Recently my husband celebrated his 34th Birthday. He didn't want any fuss, so I did what I have over the past 12 months learnt to do best, and threw him a dinner party. The dinner was a surprise, to be held in our backyard. Eight people, three courses, and a black tie theme.
Probably my best decision, and something I highly recommend if you're planning a dinner party at home, was to 'hire' family members to help out on the night. I had already done most of the cooking, so my Mum and her friend simply had to plate, serve and clean up each course. Having them there meant I was free to enjoy the evening without having to spend all my time in the kitchen, or have our beautifully dressed guests help with the washing up!
One day, I would love to host a dinner party each month, for a year... the time and money required would be well worth it. Only problem is, finding enough people to invite!