How to Host a Potluck

Pull off the best holiday potluck!

There is nothing more festive than getting your family and friends together over the holidays for a potluck! Here’s how to pull off a successful and of course beautifully styled potluck table.

Start with a List 

Make a list – whether it’s on Whatsapp, in an email, or a private Facebook group, have everyone sign up for a dish to make sure you don’t end up with a table full of the same thing. To make it even easier, create a list of categories like appetizers, sides, mains, and desserts.

Organize a Theme 

I love a theme, whether it’s for the food or the styling!  You could request your mom’s best casserole, or even just ask guests to come up with a punny name for their dish. If you aren’t into a theme for the food, focus your attention on a theme, or colour scheme for decorating the table itself. I went for this winter wonderland theme. We have this gorgeous expandable dining table from Mobilia, paired with the natural wood chairs. The light, natural tone sets the scene for the whole look.

I think that a potluck table still deserves a centrepiece. You can go BIG because you don’t have to worry about seeing across the table. I combined layers of greenery, white roses and thistles, from Fiori Oakville in this oversized basket. The basket is unexpected and adds even more height and presence than a vase. I have layered in greenery across the table to add to the natural look.

Prepare the Table Matters 

Whether your guests are lining up for firsts, seconds or thirds, you want everything to be within easy reach.

Organize in this order around the table:

  1. Plates
  2. Main course (large platters, soup tureen or pot, etc.)
  3. Side dishes (have serving spoons with each one)
  4. Condiments/sauces/gravy
  5. Dinner rolls
  6. Cutlery (you don’t want to have those in your hand while trying to fill your plate. Laying them out flat across a plate makes them easier to grab)
  7. Napkins
  8. Glassware

My dinnerware and serving pieces, from Canadian company Fable in this beautiful speckled white ceramic, showcase the food to be the stars of the table. I love that they are devoted to becoming a zero-waste company!

Visualize the Table 

You want to style at different heights to make it visually interesting, and also because you can layer more on the table. For example, layer the textures, such as platters and trays mixed with natural elements.