Hosting a Cocktail Party

The Setting:  Placement might be one of the most important aspects of hosting a cocktail party.  You will need to survey your area whether that is your home or venue and make sure that there is accessible room for people to mill around.  Wherever you decide to put the bar needs to be a place with plenty of space and flow as this is where many people will congregate toward the beginning of the event.  If there is not an entrance and exit flow toward the bar it will likely get congested. 

Early Preparation:  It never hurts to be prepared.  The day before your event, set up all of the decoration and seating that you can.  You can also set up your bar and put out all of the non-perishables like nuts, chips, spirits, glasses, utensils, etc…  You may want to get all of the perishable’s like flowers, dips, and hors d’oeuvres ready the night before and just keep them in a cool/refrigerated place (depending on what it is).

Cocktails:  If you are going to hire a bartender your night will be a lot smoother.  If you don’t want to hire a bartender there are still come things you can do to make the night go off without a hitch.  You can choose to serve just one drink or one style that only requires a few ingredients.  You can pick the drink based on the season or theme of the party.  Having your friends’ input will help in the decision making process and give you an idea about what your guests will actually want.
-for a really fun event, consider hiring flair bartenders.

Day of:  On the day of the event make all of the final touches to seating, spacing, and snacks/drinks.  Set your thermostat a few degrees lower than what you would normally like, assuming it is inside.  There will be lots of bodies in the room later so it will heat up and you don’t want it getting stuffy.  You may also want to replace your lighting with lower watt bulbs or get cute covering for them to create a better ambiance.  

Get more event advice, tips, and tricks here.


–Nikole Higgins, Communication Director,