Must-Have Essentials for Hosting the Perfect Brunch

There are a handful of items that I use over and over again for each event.  They’re purposefully classic, functional and serve dual-purposes.  It allows me to redesign the look of a tablescape without having to buy all new pieces every time.  Think of the basics below as your couch whereas the place cards, chargers and napkins are all like pillows.  It’s easy to change pillows in and out, but changing out the couch would be tricky.

Plates & Flatware

Styling by Girl Meets Party with photography by Iron & Honey Photography by Iron & Honey

Crate & Barrel is my go-to for all things dining.  They have simple, classic styles you can enhance with different plates, flowers or accessories (like chargers, napkins, etc.).  Specifically, the Marin line of dinnerware from Crate & Barrel is awesome.  [No, this post isn’t sponsored, I just really love C&B].

Pictured above are my light blue Marin plates from Crate & Barrel mixed with Kate Spade China from Macy’s.  It’s complemented with the Kate Spade rose gold flatware, but frankly, I wouldn’t recommend it as it’s super high maintenance to take care of.  If you’re looking for rose gold flatware, I like the Harper set from Crate & Barrel (shocking, I know).

If you can afford it, I highly recommend having two sets of plates – one for everyday and one for dinner parties / more special events.  If you have them in the same shape (ie: circle), you can mix them as pictured above.


Styling by The Millennial Martha with photography by One July Photography Photography by One July Photography

Glassware is where I get a little crazy.  I love Crate & Barrel’s glassware.  I can’t recommend their stemless white wine glasses enough.  Seriously, if I were being sent to a desert island and I was able to take ONE glass with me, it would be this one.  I rarely use it as a wine glass to be honest because it can be used for:

  • White wine glass
  • Water glass
  • Punch glass
  • Fruit Parfait cup
  • Dessert cup
  • Tiny vase
  • Tealight holder

Seriously the options are endless with this glass, and it’s only $2.95 a glass!  Ok I’ll stop selling it now, but seriously get some.  I have 24 because I always use them as a water glass and then will often have them as a dessert cup as well.  It’s classy and timeless.

You’ll then want at least 1 set of wine glasses and one set of champagne flutes.  Crate & Barrel also has an amazing selection of these.  If you get the stemless white wine glass, get a wine glass & a champagne flute with a stem because you only want one short glass on the table.  If you have too many short glasses, it’ll look squatty and cluttered.

Serving Platters & Accents

One large pitcher from Crate & Barrel One large pitcher from Crate & Barrel

Similarly to the white stemless water glass from Crate & Barrel, I can recommend their glass pitcher enough.  You’ll want 2-3 serving platters, which I recommend getting in white from Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond or World Market.  Honestly, you don’t need a fancy platter to get started – simply something versatile.  You could also opt to get matching platters to your dinnerware set.

Going Above & Beyond

Photography by Iron & Honey

Although you don’t have to, adding a menu, flowers & place cards are a real game changer for a table.  These items will make your tablescape look different every time and add that WOW factor.  Adding fun elements, like the Hello Lovely cheesboard (pictured above) gives the table some personality.  Paper menus from Paper Source are always my favorite addition.  Paper Source’s A7 Silver Shimmer cards are my favorite for menus.  I’ll have a template coming soon so stay tuned!

Flowers make all the difference for the table.  Their nearly a must have to pull it all together.  The blooms above are from Flowers by Stem, one of my favorite florists in Chicago.   Lastly, if you’re really looking to wow your guests, get customized champagne labels from Labels with Love.  They’re super easy to put on (see my post here on the how-to) and they tie the theme together perfectly.

Meet Jen

I’ve always had a love affair with creation. Since I was a child, I handmade my gifts or combined toys to design something new. Fast forward twenty years, and I’m still making my gifts every holiday and designing new ways to do things.


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In order to grow my small business, I earn revenue in a few different ways. I publish sponsored posts from time to time, which are always labeled. Sometimes I earn an affiliate commission on the sales of products or business resources I link to. I only feature items I genuinely love and want to share. Thank you for reading and supporting my small business!

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