Hosting a St. Patrick's Day Dinner Party

Beyond Corned Beef & Cabbage

St Patrick's Day Invitation

St. Patrick's Day dinner is a perennial favorite and always guarantees a good time -- food, friends and laughter, what's not to like!?

You can make a St. Paddy's dinner special by turning this traditional meal into a full blown party. Whether you invite just a few close friends or have a bonanza buffet for the extended family, use these ideas to make the day wonderful.

The Invitation

St. Patrick's Day is a fun, whimsical day to celebrate the blarney in all of us, why not design a playful party invitation? You can either create one using our St. Paddy's borders and backgrounds , or use one of our pre-designed St. Patrick's Invitations. You can even edit the copy online and print right from our site. Remember to include directions and anything you'd like your guests to bring. To keep it fun, you might consider adding an Irish Limerick.

Serving Traditional Irish Fare

Your first task will be to determine what you'll be serving for the special event. You might think your options are limited, but it will probably surprise you to know that corned beef and cabbage is an Irish-American tradition, developed in the U.S. and not in Ireland.

When Irish families emigrated to the United States, they took with them their mouthwatering skills and recipes, and were pleasantly surprised to find that certain types of beef were much cheaper than across the pond. Hence, the tradition of a corned beef St. Patrick's Day dinner was created.

Of course, you can cook a corned beef meal and will certainly receive compliments from your guests (and requests for seconds). But lamb, chicken and other foods are just as traditional and tasty.

Dinner

The main part of the meal will almost certainly be some sort of beef, chicken or lamb. And yes, we've included great corned beef tips to make your favorite even better than you remember. Here are links to some of our favorite St. Patrick's Day dinner recipes:

Desserts

Finish off a fabulous meal with something sweet and tasty, like one of these:

Drinks

You can have either a non-alcohol party or one that includes traditional drinks. If alcohol will be served, have Guinness beer, Bailey's Cream, Irish Coffee or straight Whiskey handy.

On the lighter side, be ready with bottled water, a selection of juices and sodas and "Irish cream” (non-alcoholic) coffee flavoring for dinner and dessert time.

Entertainment

Get your guests involved in a rousing rendition of "Molly Malone,” "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” "An Irish Lullaby” or other folk or Americanized Irish songs. Or have them performed karaoke-style for added fun and a fair amount of giggling!

Those who grew up with the John Wayne/Maureen O'Hara classic The Quiet Man will love having the movie playing in the background during party time.

You can also set up a "pot of gold” on the serving table using an inexpensive plastic cauldron (look online under "novelty cauldron or container”) and fill it with delicious chocolates in gold wrapping.

After the party, don't forget the thank-you notes...and a promise from your guests to meet at the same place next year.

Written by: Melanie Henson