Hosting a Cocktail Party Successfully

According to people experienced in hosting parties and those who work as event planners, pre-planning is the secret to producing a memorable party. There are different types of parties, and one party that is fun to mount is a cocktail party.

Preparing the party

Experts suggest that the host should at least allocate three beverages for each guest. Likewise, there should be a variety of light snacks, finger foods, and in some instances, heavy hors d’oeuvres. But the primary focus of a cocktail party is on the drinks, the music, and the conversation. Today, more people are opting to hire a party or event planner to mount the party, so they can choose from a range of cocktail party ideas, leave the planning to the experts, and have more time to enjoy the event.

There are more things to consider with a cocktail party because it does not include serving a full dinner.

Timing is essential 

Since you are not serving dinner, the best time to have the party is just a little after dinner. If you have it in the evening, the ideal time is around 7 PM. The best length for the party is two to three hours, so you can expect that party to end at around 9 PM or 10 PM. Schedule it on a Friday after work or on Saturday, so the guests do not have to work the following day.

Dress code

It’s essential to indicate the dress code in your cocktail party invitation. Typically, the guests wear simple yet elegant clothing for this type of party, although you can specify what your guests should wear, depending on the occasion.

Your invitations

If the cocktail party is formal, the usual practice is to send by mail. Otherwise, if your party is a little less formal, e-vites are acceptable. The invitation should include an RSVP, the dress code, event details, and how to get to the venue, parking, and transportation information.

Party drinks

It’s a cocktail party so you should serve delicious drinks. Staple drinks include a selection of liqueurs and spirits, such as scotch, bourbon, rum, blended whiskey, vodka, and gin. You should also have signature cocktails, white and red wine, assorted beer (dark, light and craft), and juice and soft drinks for non-drinkers.

Party food

It’s vital to serve food since you are serving alcohol. You can start with light nibbles such as peanuts, olives, and cheese. As the night progresses, introduce canapés and gourmet finger foods. It’s important to have variety, so check with your caterer. Some delectable fingers foods include seafood, sweets, meats, and vegetables. Cater for special diets as well by serving gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian food.


Keep the decorations simple. You can add an elegant touch by having several vases filled with fresh flowers. Enhance the mood with scented candles and appropriate lighting that is not too bright or too dim. Encourage conversations by arranging the tables within easy reach so that guests can have a place to put down their drinks as they mingle.

Hiring an experienced party planner will ensure that you will never throw a boring cocktail party. With their expertise, you do not have to go through the stressful and time-consuming phase of planning a party on your own. The planner can take care of everything as they have access to various vendors.