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I would say that Autumn is one of the best times to gather around for a party outside but the weather in Florida has been altering that perception a bit so staying inside has been the choice of many. As a party hostess or just a dinner hostess saving money and having fun is something that should go hand in hand. Building a transitional buffet that can be altered for each season is a great way to go about being the “hostess with the mostess”.
Oriental Trading is widely known for their huge array of holiday items, party favors, and fun trinkets. I have grown up with my family ordering from them so we wanted to see how we could create a nice display that is easy to transition and keep a theme of being available for appetizers and desserts.
The first thing we recommend is having a focal point. We chose the center and chose to insert our Touch Coffee Brewer. This let us divide the center and have features on each side. Our first selections from Oriental Trading were their 3 tier serving set. This piece can easily be used year round which makes it an investment piece as a hostess.
We also chose the Two Tier Autumn Leaves Server. This stunning piece folds up nicely, wipes down easily, and is just a beauty to admire. We have used it for dinners to serve our breads on and of course now to serve appetizers on. It gives the ability to give dimension to the table but also separate up to three things if we chose to do so.
Having one serving tray on each side balanced the buffet out. On our 3 tier we chose to display a variety of sweets. I have in turn used this prior to serve an array of vegetables at dinner or even breakfast buffet without the stand just using the trays themselves.
We chose to go with Autumn colors and had dessert plates and beverage napkins that were appropriate for both appetizers and desserts. We also had plastic wine glasses which are great for larger gatherings so it can prevent accidental breakage, even more so if kids are around.
What really brought the color and pulled everything together were our decorative Autumn leaves we spread out (which can be bagged up and reused) as well as Autumn treat bags. I had homemade trail mix in a few but left many available for guests to pack cookies in to take with them. Of course our sausage and cheese appetizers were gobbled up faster than I could put the turkey picks in them!
A few tips for keeping your budget in check and having a seasonal buffet display;
- Invest in a cloth table cloth. However, to keep it clean longer, choose plastic table clothes with designs to over lay, instead of washing each event you may surprisingly saving time and money this way!
- Choose a few investment pieces like serving stands or trays that you can use more than one season. If you want one special piece (As the maple leave tray was to me) get one for each season and reuse, reuse, reuse.
- Make a wish list on Oriental Trading through the year to keep an eye on ideas. Make sure you order in advance as things will sell out fast the closer you get to certain events or holidays.
- Sign up for the Oriental Trading mailing list so you can receive promotional specials, discounts, and free shipping alerts!
- If you love a design that comes out in disposable products (plates, napkins, cups, etc) invest in a few extra sets. It is always good to order a bit more than you think you need just in case extra company shows up!
- Feel free to keep the same layout each season and just change out the disposable pieces or garnishes, leaves could turn in to snow for Winter or Hawaiian theme for Spring. Any idea you dream can come true with a little thought and advance planning.
- Have fun with it! If you are stressing yourself out with planning a dinner or party you will not enjoy it. I find that using Oriental Trading to pick a focus point and have nearly all my supplies come in one package, eases the stress of creating an event or planning. This buffet here is staying until the day before Christmas Eve! It’s beautiful. I’m proud of it. It is functional!
Feeling inspired? Comment below and tell us what event you would plan using Oriental Trading!
Author: Nichole Arnold
I’m the owner of Mommy Needs a Bottle . I’m a 30- something wine enthusiast that resides in Tampa, FL. I love family traditions, traveling, cooking, baking, reading, fashion, tattoos, beauty products, and being a Mommy! I have a background in marketing, public relations, copywriting, and sales.