When we were first married we had many parties without worrying about having the right dishes and glasses. We just dove in with our basic china and stainless and that was fine. What made the parties fun were our friends.
But if you want to step it up a notch without spending a fortune you can totally do that.
Unique and beautiful entertaining items can be found at thrift stores, garage sales, consignment shops. Below are a few of my favorites.
White damask napkins are abundant at flea markets especially. They do look better ironed, although I have whipped them out of the dryer and folded them right away. They are presentable that way. These napkins make a holiday dinner or a more formal occasion extra special.
Vintage water glasses like these look beautiful on the dinner table. After cocktails and wine with dinner everyone wants/needs water. In fact, I am usually busy jumping up to keep the water pitcher filled because my guests are replenishing their glasses so often.
I found two sets at garage sales and I use them all the time.
You can never have too many serving utensils! I am always finding unusual ones in my thrift store browsing. Of course they are not sterling, but are often silverplate and have interesting carvings or other features that make them look old and antique. Just place them in the dish before bringing to the table so that no one notices the tarnish marks! I have tried to remove those marks (any suggestions?).
When I have a cocktail party, I try to have a variety of serving dishes to make my table look more interesting and inviting. it seems that every time I have a party I realize I lack a bowl or platter of a particular size. But I know I will be able to find something special for a couple of dollars at the thrift store.
And baskets are always so useful for holding crackers and breads!
Honestly I could go on and on, but this is a good start for anyone looking to amp up their entertaining style.
What are your favorite entertaining essentials? Please share in the comments!