Tanya Foster standing in a dining room

Tanya Foster's dining room with Gracie wallpaper

table setting with Tiffany & Co. vases

table setting with formal china, crystal and silver

a rose in a napkin holder with a place setting

silver dinnerware and how to polish silver

Tanya Foster holding Waterford Crystal stemless wine glass

Tanya Foster holding a bottle of BV red wine in her dining room

So much to do, so little time! The holidays mean family, friends, events and entertaining. Oftentimes it can feel stressful, so I have compiled a list of 5 tips for entertaining with ease. This way, you can enjoy your guests and have fun… hopefully!

This list of 5 tips for entertaining with ease may seem like no-brainers but oftentimes we get so swept up in the endless list of to-do’s that every little thing becomes overwhelming. I have found these simple steps have really eliminated the stress of entertaining. That and a good glass of red wine while doing the prep work. 🙂

5 Tips for Entertaining With Ease


1) Set your table at least two days prior to the event

This way you can enjoy it! Why put in all that hard work for only one night? This also allows you to make adjustments if someone calls and cancels. I also like to get my flowers set a couple days before the event. They open up and fill out that way.

2) Polish ALL of your silver

You never know which pieces you might need at the last minute. I suggest polishing all of your silver the week before your event. It is a whole day affair to get your silver prepped and ready to go. You can find some amazing silver polish here.

3) Set the menu and pick the wine 

You must be mindful of food allergies and plan accordingly. Ask your guests ahead of time so that you can have some alternatives. Feel free to stick to your menu, but have something as easy substitute for anyone with an allergy. I let Pete pick the wine we will be serving.

4) Get out the fine china, silver and crystal

What’s the point of owning it if you never pull it out? Also, don’t be afraid to mix it with your informal pattern. Have 14 people coming to dinner but you only own service for 12? So what! Mix your patterns with glass or white plates. It makes it more fun and breaks up the pattern. Remember when we went to Ireland in August? We added to our Waterford Crystal when we were there and had it shipped home.

5) Prep as much of the meal the day before

I do all of my baking the day before. I think pies taste better this way. This way there is less stress on the day of your dinner event. Plus, you can enjoy your guests more instead of being in the kitchen the entire night. If anything needs to marinate be sure you allow at least 24 hours for this process. Do your rolls need to rise overnight? Don’t forget to take them out and set them on the counter.
My biggest piece of advice is to remember that no one’s holiday is perfect. That only exists on the Hallmark Channel. And even those holiday movies are way too perfect. A friend gave me this advice many years ago that I’ll never forgot, “Holidays are stressful. Expect the worst and hope for the best.”
These are my top tips for entertaining with ease…what are yours? I’d love to hear them!
Cheers to a stress free holiday week!
xoxo – Tanya
P.S. We still LOVE our Gracie Wallpaper in our dining room. Check out the blog post to read the full story including before and after pictures. There is a special date hidden in our wallpaper too!
Photo: Audrie Dollins

Source Links

Gold chargers: World Market

Dinner Plate Set: John Aynsley Cobalt Royale Set

Silverware: Royal Danish Flatware 

Crystal: Waterford Crystal Lismore We added the stemless wineglasses while touring Waterford Crystal in Ireland this summer. Click here for details.

Linen Napkins: Williams Sonoma – BONUS: These can be personalized

Napkin Holders: Two’s Company (they are acrylic and are individual vases)

Vase: The two matching vases are Tiffany & Co. but we also have these –  Waterford Crystal Lismore Set 

Salt and Pepper Shaker: Waterford Crystal Lismore Set

Candle Votive: Waterford Crystal Lismore Set

Serving pieces and bowls: I just got these from Vietri and love adding them to my china. Bowl, platter and smaller bowl.

Tarni-Shield Silver Polish: Scotchgard 

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Tanya Foster standing in a dining room




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