Buffets and cocktails are very fashionable but there are times when a gala dinner is the most appropriate. These types of events have a very specific protocol and the details are very important. If you have to organise a gala dinner and not know what to consider or where to start, read on.
Although cocktail or buffet-style celebrations are the order of the day, it is often better to celebrate an event with a gala dinner. In this case, it is necessary to know when it is proper to organise this type of event, the importance of the decoration and the protocol rules that every person must follow to obtain a successful celebration.
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When is a gala dinner celebrated?
Although it may seem a lie, this type of celebration is ideal for both small and large groups, be it business anniversaries, congresses, sales meetings or incentive groups. There is no problem in mixing styles within the same event, so at gala dinners, a small cocktail is usually served as a snack before starting to sit at the table and have dinner. In this type of celebration, the guests must stay hungry since at the end of the dinner a candy buffet and an open bar of drinks are always offered to prolong their stay.
A gala dinner is a special celebration and, as such, the decoration should be designed to the millimetre. Once you have chosen the type of event you want to organise, your objective and the number of the guests, you must give way to the linens, glassware, cutlery and napkins, which play a crucial role in a gala dinner. Setting up a table can become an art and the protocol must be taken into account and a little imagination added to the small details.
Table linen, cutlery
How table linen means both tablecloths and napkins, and in a gala dinner both elements must be perfectly ironed and white or ivory. Placing the napkins inside the cup or drawing shapes is not elegant and therefore it is recommended to use a square napkin (60 x 60) and fold them in a rectangle or triangle shape to the left or on top of the plate if it is flat.
The cutlery is always placed from the outside inwards on both sides of the plate; on the left the forks and on the right the spoon, knife or shovel of fish. The silverware does not have to be silver, but stainless steel. We must also take into account the variety of cutlery that exist depending on the menu offered: snail tongs, seafood tongs, small spoons for ice cream.
Crockery and glassware
A decorative element that gives the event a more formal touch is to use a low plate, which will remain on the table until the second plate is finished eating. It should also be taken into account that the bread plate is placed on the left and that the glasses respond to the order in which the wines and other beverages will be consumed, always starting on the right.
Tips you should have in mind for this
Have you ever wondered how to prepare a dinner for many people? This should not be a complication; you just have to follow the following recommendations to offer a buffet dinner:
- Clear the maximum space in your room and remove everything that is fragile or valuable. Enable furniture (tables, shelves) so that your guests can place their glasses.
- Depending on the size of your room, the ideal is to be able to create several supply points, at least one for drinks, and another for food, so that guests can move from one side to another. It is advisable to put small plates because it is always better to be served again, to be with the plate to overflow without being able to move.
- Remember that there should be many teaspoons and paper napkins (minimum 3 per guest). And do not forget to put empty bowls, so that they are depositing, for example, the bones of olives or the sticks of hors d’oeuvres. Finally, do not forget to create a party atmosphere: appropriate music and good volume, matching tablecloths, appropriate lights, even candles.
- What should I prepare? The tendency is to prepare a copious snack, with few dishes: a hot one, a salad, cheese and desserts. You have to get most of your guests to remember your dinner as something special; propose a bit of everything: meat, fish, vegetables, fruit. Try to be dishes that you can prepare with time, so you have some free time before dinner to get ready and relax.
- And the drinks? You must take into account different tastes, with or without alcohol. Do not forget the water jugs. For 4 people, calculate a bottle of champagne and one of soda, or fruit juice.
- Even if it is cold, the ice cannot be missing. You don’t have to fill your bottle cooler: use your balcony, terrace or laundry room to put a bucket of ice water to keep them cool. You can also prepare a punch, a sangria or a cocktail that you do not usually drink often and that everyone can like.
- The desserts that we recommend you prepare are the individual ice cream tubs. Avoid the big ice cream tubs, which end up melting and staining everything. If you have little space, place the dessert pans in different parts of the room: they are perfect, since everyone can choose their favourite candy: chocolate eclair or lemon cake.
- Along with sweet desserts, also provide some fruit to refresh your guests. The taste of the fruit is very good with cider, which is usually served at the end of dinner. You can present them in the form of a skewer.
- Take advantage of the leftovers and put them to take the guests. Anticipate baguettes or bags to carry them.
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