Life is meant to be celebrated. Whether you’re celebrating another birthday or looking to introduce a new friend to your social circle, a cocktail party is a great way to enjoy an intimate group of people. Plus, as you get older, it’s harder to meet new people and connect. A cocktail party is a great way to connect and foster community. If you’ve never hosted a cocktail party before, know that it isn’t an elaborate endeavor. However, when you pay attention to the details in this guide, you’ll ensure that everything goes as smoothly as it can.
1. Send Out Great Invitations
There are two ways to approach invitations. It’s always nice to receive snail mail. For many people, everything is digital so snail mail isn’t expected. However, when you can send it, people usually appreciate it. The only problem with physical invitations is that people don’t always mail them back or RSVP. You might have to chase a few people down with this option.
Alternatively, you can opt to send an email or text message with a digital invitation. Those invitations are quick and easy. You’ll be able to see if a person received their invitation. You’ll also be able to see if they have questions. If they have photos to share once the event is over, they can also share those photos in the invitation photo album. A lot of digital invitation companies have this feature.
2. Provide Appetizers and Great Drinks
Appetizers and excellent drinks are the most essential components of a cocktail party. You don’t usually eat a large meal at a cocktail party. Instead, cute appetizers such as spanakopita, jalapeno poppers, and spinach artichoke dip are some of the best options to consider. When your guests opt to RSVP, ask them about any dietary restrictions. Cocktails are mandatory because they’re in the name of the event. Whether you make the cocktails in advance or hire a bartender to manage the station, get an array of alcoholic beverages. Typically, expect each person to consume at least three drinks. It’s also nice to have a themed drink for the night. A spicy pineapple cocktail can stand out as the main drink for a cocktail drink that’s held in the summer months. Be sure to keep bottled water on hand for anyone who needs it.
3. Be Ready to Mix and Mingle
When you’re hosting a party, it’s your job to introduce everyone. It’s also your job to create a good guest list. Think about the personalities of the people you’ve invited. Know who will potentially get along with others well. You don’t want to foster an environment with people who are argumentative or inappropriately delve deeply into taboo topics (religion, politics, etc) without reading the room. Use your better judgment to invite the right group of people. Once everyone is in the room, be sure to introduce and connect everyone. You never know what a simple introduction can do to break the ice.
4. Keep Transportation Options on Stand-By
While it’s rude to get drunk at a cocktail party, someone might be too drunk to drive. Everyone has a different tolerance for alcohol. You’d never want someone to drive drunk and get in an accident on the way home. Even though you wouldn’t be legally responsible, you still want to do all you can to protect your guests. Therefore, keep a few driving service apps on your phone. Encourage your guests to use a driving service to come to the party if they already know they plan to enjoy a few extra drinks. You can also offer to send them home in cabs to ensure full protection.
5. Foster Light Entertainment
At a cocktail party, the main goal is to get people to connect. The music isn’t intensely loud for people to dance like they would at a nightclub. While a DJ might be nice, it’s not mandatory. Instead, you can keep it simple by creating a really fun playlist of music that’s connected to your streaming music platform of choice. If you have a certain theme for the night, you can play the music that falls in line with that theme for some added flair.
As you work to create the most memorable night for your friends, you might meet some new people of your own. If you’ve allowed people to bring a plus one, that’s a great way to add new people, make new friends and broaden your circle. If things don’t go as smoothly as you would’ve liked, don’t give up. When it comes to being the host of a party, practice makes perfect. This means the more parties you throw, the better you’ll become. Just be sure to take note of what didn’t go well, and make the adjustments next time.