How to Host a Dinner Party with Two Hours Notice: Start with Why.


It was a VERY last minute request in an apartment that was undergoing a design overhaul. Host a dinner for a friend moving from New York City to Los Angeles, with two hours notice.

Hosting a dinner party can be a daunting task in any home even with months of planning but creating a fun and COMFORTABLE experience in a New York City apartment (and in this time frame) is practically the final competition in the Hosting Olympics. The reverse-Hunger Games if you will.

We don’t stress. Why? Because there is no crying in event planning! So leave the stress, ahem, at home and pull up your bootstraps, you are about to create a kick ass party. Here is how…by asking WHY.

Dinner? Sounds great!!! Who? What? Where? When? Why? “Oh, my place? Tonight?”  Do like Simon Sinek and “Start with Why”.  

You wouldn’t let a doctor send you into immediate surgery without asking “Uh, Doc? WHY?!”. Would you? Ok, fine, this isn’t as dramatic. But you do have to know why you are having this dinner in the first place. Are you celebrating an engagement, the start to the weekend or a long overdue breakup? Start with why and you will understand what your guests are expecting and how to please them.

This dinner was a bittersweet goodbye, a send off for a dear friend, and the last time us six women would be in the same room for the foreseeable future. That told me everything I needed:

Make a speciality cocktail in the theme of her new city. Keep the champagne flowing (typical night really). Serve a light dinner because your guests will be talking too much about good times of yesteryear and future trouble to be had. Comfort and low-key is paramount (it’s last minute, guests are flustered and are most likely running over from work having had no time to prepare themselves).

Relax and start with why. I’ll go first… “Why is that bottle of champagne still closed?”.

Gold Key Events GKE Taylor Dinner Party