Having friends around for drinks is easy, but hosting an elegant and sophisticated cocktail party takes a bit of planning and preparation. So, before you rush out to buy vermouth and cocktail olives, take note of the six essential party planning tips below.
1. Timing is everything
Cocktail parties are all about drinks and fun little snacks – full meals generally aren’t involved. So, it’s important to time your party for either just after lunch or just after dinner. This will give your guests time to enjoy a hearty meal in preparation for an afternoon or evening of classy Cloud Cuckoo cocktails!
2. Always have a dress code
Cocktail parties don’t have to be formal, but you should always provide a dress code for your guests. You can go all-out with tuxedos and cocktail dresses or come up with a fancy dress theme. Take the setting and time of year into account when determining your dress code. For example, if it’ll be a summer lawn party, high heels and restrictive formalwear may be troublesome for your guests.
3. Stock your bar
Regardless of the theme and dress code you choose, a well-stocked bar from cocktail party hire sydney is central to a successful cocktail party. However, you have some options when it comes to stocking your bar. If you have the financial capacity, you may wish to fund the bar yourself. Alternatively, you can collect a buy-in from guests ahead of the party to cover your costs. Do your research when it comes to cocktails, because you need to know the ingredients of the Mai Tai and the Vampire’s Kiss for you to be able to stock them! You need a pad and pen to make a list so that when you head out you don’t forget anything from the liquor to the fruit!
Another great option for more casual events is to structure it like a potluck – you create a list of everything you need, and your guests each bring along their fair share of alcohol, mixers, and other ingredients.
4. Provide party food
Though you won’t be offering a meal at your cocktail party, it is important to provide snacks and finger food for your guests. The first thing to consider is what your guests are able to eat. So, when sending out your invitations, be sure to ask people about their dietary needs and restrictions. From here, you can develop a catering plan based on the theme of your party from Cater 2 You QLD.
If it’s a sophisticated, formal affair, you may wish to bring in a professional catering company. If you’ve gone with a dress-up theme – like Wonderland, for example – use it to inspire the types of food you put out for your guests.
5. Don’t forget to decorate
Even if you already have an elegant home or venue, it’s worth adding some special extra touches. For a simple and elegant cocktail party, this may mean putting out some vases filled with sweet-smelling flowers and lighting candles to create a warm ambience. For a themed cocktail party, you can go all-out, transforming your space into a whole new world to suit your theme.
6. Cover the boring basics
It’s easy to get so caught up in decorating and catering and stocking your bar that you forget about basics like napkins, toothpicks, and cocktail glasses. Generally speaking, you’ll need to ensure you have the following:
- Platters for food
- Toothpicks and napkins
- Tables and chairs for all guests
- Bar tools
- Ice buckets
- Plenty of ice
If it’s a small, intimate gathering, you may wish to provide all these essentials yourself. However, if you’re inviting quite a few people to the cocktail party, it may be worth either having people bring along some glasses and chairs from home or having a catering company take care of these elements.
Follow these tips, and you’ll soon have a smooth and sophisticated cocktail party underway.