How to Throw a Last Minute Dinner Party

August 11, 2017


toasting to this beautiful dinner and to good friends

One of my favorite things about summer is entertaining, especially when you have friends and family in town visiting. It’s a perfect opportunity to catch up over a yummy meal and a great bottle of white wine. Sometimes trips are last minute and I’ll get a call in the morning about friends who are in town and want to get together that night. While I’m always like, “yes, come over!” sometimes I get off the phone and I’m like “Wait this is for tonight?!” It can be stressful for a second but it really doesn’t have to be! Today I’m partnering with Ecco Domani to share how to throw a last minute dinner party! The recently launched a limited edition designer label with fashion designer Christian Siriano and it is such a gorgeous bottle. Perfect for outdoor entertaining!

How To Throw a Last Minute Dinner Party

First things first, I get my recipes in order. My go-to quick and easy dinner is grilled fish (takes no time to prepare yet it’s so impressive), a big summer salad with in-season produce, a great bottle of wine (preferably Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio), and a nostalgic summer dessert that leaves guests remembering our wonderful dinner together.

I generally always have cheese plate items on hand and if not they’re a quick grocery stop away. My cheese plates usually consist of three cheeses, nuts, olives, fresh fruit, and some honey. I also love to make my herbed ricotta and grilled bread appetizer. It’s surprisingly easy but my friends always love it- and, more often, they ask for the recipe afterwards! I’m sharing the recipe on Ecco Domani’s site if you want to try it yourself. The smooth and crisp quality of Ecco Domani’s Pinot Grigio make it the perfect pairing.

When I’m entertaining, I try to do as much meal prep as I can beforehand. It makes things so much easier and less stressful. The strawberry and avocado salad, for example, was made much earlier in the afternoon. I had it in the fridge in a bowl and then waited until everyone was sitting down before adding the dressing so the lettuce wouldn’t get soggy. The appetizer was easy to make in advance and I grilled the bread while we were opening the wine.

On a hot summer day, there’s really nothing better, or more refreshing, than a bottle of white wine! I’ve always love Ecco Domani’s wines for the quality and accessibility. Their Pinot Grigio is one of my faves- light and floral with slight tropical notes. It’s so cool that Ecco Domani does designer collaborations, too. Their latest limited edition label was designed by Christian Siriano, the fashion designer. This summer the label that Christian created was inspired by the iconic glamour of 1960s Palm Springs with pinks and vibrant greens. It’s such a gorgeous bottle – and it looks great on a summer table. It also makes me desperately miss my Palm Springs trip earlier this summer.

Once I’ve figured out the menu and food, I move onto decor.  My favorite summertime meals are usually outdoors so luckily you don’t need much. I quickly grab my table linens, simple ceramics, and wood platters to serve on. My friend Julie is a stylist so she was able to help me in the preparation process. While I handled the food, she helped arrange the table linens. We used two linen window curtains which we twisted a bit and laid across the table like a runner, since we didn’t have a tablecloth that felt just right. Julie grabbed some gorgeous florals from the grocery store and added greenery and eucalyptus around the bouquet and table to make it look fuller.  I love how you don’t need to go to a fancy florist to create something really beautiful.

Within no time, we had a simple yet stunning table set for our dinner! It was so nice to sit back and catch up with friends without feeling stressed. All you really need when throwing a summer party are a few standout, easy dishes and a good bottle of wine! If you want my 8 Steps to Stress-Free Summer Entertaining, head to Ecco Domani’s site!

Summer Entertaining Sweepstakes

I’m so excited because I’m co-hosting a sweepstakes with Ecco Domani to gift you all the perfect items to get you ready to throw your own summer dinner party – plus the perfect outfit! I was super excited to plan this for you all and I have a feeling you’ll love these items just as much I did when I was picking them out! You’ll get the following:


Wine Glasses


Serving Bowl

Serving Platter

Salad Plates



Cheese Knives


One of my favorite cookbooks!

$250 to Revolve for the perfect hostess dress {like this one!}

If you want to win, head to Ecco Domani’s site to enter! Good Luck!

Hope you all feel a little more confident to take on any last minute entertaining this summer!


Disclosure: Thank you Ecco Domani for partnering with me on this post. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own! It’s always so fun to work with brands I already know and love. Thanks so much for supporting my sponsors.

 photos by Jordan Zobrist

table styling by Julie Tecson