The Party Hosting Essentials Everyone Needs

hosting essentials

One thing that many of you might already know about me is that I absolutely love to play the role of hostess. There’s really nothing that makes me happier than having my family and friends over for a hearty meal, well-mixed cocktails, or a glass of wine.

While I like to keep the atmosphere welcoming and laid back at my house, I also believe there are a handful of ways you can elevate even the most casual get-together. Having some hosting essentials on hand is a good way to ensure you’re always party-ready—regardless of the occasion.

Over the years, I’ve collected some staples that I truly can’t imagine hosting without. If you’re new to planning dinner parties or if you’re hosting your first holiday event, I know that it can be intimidating to figure out what you really need.

At the end of the day, my best advice would be to not stress over the little things. However, if you have some extra time to map out your party, this list of hosting must-haves will help you pull off your best soiree yet!

Hosting Essentials

Glassware for Hosting

While I’m sure you already have some glassware in your kitchen cabinets, it’s always a good idea to have a variety of styles that you can reach for when hosting. I’m sharing some of my favorites below, which can all be collected over time.

hosting essentials

Wine Glasses

These have been my go-to wine glasses for years and I always recommend them. They hold up really well and I love that you can order them directly from Amazon (which is especially nice if you’re in a time crunch or if a couple break!)

hosting essentials

Double Old-Fashioned Glass

Don’t get me wrong, I think there’s something so classic about a standard old-fashioned glass, but I do love that these feel a bit more feminine. They’d also work well for margaritas!

hosting essentials

Martini Glasses

Every well stocked bar cart needs a set of martini glasses and these are about as timeless as they come.

hosting essentials

Coupe Glass Set

Mark celebratory occasions by breaking out these dainty yet sparkly coupe glasses. I’m obsessed with the slight amber shade and appreciate that these come as a complete set. They’d also make a thoughtful hostess gift!

hosting essentials

Coupe Glasses

If you love the look of coupe glasses but want something more budget-friendly, these are a cute option. You can also buy just a couple if you don’t have space for a full set.

hosting essentials

Serveware for Hosting

Bowls, napkins, trays, and pitchers—you need them all when hosting a crowd. Here’s exactly what I’d suggest having in stock.

Bakeware Dish

One major perk to this casserole pan is that you can make your meal in it and then leave it out when it’s time to dish up. Just set it on a couple of hot pads and you’ll be good to go.

hosting essentials

Low Serving Bowl

A perfectly-sized bowl for bread, dips, a salad, and everything in between. The low style makes it easy to reach inside of (and less likely for there to be a mess!)

hosting essentials

Cheese Spreaders

Set these gold cuties out the next time you serve a charcuterie board.

hosting essentials

Dip Trio Tray

What’s better than one dip? Three dips, of course! This pretty platter streamlines the serving process by offering a designated space for everything delicious.

hosting essentials

Rattan Napkin Holder

I don’t know about you but I’m a total sucker for anything rattan, and this napkin holder is no exception. I always like to set one of these out so my guests can easily clean themselves up when needed.

hosting essentials

Striped Guest Towels

Another design element I adore? Blue and white stripes. These cuties caught my eye, but they also come in a bunch of other colors. Tip: Change up your napkins from season to season—you can even find options that have holiday prints.

hosting essentials

Oversized Wood Tray

Every hostess should have a large wood tray on hand for serving apps—they’re versatile and will never go out of style.

hosting essentials

Glass Pitcher

Whether you’re making margaritas for a happy hour or whipping up lemonade for a kids party, a glass pitcher is a must.

hosting essentials

Bar Essentials for Hosting

Sometimes hosting requires you to pull double duty by acting as a cook and a bartender. That’s where these little gadgets come in handy.

Cocktail Shaker

Ditch a bland cocktail shaker and opt for this textured glass pick. It would look so pretty on a bar cart or floating kitchen shelf.

hosting essentials

Cocktail Napkins

Nothing says “party” like a variety of cocktail options. Serve yours complete with linen napkins, like these.

hosting essentials

Skier Cocktail Napkins

For winter gatherings, serve ice cold drinks with these skier cocktail napkins. They’re currently on sale so grab a set while you can!

hosting essentials

Cocktail Bar Tool Set

A perfectly shaken (or stirred) drink requires a few bartending tools. I love the polished gold look on this handy little set.

hosting essentials

Cocktail Picks

Add some character to your cocktails with these little picks. The cherries are adorable but they also come in an olive pattern (perfect for martinis!)

hosting essentials

Other Hosting Must-Haves

Take your party to the next level with these finds. While they aren’t crucial to the overall experience, I promise they will amplify it!

Conversation Cards

My family and I love these conversation cards, which can really be used for any get together or family dinner night.

hosting essentials

Cheese Plate Book

This book will help you learn how to prep cheese plates like a pro (while also making it fun!)

hosting essentials

Scented Candle

Nothing sets the mood quite like a lit candle. This one has subtle notes of sandalwood and cedarwood—two crowd-pleasing scents.

hosting essentials

Sonos Speakers

Simply put, every party needs a couple of speakers, and these are the best.

hosting essentials

Hi! I’m Erika and I live in Sonoma County with my high school sweetheart and two kids. Follow along to find home inspiration, delicious recipes, and the inside scoop on all things wine country.

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