âPinâ Your Way to Bon Appetit: How to Use Pinterest to Plan the Perfect Dinner Party

Lest you need ANOTHER social network to add to your perpetual need to ‘fan’, ‘follow’ or post, I implore you to hear me out about Pinterest. Please. I began to pin in late 2011, and have been a champion (read: addicted to) of the platform since.

If you’ve not heard about Pinterest, the fastest growing social media site in history, come hither. *lovingly places arm around your shoulder* Let’s take a short stroll. The invitation-only platform is a virtual pinboard which, amongst other benefits, allow users to create vision boards based on any category that their hearts desire. Some practical categories are Food, Home & Garden, Fashion and so on. Using a downloaded “pin” in a web browser’s tool bar, the user can add (think ‘web bookmark’) web-based photos to their aforementioned virtual vision boards. These boards and pins can be seen by their...you guessed it...community of followers. Ultimately, these followers have the option to “repin” these images to their very own boards. Get it? Got it? Good.

Pinterest has come a great resource for entertaining. Amongst other uses, the permutation of dinner party ideas makes me absolutely giddy!  With a little inspiration and planning, you’ll entertain legions with these steps:

1. Log into your Pinterest account.  Need an invitation? Simply request it through the platform (can take up to 2 weeks) or ask a friend who is already a member for the hook-up (access is gained almost immediately).

2. For organization purposes and not to be overwhelmed, create a board entitled ‘My Dinner Parties.’

3. Search ‘dinner party themes.’ Woah!, right? That’s OK...there’s lots of eye-candy but you’ll soon focus.

4. After selecting your theme, search for recipes. A word of advice: do not pin on an empty stomach. There are millions of great recipes with even better pictures. Let’s say you’re having a Mexican Fiesta. Look up recipes for fancy tacos, refreshing margaritas and delectable sopapillas.

5. Need invitations and decorations? Of course you do!  Whether you are a do-it-yourself (DIY) aficionado or would rather pass the reigns to a stationer (small businesses are now utilizing Pinterest to market their goods and services), you’re in luck!

6. As you prepare for your soiree, search ‘shopping list template’. You’ll find easy, downloadable templates that will further assist during the planning process and keep you organized.

7. What’s left? To enjoy preparing and serving your guests. Who would have thought that such a splendid soiree was at your fingertips? With Pinterest as your guide? Winning. Clearly.

Follow my pins here. Are you on Pinterest? Don’t be left behind! Share your boards and let us inspire each other!

Shameeka Ayers is an Atlanta-based lifestyle blogger and author who dispenses entertaining, shelter and food & wine anecdotes and advice via her alter ego, The Broke Socialite. She also produces a national tour of curated dessert-tasting experiences, Sugar Coma Events™.  Her first novella, Instantly: How Quickly I Realized I Hate My Job will be published in 2012.