A serving tray may feel like an overly fussy item to invest in. No, it's not a necessity, and yes, your guests can just come grab their drinks from the table. But, even if you only host a party once or twice a year, you may want to reconsider. Besides the obvious functional aspect, a well-designed tray is versatile, compact, easy to store, and — poof! — instantly makes your cocktails and hors d'oeuvres look that much more appetizing. Not sure where to look for one? We've handpicked 12.
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Refined and reasonably priced, this tray's metallic edge and mirrored base impart an air of glamour (without a trace of gaudiness).
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The tiny dots on this egg-shaped porcelain tray remind us of confetti — use it for serving snacks and celebratory drinks on New Year's or your bestie's birthday.
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We love this hexagonal tray in calming gray — use it on its own, or in combination with its variously sized counterparts to form layered, multicolored shapes.
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A closer look at this bamboo tray by Alessi reveals that its handles are actually tiny rooftops — an appropriate detail given its name, which translates from Italian as "four walls and two houses."
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The top of this slender table separates to become a stand-alone wooden tray; when drinks become too heavy, let its collapsible metal stand relieve you.
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These handsome trays were made from old pine shipping pallets, which means that no two are exactly alike.
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The engravings on this antique Moroccan tray are so striking, you may be tempted to keep it clear of dishes so as not to cover them up. (But it'll also make a great accent piece even when the party's over.)
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This brilliantly patterned platter adds an element of play to any party — its vivid blues and greens evoke summer at the beach.
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Ideal for the design-savvy, Kartell's Dune tray — with a surface meant to resemble sand — defies description (except to say that it's truly dazzling).