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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

​Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – 2018 NOTES

4-6 months in advance (or more!)

  • Plan date and put it on church master calendar
  • Recruit a cocktail party host early—many months in advance
  • If it is planned to have a dinner host at church with babysitting (as was done in 2018), make sure ​that church doesn’t ​have any conflicts, e.g. Ames Hall rentals

8 weeks in advance:

  • ​Send out “Save the Date” at least 8 weeks in advance in MCC Messenger and  Church Bulletin



  • weeks in advance:


  • Begin sign ups 5-6 weeks in advance (in 2018 we started 7 weeks out).
  • Change the “save the date” info to one with specific details about the evening. ​
  • Start a master spreadsheet of who has been contacted, recording both Y and N replies to insure that we don’t approach people who have already responded.  ​ ​Be​ sure to have columns that ask for host homes, who needs babysitting, and who would need a ride at night.
  • ​Plan for, and recruit babysitters. Depending on numbers of children, we may need 2-4​ to maintain a 1-4 ratio. If MCC is to be used as a “host” home where the children and babysitters will spend the evening, recruit someone to act as the ​”​host ​” ​to set up and provide the beverages, as in one of the regular host homes.
  • Advertise a hard cut off for signups on the Sunday before the event.


Sunday before the event:

  • Organize attendees to host homes considering #s each host can seat, ages and interests of attendees, driving distances, longevity at MCC, singles vs couples, etc. Keep in mind that this is an intergenerational event so mixture and balance at each home are advised.
  • Assign a meal course to each person attending: main, substantial salad or side, dessert, appetizer (finger foods only) and possibly bread or rolls. Depending on the number of attendees and host homes, it may be possible to assign both a side AND a salad to different people. Fewer people generally means fewer course at each home.


Week of event:

  • Notify all attendees of which course they are being asked to provide as well as how many servings.
  • Create host home announcement sheets for each attendee, including and directions from cocktail hour house to host home. Stuff and label envelopes with attended names and have them ready to distribute at the end of the cocktail hour.
  • In 2018 we ran the cocktail hour from 5:30-6:45 and handed out the envelopes about 6:45 after thanking the cocktail hour hosts and having the pastor say grace.
  • Shop for paper goods (cocktail plates and napkins, wine/beer/seltzer, nut mixture)
  • Secure cash to pay babysitters, if needed.


Evening of the event:

  • Arrive at home of cocktail hour hosts at least 30 minutes in advance for last minute set-up.
  • Provide write-on name tags and encourage all guests to wear them.
  • Need approximately 7-8 appetizers depending on numbers attending.
  • Be sure that coolers and ice are in place.

EXPENSES for 2018 (based on attendance of 50 people):

  • Name tags for evening – MCC
  • Cocktail plates and napkins = $15
  • Wine glasses and plastic cups for liquids (the Rippys have about 100 glass wine glasses and may be willing to loan) – Donated
  • Soda/Seltzer – 7 bottles @ $1 each = $7
  • Beer – One 12-pack case @ approximate cost of cost = $14 – Donated.
  • Wine – Used 14 bottles @ approx cost = $100. Note that some guests brought bottles of wine or beer to the cocktail hour which are not accounted for in this list.
  • Extra snacks, such as pretzels, peanuts, etc. = $10 – Donated
  • Pizza ($35), drinks ($10), and dessert ($10) for 8 kids and 2 babysitters – Donated
  • Cost of babysitters – Guaranteed by MCC $10 hr for 4 hrs x 2 babysitters = $80, to be supplemented by parent tips. In 2018, parents stepped up to pay babysitters so no cost incurred by MCC.
  • Ice – Donated
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
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