By Elly Leavitt

Published on October 23, 2018

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Photography by Michael Wiltbank

With DIY decorations that look professional and delish desserts that can be ready in under an hour, prepping to host Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re someone who frequently entertains and finds joy in setting everything up for a big group of people, this is your time to shine. But life happens. Last-minute plans change, work gets stressful, and suddenly pulling together the ultimate Thanksgiving feast sounds impossible.

Luckily, there are a bevy of services cropping up right and left that can help you hack Thanksgiving. From the earliest stages of prep to the final clean-up, here are the companies worth checking out—whether you need something last-minute or this was your plan all along.

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Courtesy of Cloth + Gold

The Tablescape

Table + Teaspoon is a “rent the table” service that ships nationwide, and if you live in the Bay Area you can even place your order day-of (though this isn’t recommended). Choose from seven available tablescapes, each in a distinct color and style. After your party is done, repackage everything and ship it off—no clean-up required.

“Inspiration hit me as I was picking up yet another order from an enormous party rental warehouse in South San Francisco when I asked myself, ‘in a city where you can order literally anything on-demand, why can’t you similarly order your tablescape?’” Founder Liz Curtis told us.  

Similarly, Cloth + Gold offers tablescapes over a three-day rental period. The price point is a bit higher, but if you reserve your Thanksgiving table setting by October 26, you get 15 percent off with the code “Thankful.” We’re partial to the more minimalist Moody Blue option and the bolder Morocco-inspired Casablanca setting.

Once you have your table setting taken care of, don’t forget the music. According to Curtis, the right music selection is just as important as the decor and menu.

“If you don’t already have a favorite go-to playlist, remember that classics are always in good taste—think Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Otis Redding,” she suggests. “If you are feeling ambitious, make two playlists: One for daytime cooking that can play as guests arrive, and another for the rest of the evening.”

The Food

In the same way that meal subscription services are a godsend for busy weeknight dinners, we can rely on them for Thanksgiving. Hello Fresh just launched its inaugural Thanksgiving Box—and if you order yours by November 8, all you’ll have to do in the cooking arena is turn on your oven and stove.

The box serves eight to ten guests and includes all of the holiday’s biggest hits. Roasted turkey, prepared with garlic and herb butter, is the star of the show; supporting roles are filled by sides like crispy sage-topped garlic mashed potatoes and green beans with caramelized shallots. Each box comes with a recipe booklet, place cards for your table, and starts at $14.90 per serving; but you can also get a box of just sides and dessert starting at just $8.90 a serving. 

Tip: Make your Hello Fresh dinner feel more personalized by including one all-time favorite recipe. Maybe this is your grandma’s biscuit recipe or a pumpkin pie from your favorite local bakery—something small that incorporates a hint of the familiar goes a long way.

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Courtesy of Farmgirl Flowers

The Centerpiece

In a pinch, you can finagle a centerpiece out of almost anything lying around your home—an assortment of tapered candles, a ceramic bowl filled with fruit. If you want something a bit more traditional, head to Farmgirl Flowers. You’ll get designer-quality bouquets wrapped in a rustic burlap delivered speedily to your door in all mainland 48 states.

The catch: You don’t actually get to pick your flowers. This is because each bouquet is truly one of a kind, custom-made by Farmgirl’s floral designers, and because this reduces waste. That said, you can get a sense for the company’s style via their Instagram page, and also check out the “What’s In Season” section to see what you might discover in your bespoke bouquet.

Tip: While these are designer florals, sure to wow regardless of what combination you receive, have a vase pre-picked out and ready to go that matches your tablescape.

The Drinks

What some may describe as the most important part of any party can also be the biggest hassle to do yourself. Instead, get yourself a monthly wine club membership through Winc to eliminate having to worry about the wine menu week-of. Sign up now to get yours by early November. Each box comes with four wines (starting at $13 each), which you can select yourself or have chosen for you based on a careful taste test Winc sets up for you.

If you need something a bit faster, head to Saucey. The company offers 30-minute delivery of your favorite wines and spirits to several cities in the U.S., and regular shipping to most other states. There’s no delivery fee for the 30-minute option, so what you see is what you get. It couldn’t be easier.

Tip: For aperitivo hour, keep a bar station stocked so you can mingle with your guests and aren’t relegated to the role of bartender. No bar cart? No problem—here’s how to fake a bar cart in the most stylish way.

See more Thanksgiving reads:
The Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Recipes We’re Obsessing Over

8 Thanksgiving Staples and Their Healthy Alternatives
10 Fresh and Colorful Ideas for Your Thanksgiving Table