A cocktail party can be a great atmosphere to mingle with friends or get to know coworkers a little better. They’re fairly easy to plan and less expensive than an extravagant party! To help you plan a perfect cocktail party, and allow you to have as much fun as your guests, we’ve put together a full-proof guide for your flawless evening.
First, it is always important to decide on the theme of any type of event. From casual to costume, you want to distinguish what kind of evening it will be. For example, if you are trying to get to know your coworkers a little better, you may ask them to wear their favorite color!
Let’s be honest, what gets people out of the house to come to parties is often the food and drinks that are served. This is an essential part of the evening and should have extra consideration when planning.
You should start with considering what season it is and what types of food your guests will be craving. When deciding on your menu, don’t be afraid to mix it up and try something new! If you serve between 5-7 hors d’oeuvres and your experiment isn’t a hit, your guests will still have options. Keep your guests intrigued and ensure your menu has a variety of flavors, textures, and temperatures! A popular dish we’ve seen at events is soup served in a shot glass, it’s easy and creative!
When planning your menu, don’t get overwhelmed. Keep it manageable and prep in advance so you can let loose with your guests! It’s a great idea to have backups in case your menu is a huge hit or an unexpected guest arrives. Stock up on foods that are easy to grab from the kitchen and take no preparation such as nuts, chips and dips, and veggie platters.
On to the drinks! Depending on the size of your party and the amount of drinks you will be serving, it is a good idea to plan on about 2-3 glasses per guest. If you are lacking in that department, you can always rent glassware from FLEXX! Miniature water bottles are also a great idea to reduce glassware and ensure your guests stay hydrated.
Having a nice variety of wine and beer is always a good idea for a cocktail party. What can set your evening apart from others is creativity and uniqueness. If you aren’t’ the best bartender, try searching online for fun and easy drink recipes. Feature 2-3 creative cocktails for guests to try that are tasty and fun! Hint: do a trial run and make sure they are delicious my before you use your guests as guinea pigs. Make sure you have a well-stocked bar of the essentials for guests who like to stick to their regular drink of choice.
It can be tricky deciding on how much food to make and how much alcohol to buy. A good rule of thumb is 2-3 hors d’oeuvres of each item on your menu per person and about 2 drinks per guest in the first hour and 1 drink each hour after that. You never want to run out of food or drinks at a party, so pay extra consideration to this rule of thumb and plan accordingly!
In order to correctly plan on how much food and drinks you will need, it is important to have your guests RSVP. If your party has a theme, consider sending out creative invitations to guests and notify them of what type of evening it will be. If you’re on a budget, email and phone work just fine! You can spruce up the email invite by including a photo of yourself, or a teaser of an appetizer you will be serving! Make sure your guests have all the important info of your cocktail party – date, time, location, dress code, and end time if you have one.
To set the mood of your party, you should decide on what type of lighting, decorations, and music you will have. If you’re throwing the party at home, arrange your furniture so guests can easily move throughout the room and mingle. Have a designated area for food and drinks that is easily accessible but not in the way. To reinforce the theme of your party, chose appropriate music and stock up on unique cocktail napkins!
The downside of any party is the aftermath. In order to reduce cleaning afterwards, have easy to access garbage cans placed throughout the party so guests don’t leave their cocktail napkins all over your home. Also, make sure your bathrooms are equipped with all of the essentials!
Now that you have all you need for your perfect evening, get planning! Keep in mind that we are experts here at FLEXX and if you need any rental products to make your party unique we are sure to have them!