How to throw an almost-perfect dinner party for 10: part III...letting go

So we've had a couple posts about hosting a dinner party. What to do, and what to do better.

Despite the challenges of the evening, it was a success. In the first post, we mentioned offering entertainment and being able to enjoy each other's company. For each person, couple, or family this differs. For the Hawks, we chose two things: music and questions. For those of you who know us personally, you can pretty much guess who does what best.

First, we broke out the questions. I (jen) always wanted to do this so after a friend from work mentioned that she does something similar and it's a big hit, I went with it. I use this box:

This gives me an appealing way to store the questions (a.k.a., not lose them) and also helps the presentation. Let's face it, when we tell a bunch of adults that they're going to write down and then answer question around the table, there will likely be a bit of groaning, rolling eyes, etc.

And provide slips of paper on which our guests are asked to write any question in the world:

And then we put them back in the box, 

have everyone draw one, and go around and listen to their answers. Note: it's not an "icebreaker"! We do this after the meal and many drinks have been consumed. The conversation that comes forth is fantastic and different every time if we don't anticipate what someone will answer, or force the conversation one way.

After the questions and much to his chagrin, our guests and I convinced Hawk to break out his old and new mandolins. At least one other person in the group knew how to play. Here he is explaining how he chose the Mandolin Store's Custom Gibson F5-G while Eric plays in the background:

Here we are enjoying three separate conversations. One of Gianna, Hawk, and Eric to the left, one of Colin and myself, and one with the other five on the right.

Eric breaking out Hawk's guitar and leading us in a rendition of Blackbird by the Beatles.

I love this next photo; it just seems old-school, classic, and it captures the devilish look our friend Colleen often has in her eyes:

We have a few videos of the evening which are brilliant! They include guitar-led group singing (with most of us forgetting the words) and an opera singer letting loose! When I figure out how to edit and post them through vimeo, I'll let you know. This may be another year at my rate.

Happy Thursday!


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