Once you know about how many people are coming for dinner & you know how you want to seat everyone for the meal, you can begin planning your menu. Do your research to determine how much food you need to feed everyone from turkey to dessert. It also helps to understand the eating habits of your guests. Early in our marriage, we would entertain the single people that worked with my husband. Many of them were from out of town & had not family locally. Most were men. The first year, I served a variety of dishes, including salads. I quickly found they preferred lots of turkey, potatoes, bean, corn, dressing, gravy, rolls & pie. So I stuck with the basics & made sure I had plenty.
Once you have your menu planned, go item by item & create a grocery list. Keep in mind all the ingredients it takes to make dishes. Butter goes into many of the things you are preparing for your meal. List EVERYTHING! No one wants to run out to the store for a missing ingredient when they are in the middle of food prep!
To help you with your grocery shopping, I created a handy grocery list printable. Print it out on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, then fold the paper in fourths. I find this size makes it easy to clip them together & carry them wherever I go. I never know when I might be near a store, saving myself a special trip later.
You always begin with the guests. It’s about the people, not the event. If everyone is having a good time & enjoying the food, that’s all that matters.