If there is one thing you should know about us Weavers, it’s that we wait until the last minute to do EVERYTHING. (Luckily becoming a Schooling has taught me a thing or two….we’re still working on the rest of the Weaver clan.)
Anyway, last Thursday night I received a phone call from my mom about a surprise baby shower she needed Billy and I to help throw. And, of course, it was for the VERY NEXT MORNING. Without any time to go out, I resorted to my collection of “party goods,” threw them in my car, and hoped for the best. While I’m not the biggest fan of the frenzy that comes with rushing around last minute, it made me realize that as long as you have the main essentials, there really is no excuse to NOT throw a party, for any occasion!
Here is our list of Basic Party Essentials.
(If you’re a full-blown party enthusiast, or are even thinking of hosting during this holiday season, I would definitely recommend that you pay a visit to your local dollar store or check the local newspaper for rummage sales going on and BUILD YOUR OWN PARTY STOCK. Not only will this save you time, like it did for us, but you’ll also save money by re-using your “essentials” for different parties.)
- Tableware. The easiest way to start your party prep is to determine what kind of food you’re going to be serving. Decide how formal you want the feel of the party to be, and add a couple layers with chargers and/or several dinner plates accordingly. Because the baby shower was going to be a little more on the intimate side, we decided to do a more formal, sit-down brunch. For a less formal event, you can go ahead and nix the extra courses and keep it simpler, just using a single plate for each guest. (HINT: Layers don’t have to be expensive! I used my everyday plates and dressed it up with a dessert plate I picked up from a flea market, and a glass salad plate from a dollar store, if you can believe it!)
- Table Linens. This ranged from tablecloths, to runners, to napkins. Again, all depends on your party. If you want it be more casual, replace the cloth napkins for disposables. (HINT: If you’re on a budget, neutral-colored linens can be reused for any event saving you money & time! Linens can also be a great way to decorate! In this case, we used a combination of both neutral and fall-inspired napkins to make each place setting unique.)
- Flatware. Part of me gets very excited to have an excuse to bring out my collection of party items, because it gives me an excuse to have them around AND to keep collecting more things! Hehe. I brought out my beautiful gold silverware I had gotten at an estate sale, bringing the table together.
- Glasses. What will your guests drink from? To match our formal place settings, I used a goblet. (Confession, these “formal” goblets I keep using were found at the same dollar store i found those glass plates at! I must have used those items at least half a dozen times since I bought them. Those dollar items really were worth it!)
- Bar Items. How will you serve your drinks? For larger parties, I have always used a beverage dispenser. If you don’t have one, you can use pitchers, but that will require filling and refilling. And why miss out on mingling with your guests? They don’t have to be expensive, I believe I bought mine from a Christmas Tree Shop or Bed Bath & Beyond, but they work wonders.
- Serving Dishes. Think of every single food item that will be served and make sure you have a serving plate and serving utensil for each. Running out of space? Then use a tiered tray or stand perhaps for your desserts. Take out all of your trays, platters, and bowls, they will come in handy if you are featuring a buffet table. Again, pretty things don’t have to be expensive, nor do they all have to come in a collection.
With these basic party essentials you can throw just about any kind of party, even those last-minute ones! If you have any questions on how to find local rummage sales, or where I found a specific item, feel free to leave a comment below!