How to Host a Potluck Dinner + DIY Seaglass Place Cards
May 22, 2014
EntertainingDinner PartyAdvice
Potluck dinners are a busy girl's best friend. They're just as exciting as a regular dinner party, but with half the work. We've teamed up with Macy’s to tackle some real Registry to Reality ideas, and this go around, we're talking the ins and outs of a seamless, fun, potluck dinner. We've rounded up our most helpful tips, and we're dishing on an adorable DIY to boot!

- A set of simple, beautiful dishes, like Mikasa Antique White Dinnerware, helps keep everything consistent - providing a neutral backdrop for a variety of different food. We like to stick to neutrals to maintain a classic and elegant feel. Plus, if all goes according to plan, the food will be the focus! That said, a few candles, some fresh flowers and a little something something (like adorable place cards - DIY to follow!) goes a really long way. The little details help make the dinner feel special and personalized.

- Forgo the stacked dishes and have your place settings and flatware set ahead of time. We love the beautiful Gorham Column Stainless Flatware and the Cellar Premium Red and White Wine Glasses are great too. This gives the potluck a more elegant feel and bonus points for your table being dinner ready when guests arrive.
- Pick a theme like mediterranean or breakfast for dinner! This helps keep everything consistent. Our tip: don't pick something overly complicated or expensive for your guests! Our potluck dinner centred around comfort food. Italian dishes played a role and the All-Clad 3 Piece Pizza Stone Set certainly helped!

- When inviting your guests, be specific with which course you'd like them to bring. Though I, personally, wouldn't mind ending up with 8 desserts, those with a lesser sweet tooth may not be such a fan. A good rule of thumb is to ask two people to bring each course just in case one is a no show. Also, a little variety is always nice! Be sure to let your guests know how many have RSVP'd so that they can cook or bake accordingly.

- On the same note, it doesn't hurt to make a few backup dishes in case someone’s plate goes up in flames or there is a last-minute cancel. This is a great place to try out a new recipe!
- It's always a good idea to make the main course yourself. The reason is two-fold. One, you'll know for certain you won't be missing the main component of your meal. Plus, it's always easier to make (and keep warm) when it doesn't need to be transported.

- Think: display. Assembling some treats on a white table? Use your Nambe Butterfly Bowls to add some beautiful contrast and really make your dish sing!
- Stay organized! Make a quick document that you can use to write down who's bringing what so you can make sure the meal will flow. Bonus points if it’s shareable - then everyone will really be on the same page!

- Keep extra cookware like our go to Corningware French White Bakeware 10 piece Set, tin foil, and utensils at the ready. There’s always going to be someone who needs to assemble and cook once they show up.
- Pre-plan your oven space by asking guests if they'll need to use the oven when they arrive, and at what temperature. Try to make your portion of the meal ahead of time, if possible, to leave room for all the dishes that just need to be warmed up quickly.
- Last but not least, stock up on some simple serving pieces to display all that scrumptious food in a beautiful way. Think white serving platters like Martha Stewart Collection Whiteware Cake Stands, lots of cake and dessert plates like Hotel Collection's Bone China Dinnerware and bowls too! These wood Nambe Butterfly Salad Bowls are a definite do in our books. Now, as promised, we have a simple DIY that's the perfect accompaniment to your next potluck extravaganza.  These seaglass placecards are so simple and so crazy cute, you'll be whipping them together in no time. Grab the breakdown of steps below!

Flat seaglass pieces- gather your own at the beach, or purchase from Etsy White paint marker Silver leaf adhesive Silver leaf (2) small paintbrushes

instructionsstep-1Paint adhesive around the edges of each piece of seaglass and let dry 10 minutes until tacky. step-2Gently press silver leaf onto seaglass sides. Use the dry paintbrush to brush off any excess leaf. step-3Write the name of each guest on the front of the glass in paint marker. Stack with a plain piece of seaglass and place at each plate. Ready for even more inspiration? Check out our Macy's Registry to Reality Pinterest board! Photography: Keith Morrison


MACY'S PRODUCTS USED FOR DINING TABLE: Candlestick Holders: Vera Wang Wedgwood Orient Candlesticks |Vase: Vera Wang Wedgwood Orient Vase | Red Wine Glasses: The Cellar Glassware, Premium Large Red Wine Glasses | White Wine Glasses: The Cellar Glassware, Premium Small White Wine Glasses | Napkins: Chilewich Solid Linen Napkin | Plates: Mikasa Dinnerware, Antique White Collection | Bowls: Mikasa Dinnerware, Antique White Collection | Flatware: Gorham Column Stainless Flatware Collection

MACY'S PRODUCTS USED FOR WINE, APPETIZER & DESSERT TABLE: Decanter: The Cellar Glassware, Premium Wine Decanter | Wine Chiller: Nambe 7" Wine Chiller | Salad Bowl & Servers: Nambe Butterfly Salad Bowl with Servers | Cake Stands: Martha Stewart Collection 12" Pie Crust Cake Stand | Wood Veggie Platter: Noritake Serveware, Kona Wood Rectangular Platter | Wood Bar Tray: Nambe Anvil Wooden Tray | Square Wood Tray: Noritake Serveware, Kona Wood Square Plate | White Salsa Bowl: DKNY Lenox Boerum Lacquered Individual Salad Bowls | White Dip Bowl: Corningware French White 10 Piece Bakeware Set

MACY'S PRODUCTS USED FOR BUFFET TABLE: Pizza Stone & Cutter: All-Clad 3 Piece Pizza Stone Set | White Serving Dishes: Corningware French White 10 Piece Bakeware Set | Leftover Containers: OXO 10-Piece Pop Container Set | Dish Towel: Martha Stewart Collection Kitchen Towels, Waffle Weave Navy | Baking Sheet: Calphalon Nonstick 10 Piece Bakeware Set | White Ravioli Pot: Dansk Cookware, 4 Qt Kobenstyle White Casserole