood music, decant the wine and clean the bathroom (you know his mom likes to snoop). Be dressed and ready to greet your guests when they arrive. Not only will prepping in advance relieve some pre-party pressure, you’ll show the in-laws that everything is under control.
Entertain and Enjoy
Like any good party guest, the in-laws are looking for a guaranteed good time. You may not think so, but this really is a night out for them. Dress up dinner with some delightful decor, enlist some entertainment to liven up the evening, and set a spirited scene with a little mood lighting and music. And if you’re really strapped for some stylish ideas, then pick up and peruse Kate Spade’s Occasions book to make your party with your new parents a night to remember. Above all, enjoy yourself and converse with your company. Entertaining isn’t always easy, but if you and your hubby have fun, it’s guaranteed that your guests will too!