With strategic planning, pulling off a sophisticated cocktail party minus the ultra-formal, multi-course dinner is possible. There are many ways to plan a chic party while scaling back the grandeur inherent in traditional receptions. If you are hosting an intimate party for just a handful of friends and family, here are tips that will ramp up the good times while maintaining a more relaxed and cozy atmosphere for everyone.
Pick a venue and decor
A luxurious cocktail party doesn’t always need to be a stately ballroom. You can host a successful one at home or a smaller space, such as a speakeasy, outdoor venue, gallery, or historic house. If you want to save time on coordinating with various suppliers, it may be best to reserve at a restaurant or hotel instead. In this way, you can focus on other crucial tasks such as planning the cocktail party decorations, playlist, and drinks menu.
When we talk about elegant aesthetics, exquisite fresh flower arrangements should be at the top of your priority list. It reflects a level of sophistication that you cannot find in casual, poorly organized parties. Adorn the tables with small but curated flower arrangements that complement the overall theme of your event. You can also hire an expert florist to develop unique flower arrangements that will perfectly match the rest of your decor.
Be clear about the dress code
You are the host, so feel free to decide on the dress code. You can choose to go full-on traditional or mix it up with a theme to make it fun and exciting for your guests. You must specify what guests should wear at your event. Instead of going for identical attires, let them choose their unique style in the color of your choice.
Food and drinks are part of your party decor, so choose wisely
The food and drinks you serve are also elements of your cocktail party design and overall theme. Therefore, it is best to collaborate with your chosen catering company and bartender to achieve aesthetic food and drinks that fit your theme. They can provide you with suggestions on serving your guests, too. Let them know your preferences and discuss how you can incorporate your ideas into the presentation of food and drinks.
It is also essential to manage the guests’ expectations regarding the menu. Whether you are serving a full meal or just the usual combination of hors d’oeuvres and drinks, it should be communicated to your guests. Ideally, you must have at least 12 types of appetisers featuring diverse tastes in rotation. A curated cheese board, oyster bar, or a full-on seafood bar are ideal if you expect a large crowd at your party.
For a more seamless and stress-free cocktail planning experience, hiring a party planner that specializes in organizing high-end parties may be best. In this way, you can take the stress off your shoulders while still ensuring that you and your guests will have a blast at your upcoming cocktail party.