To start with, let us get one thing very clear having a party at your place it not always the easiest thing to do. But the good thing is, if you are prepared to plan ahead and put in some serious effort things can go very smooth on the day and you and your guests will have a memorable time. Treat your party as a project. You need to go step by step. Dont rush things or else you might get overwhelmed doing all the things at once.
Obviously the first thing you need to have with you is the date. While you cant be sure if all of your guests would be free on the day yet you can hazard a guess. Dont decide on a date that clashes with the anniversary of a couple whom you want to have as your guests. When you decide on the date you also would need to settle on the time. Since it is a dinner party you can start a little late and conditions permitting you can have it going for that extra hour.
While jotting down the names of the people whom you want as your guests remember to keep the number to manageable proportions. Dont have more than 8 to 10 guests or else the place might be too crowded and the party would end up in separate groups having their own private conversations. Also see to it that the people you are inviting would gel well together and no one would feel left out.
In your invitations state clearly the date and time of the party and the kind of dinner you are going to have. Also inform them about any kind of theme you will be having for the night and if the guests are to contribute in anyway to the theme. Make sure the invitations reach all of your guests at least a month before so that you have the RSVPs much in advance.
You would generally have an idea as to the kind of dinner you will have for the night. Once you get confirmation from your guests, settle on the particular menu. While deciding on the menu, keep in mind a few things like the taste of your guests, the general weather of the time, and of course the budget you have. It is better if you dont experiment too much with the menu.
Besides the dinner do serve your guests with drinks when they arrive. You can also have an open bar where your guests can make their own drinks and show off their skills in making those special cocktails. This definitely creates opportunities for interaction.
The sitting arrangement
Look to it that the guests dont have to sit too far from each other or else it would be difficult for them to strike up conversations. It should be cozy but not cramped. Even during dinner you should encourage couples sitting apart as this helps in conversations.
Also arrange for some music that sets the mood for the party. But it shouldnt be obtrusive as to hamper the flow of conversation.
As a host
As a host make sure that you are the one who is the first to greet your guests as they walk in. You should also be there with each of your guests as they start to leave.
And during the entire party enjoy as much s your guests do. And for that you should plan ahead.