Ultimate Guide: Host Easter Dinner with These 12 Stress-Free Tips

Are you hosting anyone for Easter this year? We almost always host an Easter dinner with extended family, and it’s just so much fun to have everyone around the table for a special occasion.

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Drum Pendant | Dining Chairs | Sconces | Candlesticks | White Bowls | Flatware (similar)

What I’ve found is that with a little bit of prep, you can make welcoming people over a low-stress, fun event and it’s turned into a big tradition for us. We actually started hosting a lot more when we had little babies with early bed times (that were were so strict with!) and over the past 14 years, we learned a lot about how to make it successful, but also casual.

In case you’re hosting for Easter or any holiday, here are some things I try to remember (or in the case of the second point, will try to implement going forward)!

1. Get the Main Course Ready

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Copper Canisters | Marble Bowl | Glass Vase | Bunny (similar)

My favorite is Chris’s easy overnight ham. It’s to die for. Get the main event going the day before to take some stress off of your plate. This recipe is just everything I love in an Easter meal: it has classic flavors, it’s comforting. You’ll love it. Everyone will.

2. Be Open to Guests Bringing Sides


Grilled Carrots Recipe | Gingham Napkin | Platter (similar) | Bunny (similar) | Pepper Mill | Marble Bowl

Now, this is new territory for us. Chris has always made everything (and happily, I might add!) When people ask what they can bring, he says, “Nothing, I got it.” But after our whirlwind hosting over the holidays, we realize that maybe we should welcome the offer. People actually do like to bring something. In fact, sometimes there’s a traditional dish that they had every year that summarizes the whole holiday for them and they might want to bring that. And sometimes they don’t want to arrive empty-handed. If you are hosting and they offer, give an assignment for a category and let them surprise you! Everyone will be happier.

3. Gather Your Serving Supplies

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This is the time to round up your serving platters, silverware, cups and plates. We just got enough nicer plates to serve 20 which is nice for special event dinners. But for years we used melamine. If you are short on plates, you can thrift some or pick up some of our favorite paper products. There are some lovely options out there these days.

4. Stock Up the Bathroom


Shop The Powder Bath

Swap in fresh towels. Make sure there is extra toilet paper. Have a nice hand soap dispenser filled. I love to put a reed diffuser in the bathroom. You know the drill.

5. Prep — Then Ignore — Your Dishwasher

Make sure your dishwasher is empty before people arrive. It makes clean-up so much easier to get started. But when it comes to when to clean up, I say wait until after people leave. If someone offers to clean dishes, I politely decline because I’d rather spend time chatting than cleaning! That can wait until after everyone leaves — I’d rather pile dishes in the sink for now. But that’s just me!

6. Adapt the Serving Style to the Party Size

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If you have more than ten people at dinner (which is most of the time since we’re a family of five), we usually serve food buffet-style. It’s a lot easier for people to get their food. It also allows you to make a really pretty centerpiece on the table. Keep the flowers below eye level. But yes to tall candlesticks!

7. Give Everyone a Spot

I like to have name cards at each chair and I’ve noticed guests like it, too. I get that it feels like a lot of pressure to decide where everyone is sitting, when you really don’t care. However, almost always things can get awkward when there are couples. People will ask where to sit, and it just feels so special when they have a designated spot. I got a pack of 200 cards on Amazon, and I just write their names in cursive. I use these cards for the buffet too, to note if something’s gluten-free, dairy-free or vegetarian. It’s nice for those with eating restrictions.

8. Give Your Pet a Place Too

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Sofa | Francis Rug | Pillow | Floor Lamp | Cabinet | Tree Print

Everyone loves Cricket, but they’re usually beckoning her over to the table. And we don’t want her getting bad habits of begging for food or swiping things off plates! Let the pets have a special treat and give them a room to themselves for a couple of hours. You’ll love the lowered stress of looking after one more “guest,” and they’ll love the nap!

9. Create a Drink Station

I think it’s fun to have a drink station. We will always have a large jar of flavored fruity cucumber water and then another option too. When I’m trying to get things done around the house, it can be tricky for me to fill up glasses before people get there. But to have a drink area and an ice bucket at the ready is perfect. People come in, they chat over the drink station. And I’m not worried about drinks for everyone.

10. Prep the Vibe

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Tree Print | Vase (similar) | Stems (similar) | Pedestal (similar)

Light candles 30 minutes before people arrive so that the scent has time to permeate the space (or turn on your Pura!) I love how tapered candles or tea lights add flickers of light that bounce around the room and make the space glow.

11. Don’t Forget the Music

There’s lots of fun, soft springy Easter playlists. I usually do instrumentals while eating or this fun “Bubbly Brunch” mix. It can actually keep the energy of the whole event up.

12. Have a Little Game for Kids

Especially if there are little kids, I like to have a fun Easter egg hunt outside, weather-permitting. Even if the kids already had an Easter egg hunt, it makes for a memorable event. You can do a fun thing like adding coins in the eggs — it doesn’t have to be candy.


Green Bunny Plates | Chambray Serving Platters | Ruffle Serving Dish | Green Bunnies (similar) | Chinoiserie Bunny (similar) | Copper Napkin Rings (similar) | Vase | Faux Snowballs | Faux Fig Branch | Copper Cookware | Copper Canisters | Pepper Mill | Candlesticks (similar) | Picture Light

Don’t forget to check out our Easter Shoppe here, our favorite candles here or our go-to paper products here. Hopefully these holiday entertaining ideas will help you feel more at ease when you have people over for Easter lunch or dinner. I’m looking forward to it already — gotta get those note cards ready!

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