Step 1. Hit Play, Step 2. Party.

There is a lot of things to consider when you’re planning a meal to share with perfect strangers or your closest of friends. Everything must hits all of the senses, but one that is overlooked by many first-time hosts is hearing. Once in a while you will get a playlist while breaking bread that will make you put down your fork and take notice. Some say a perfect playlist is one you don’t notice at all.

Here are 3 secrets to consider to making a perfect dinner party playlist:

1. Know your crowd, or at least have an educated guess.

You don’t necessarily need to know the guests attending your dinner, just ask yourself: what type of dinner are you planning for your guests? Is it a casual fried chicken pop-up, a 10 course menu with sophisticated pairings, or a backyard BBQ that encourages your guests to get messy on a hot July afternoon? Knowing what kind of dinner you are throwing and the vibe you are going for will determine the playlist. Sometimes it’s best to even have a pretense of the kind of music you are planning to play during your dinner i.e. 80s hip-hop & family style.

2. Play it like a book

When determining your playlist you’ll need a beginning middle and end. When your guests are arriving try to go for something instrumental and welcoming. I typically get into my favourite music 10 minutes after everyone has arrived and make sure that the more bold choices are for the bulk of the evening and finish with something a little more subdued.

3. Test your tools

Test out your playlist on the speakers you plan to use. Is the sound carrying through the room the way you would like it to? Consider that there will be people talking and moving around then adjust the sound accordingly. I would also take a moment to think about your playlist after it has been assembled. Editing is something we all have to do, so don’t skip this step! Some of the best songs are best for a solo listen, not necessarily appropriate for a crowd.

My favourite playlist tools:
YouTube Music App

  • Dana Miele