There's a lot more to throwing the best dinner party your friends have ever been to than just making sure you have the most beautiful tablecloth and the finest of knives and forks. It can be pretty nerve-wracking cooking for a lot of people if you haven't done it very much, so it's best to be as prepared as possible.

First of all, play to your strengths. Your partner might think you're the next Jamie Oliver but that doesn't mean you should give beef Wellington a go if you haven't tried it before. It's best to make something you know you're good at, so that you have one less thing to worry about when the big night rolls around.

Planning the menu can be really stressful. You want to make sure that your dishes complement each other, so don't go for too many heavy options. It might be easier to decide on a particular cuisine to help you ensure that all your courses mesh well together, like Spanish or Italian.

Doing some preparation ahead of time is also a great idea. If you can, pick your most complicated dish and get that ready before the day itself, so you don't have to rush and get everything done in just one day.

And don't forget - not everything has to be handmade! It might strike you as a great idea to make all your nibbles yourself, but your guests won't mind if they're store-bought and it'll save you a huge amount of time that you can focus elsewhere.