Entertaining Essentials

Entertaining Essentials -from the basics like white dishes and stemless wine glasses to the extras like a great drink dispenser, this list has you covered.Entertaining Essentials -from the basics like white dishes and stemless wine glasses to the extras like a great drink dispenser, this list has you covered.

These Entertaining Essentials are all you need to become the perfect host.

I recently asked my readers “What keeps you from entertaining more?”  And I got some great answers, everything from time, and money, to not wanting to clean the house.  And, they were certainly reasons we can all relate to.  

One of the reasons was also “I don’t have the right stuff for entertaining”.  If you have the basics for entertain it just makes things way easier!  So I thought it might be helpful to do a little round-up of what I consider the basics for entertaining.

Thinking about what are really the basics and essentials was a little tricky.  Obviously, you can entertain with a paper plate and plastic fork if you want to, you don’t need any of this stuff.  But, I do believe that if you have a good set of the basics in neutral colours you really are set for all occasions.

Entertaining Essentials

Entertaining Essentials

Everyday White Dishes: Amazon Basics 16 Piece Dinnerware Set, service for 4, $27.99

Stemless Wine Glasses: Arc International Luminarc

White Dinner Napkins: Cotton Craft Napkins, 100% Cotton, 12 pack, 13.99

Marble and Wood Cutting Board:  IMAX Wood and Marble Cheese Board, 19 x 6, $35.27

White Platter:  Portmeirion White Round Platter, 12 inch, $20.99

Cake Plates: Milk Glass Cake Plate, 6 inch, $35  and IMAX Poppy Marble and Wood Cake, 13 x 13 x 5, $55.25

As a general rule, I try to buy in sets of 12 -with a few exceptions.  This might not work for you.  Most of us don’t have all the storage in the world.  But here’s my thinking…we are a family of 4 and most of my friends are families of 4.  So 12 equals 3 families including my own, or extended family.

The great thing about white is you can mix and match a little if you need to.  When I bought my everyday white dishes, I actually bought 16 -one extra box of 4 place settings.  Because, everyday dishes get broken, and I don’t want to be replacing my everyday set very often.  I stored the extra set in the basement, but now they’re all out because bits and pieces have broken over the years.

Stemless wine glasses are the perfect glassware for entertaining because they can work for anything.  Use them for water, soft drinks, or wine.  Perfect.

White dinner napkins are a great basic to invest in.  They go with everything and you can use them for any occasion.  I don’t always use cloth napkins when entertaining but when you do, you immediately add a sense of occasion to a meal.  White is also great because you can bleach it

You’ll also need a few good basic serving pieces.  Some white bowls, and platters are a must.  The marble and wood combo is maybe a little trendy and won’t last for ever, but it sure looks great.  The colours are neutral and they can be used as serving pieces for anything.  A cake stand is great to add height, and the cheese board also works as a serving platter.

I’d call these items the basics. Once you have those you can add on all the other fun stuff.  So here’s some of my not-quite basics.

Beyond the Basics

Entertaining Essentials -from the basics like white dishes and stemless wine glasses to the extras like a great drink dispenser, this list has you covered.

Mason Jars 4 oz and 8 oz.: Ball jar, 4 oz, quilted, 12 pack case, 16.29

Paper Straws: Brown Vintage Striped Paper Straws, 25 count, $3.99

Drink Dispenser: Simple Flow, 1.5 Gallon, Mason Jar Drink Dispenser with Stand, White, 29.99

Statement Flatware: Modern Royal 24 Count Rosegold Stainless Steel Cutlery, $86.98

Swing Top Glass Bottles: Finedine Swing Top Glass Beer Bottles, 16 oz, set of 6, $14.99


I’m a big fan of individual portions when entertaining.  We often use mason jars as individual serving pieces, or even glasses.  It’s definitely a causal vibe, but for their price if they fit your style they’re so great for entertaining.  I also love a paper straw for a party, they come in every imaginable colour, so it’s a great inexpensive way to add some colour to your neutrals.  We find drink dispensers handy for entertaining.  I also have a punch bowl, but the dispensers are fun too and much better if you’re outside, since the bees can’t get into them.  Making a punch for a party is a really great cost saver, and everyone loves a punch right.  Choose your favourite juice, add some gingerale, ice and a little chopped fruit and you’re good to go. 😉

Statement Flatware is certainly not an essential, but so fun if you’re really an entertainer.  There are so many cool options now like rose gold, black, and gold.  What a difference a statement piece like this can make to your table.  It’s like adding jewelry to an outfit.

I also included some fun flip top bottles.  They’re fairly inexpensive and re-usable.  These are always a hit at a party.  I often fill them with lemonade.

The list of non-essentials could be endless but these are a few pieces that I use over and over again when I entertain. I would also add some basic vases, and candle holders.   I hope some of these ideas inspire you.  You don’t have to get everything at once.  Start with the basics.  Look for sales at your favourite stores, and ask for these things as gifts too on special occasions.

With all the entertaining basics and beyond, life really is a party!

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links -which means I receive a small amount of money on each purchase, at no extra cost to you.  Thanks so much for supporting Life is a Party.

You might also enjoy our 5 Tips To Create A Pinterest Worthy Party On A Budget here.

Also check out our 5 Inexpensive DIY Party Decor Ideas post here.

5 Inexpensive DIY Party Decor Ideas: Use wrapping paper, washi tape, scrapbook paper, and vintage bottles to create your own party decor.

You might also like The Dinner Party Challenge here.

The Dinner Party Challenge: Need help planning a dinner party? This free 3 day email challenge will walk you through it with free printable worksheets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *