Preparing dinner for friends is a good way to show how much you appreciate their friendship and association. This intimate meal doesn’t have to be expensive and here are some tips that may be useful for you in making such a dinner:- Allow some time for the preparation for the dinner. You may need two hours or more for the meal preparation itself. If you are planning to slow bake meat, add an extra hour or two. The meal itself can be simple or extravagant, whatever suits your taste. It should have salad or soup, a main course, two main dishes, and a dessert.- Choosing your wines for the meal doesn’t have to be expensive, either. There are inexpensive California wines available. Always have both red and white wines available, as well. Be a responsible host when serving the wine. Allowing a guest to drive away when intoxicated can actually cause you significant problems, too.- Set the tone for the dinner experience with good table settings, mood lighting, and great music. The whole dinner does not revolve around the meal in itself, but rather on the small details. The type of settings you put forth on your table count. You can even have themed parties or settings. For example, a South East Asian inspired dinner might include chop sticks and Chinese lanterns.- Do research. Again, the Internet is a wonderful tool if you know how to work it. Look for recipes and table settings and then experiment with it. There are lots of free recipes that are simple to do. You can also view pictures of theme parties to help with planning. Don’t worry – there are no copyright infringements from doing that. Perhaps even those who designed and styled the set up may be pleased at what you will do.- Have a digital camera. These are memories worth sharing and having a digital camera will make it more memorable as well. You can place your pictures on a social networking site so that others may see your dinner party and recall the many fond memories of the evening.