Everything You Need to Throw a Dinner Party on a Budget


Get It Together is your weekly guide to organizing your entire life.

It’s easy to accidentally spend way too much money on a dinner party. One minute you’re casually inviting over all your friends for a potluck, and the next thing you know you’re emerging from a fugue state having bought half of Pottery Barn.

But whether it’s your first dinner party or you’ve been entertaining for years, there are plenty of places to find all the flatware and dishes you might need in a pinch. The trick is to know when to splurge and when to hit up Amazon. For instance, a fancy pitcher, cheese board, or serving platter will do more to impress your guests than expensive wineglasses. Scroll on for the Cut’s guide to party essentials on a budget.

Sophisticated Flatware

Lekoch Stainless Steel Flatware Set

Gold or iridescent utensils will dress up a place setting more than a basic silver set.

Urban Outfitters Electroplated Flatware Set

Simple Plates

Urban Outfitters 12-Piece Modern Dinnerware Set

Complicated patterns can overshadow the food. Try a simple, restaurant-quality white plate, or dinnerware in the color of the moment.

6-Piece Dinner Plate Set

Nice Drinking Glasses

Libbey Heavy Base Glasses

These mouth-blown confetti glasses from Hawkins New York will make your sparkling water feel like a special spritzer at Le Bain. Or go the simple route and pick up an affordable set on Amazon.

Hawkins New York Confetti Glasses

An Arty Pitcher

Stoneware Pitcher

Stoneware is always classic, but if this H&M pitcher is too plain for your taste, Ralph Lauren’s marble option looks like a piece from The Frick.

Ralph Lauren Home Bennington Pitcher

An Elevated Serving Platter

Hasami Porcelain Plate

Sometimes the most delicious food is not the most beautiful. Make everything a little more Instagrammable with an elevated platter.

Perasima Platter

Because Your Sides Need to Go Somewhere

Ore-Edged Serving Bowl

If your dish doesn’t spread nicely on a platter, get a beautiful serving bowl. It’s worth splurging here since it’ll double as the centerpiece of your tablescape, hopefully for many dinner parties to come.

Hawkins New York Confetti Serving Bowl

A Fantastic Cheese Board

Creative Home Marble Cheese Board

Amazon’s marble cheese board is almost identical to one three times the price at Need Supply, while this agate cheese board is simply beautiful.

Agate Cheese Board

Dress Up Your Table

Snowe Table Runner

Since you already splurged on pretty platters and bowls, all you need is a simple runner to tie everything together. Choose a muted color, and finish it off with a vase of fresh flowers.

An Expensive-Looking Serving Set

Dora Serving Set

You can pretty much find a nice serving set anywhere, but this one from Anthropologie (on sale!) looks way more expensive than it is.

Simple Wineglasses

Bormioli Rocco Restaurant Wine Glasses

The average person can’t distinguish between a $30 wineglass versus a $10 one, so don’t bother to spend a load in this department.

Cool Napkins to Wipe Away the Mess

Marble Print Paper Napkins

Creative napkins like these are less than $5 and so much more fun than a roll of Bounty.

If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

Everything You Need to Throw a Dinner Party on a Budget