Dream Event Tips: Styling a Buffet for a Home Party

The holidays are such a wonderful time of the year, but we know they can feel a little stressful too. But here’s our dreamiest tip for you: You don’t have to make everything. In fact, you don’t have to make anything if you don’t want to! Your favorite caterers can come in and whip up all the delicious food you need – from appetizers and entrees to delicious desserts. Of course once you have all that delish food, you need to create a beautiful display at home (which let’s you take all the credit!) – here’s how to make your buffet look dreamy for your holiday gatherings:

Display Items at Different Heights

Those multi-level tiers you have hiding in the back of your kitchen cabinets? Whip them out! Don’t have any? No problem – add a box on top of your table, then cover it with a patterned tablecloth. Throw a few trinkets around the serving dish and no one will be the wiser! We eat with our eyes first and adding levels keeps things from looking too crowded or too plain.

Add Menu Cards

Let people know what’s what and what ingredients or allergens are in each dish. Individual cards can be placed with each dish (especially if you have multiple food stations) or create a large menu that lists everything. Bonus Tip! Get crafty using a chalkboard, mirror or roll of craft paper that coordinates with your decor to write out the full menu. This make it easy for guests to see what you are serving and adds to the decor.

Have a Separate Beverage Station

Unless your gathering is very small, beverages need their own station, separate of the food.  This helps prevent too many folks gathered around the same area (which inevitable leads to spills and breakage). Keep things flowing smoothly with a dedicate bar or beverage station. Bonus Tip! Don’t forget the mocktails. Be sure to have a flavorful non-alcoholic beverage for your designated drivers. We love infused water stations – lower in calories means more room for hors d’oeuvres!

Use Unique Serving Vessels

Mix up your vessels! Use cutting boards, cast iron, cake stands, platters and plates of different sizes and shapes to display your food. These unexpected serving pieces become memorable Bonus Tip! Keep all your vessels in a similar theme or color. This will keep your buffet looking cohesive and not like a bunch of random dishes.

Plates at One End and Flatware at the Other

It’s difficult to fill your plate when you’re grasping a glass and silverware, too. We like putting flatware, napkins and condiments at the end of the buffet station. This makes it easier for guests to dish up and keeps the buffet from bottle-necking while one person ponders over what condiment. It’s a small thing that helps tremendously, and your guests will notice and appreciate it!


Want more help planning your party?

We know planning the party is just one item in your long to-do list. Let us handle every detail for you.

Photos by Jen and Chris Creed Photography