over the years, i have hosted many a party. like a million. at least ;)
what has made it easy for me is that i have all the basics on hand, and then i can just add details to make it special!
now my hostess stockpile took a few years to build up – it did not happen over night! my biggest tip: go neutral. i have gone with clear glass and white for all the basics.
this simple collection will help you to set a table for a crowd (i think i have settings for at least 30), and then add all the fun details with accessories.
years ago we bought a big ol’ stack of inexpensive plates from ikea, and bowls as well. years later, i found a stack really similar dessert plates at a garage sale and snatched them up!
i used to use a couple pretty pitchers to serve drinks in at gatherings, but my drink dispensers are so much more convenient – so filling and refilling the pitchers all night.
i have a really big table and i can’t find a table cloth big enough to cover it. or if i did, it would be ridiculously expensive just to get spaghetti sauce spilled on it. my solution (and this would work for any size table): plain white flat sheets. i buy king size flat sheets from walmart and they work perfectly!
while i don’t have 30 just yet, i love using cloth napkins for nicer meals. they are a nice step up from paper napkins. i have a few different sets of white napkins – some linen, some thrifted – but because they are all white, they work well together. i’m also thinking of gathering some other colors, too. best thing about white, though: bleach.
our table regularly seats 8, but we can fit 12 pretty easily. we have a set of folding metal chairs around our front porch table that migrate inside when we have a gathering.
i like to keep my serving dishes neutral: lots of white, clear and silver. we tend to do mostly buffet style, so at least the buffet table can look nice!
and on the buffet as well, i like to add a little variation with cake plates. i have been collecting a variety of cake plates since we first got married and they definitely come in handy!
we have a regular weekly gathering of our growth group at our house on monday nights, where we have as many as 35 for a potluck dinner. having forks, knives and spoons on hand is so nice!
basic glassware is a must. you can use red solo cups, of course, but real glasses make the table so much nicer! while i don’t have 30 matching glasses for entertaining, i do have 30+ mason jars that work just as well! they are definitely more on the casual side, but they are cheap and on hand, so thats a win for me.
once you set your all white table, you can mix things up by adding colored/patterned runners, centerpieces, place cards, whatever you can think of!
so how about you – do you have a hostess stockpile? what do you have that i’m missing?