Let’s face it: Some couples just aren’t the dinner party-hosting type. Maybe it’s because your place is only big enough for a dining table that fits four, or because the thought of planning a sit-down meal for a bunch of people immediately stresses you out. Whatever your reasoning, if you and your S.O. don’t envision yourselves throwing regular dinner parties post-wedding, don’t feel obligated to register for the traditional items you’d need to entertain a large crowd (like fancy dinnerware sets and serving platters in every shape and size).
If inviting your closest friends over for a casual happy hour at home—where guests can pour their own cocktails, snack at their leisure, and sit wherever they’re comfortable— is more up your alley, fill your wedding registry with classic, multipurpose home goods that can be used for a variety of occasions.
Hosting a gathering at home can be super easy and stress-free as long as you’re prepared with a few of the basics—the eight items below will get you started on the right foot.
Fill this baby up with assorted meats and cheeses, dried fruits, and a spread of crusty bread slices, plop it right in the middle of the table, and let your guests go wild. (Walnut Feast Board, $160, Food52)
Easy appetizer hack: Fill coordinating bowls with marinated olives, spiced nuts, artisanal popcorn, and other store-bought gourmet snacks that look fancy but take very little effort to prepare. (4-Piece Form Server, $30, Crate and Barrel)
These best-selling glasses work just as well for wine and cocktails at night as they do for fresh juice and coffee in the morning. That’s what we call a win-win. (Picardie Glass Tumblers, $92 for an assorted set of 24, Williams-Sonoma)
Small, lightweight plates make it easy for guests to munch and mingle at the same time. Plus, the colored edges will remind each partygoer which one is theirs. (Party Plates, $25 for a set of 6, Crate and Barrel)
If you’re not in the mood to create a big batch signature cocktail for your gathering, let guests shake up their own favorites with this convenient set of bar essentials. (Mixology 7-Piece Barware Set, $49, West Elm)
Keep your tables ring free in the most stylish way possible with a chic stack of coasters; this gold-leaf set by Baltimore designer Charlotte Cannon is painted completely by hand. (The Vintage Vogue Linea Coasters, $25 for 4, West Elm)
Fresh flowers make a world of difference when sprucing up your home for a party. Register for one or two pretty, simple vases and you’ll always be prepared for impromptu get-togethers. (Marble Vase, $40, CB2)
While a bar cart is certainly not a necessity, it’s a great option for corralling your barware into one neat spot. Plus, with so many styles and sizes to choose from, you’re bound to find a cart that fits nicely in your living space. (Lavinia Bar Serving Cart, $257, AllModern)