"The biggest mistake people make is over-extending themselves for a party," Andaluz head chef Scott Alfonso says.
"Everyone wants their affair to be special and we all have a tendency to think we may have a little more money or skill than we really do.
"Be realistic - know your limitations and know your guests. You should be having fun not an aneurism."
If the mere thought of hosting a dinner party causes you to break into a cold sweat then it's safe to say you should call in the professionals - either a restaurant or catering service.
Often costing more than $100 a person, a high-end catering service or restaurant may seem pricey, but the convenience compared to DIY means you will save time and your sanity, particularly if your cooking skills are lacking.
Chef Herb Faust says catering professionals can ensure a stress-free dinner party in the comfort of your own home, so all you need to do is put your hosting skills to good use.
Herb Faust Food charges $150 a head - not including drinks - for a five-course, fine-dining degustation dinner in your home that also caters to vegetarians, vegans and food allergies.
The cost includes a professional chef, a waitperson and all the crockery, cutlery, table linen and cooking equipment. And at the end of the night, your kitchen will be spotless because Faust's team also clears the mess.
For an extra $35 an hour, a second waitperson can serve the drinks you supply.
"We're giving people an experience based on unique, premium food that is produce driven," Faust says.
"We provide a high-end restaurant experience in the comfort of your own home, which makes the event more intimate."
Alfonso says the first step in choosing a caterer is to ensure they have a good reputation.
"Talk to other people and take notice of catering of other events that you have been to," he says.
"[Internet] searches and references are easy to come by."
Then calculate your budget.
"Before you even make your first phone call be sure that you have worked out the budget for the night. Know how much you would like to spend per person on both food and beverage," Alfonso says.If you still prefer to do it yourself but don't have the equipment for a sophisticated event, just hire it. There are many Perth companies specialising in themed table settings, bars, lighting, furniture, carpet, catering equipment and decorative accessories such as vases.
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