How to Host a Successful Luncheon


An elegant little luncheon like this will leave guests feeling charmed.
An elegant little luncheon like this will leave guests feeling charmed.
Melanie Acevedo/Botanica/Getty Images

Many people think of dinner as the meal most conducive to entertaining. Evening is, after all, party time, and with the possibility of four or five different courses in a single sitting, the food itself can serve as a central focus.

Lunch, however, is sometimes a more natural fit for some occasions, with its easygoing feel and lighter fare. Baby and wedding showers, for instance, are more often centered around lunch than dinner, with finger foods allowing for constant mingling and games.

The luncheon is more versatile than that, though. It can be a pretty formal affair -- just witness the annual White House luncheon, which has been around since 1897; or the Pulitzer Prize luncheon at Columbia University each year; or the star-studded Oscar-nominees luncheon that hosted 150 Oscar nominees in 2012.

If you've got plans to host a daytime soirée, you'll need to plan just like you would for a dinner party, with an appropriate menu, décor, and maybe even a theme -- otherwise, your luncheon is just lunch. Here, steps you can take to make your luncheon a hit, beginning with a consideration that will frame all others: What's your setting?

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