5 Tips and Tricks for Easier Cocktail Party Planning

Organising cocktail parties is rarely ever easy. For those who are not used to hosting parties and events, it might be challenging to figure out where to start. One thing that event organisers and catering companies will tell you is that it’s all in the planning. As the adage goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  

To that end, we’ve created this guide to planning the best cocktail party. If you want your guests to walk away with positive memories of your hosting skills, read on. 

1. Consider the timing

Cocktail parties do not usually include dinner, so it is important to start the event a little bit later than that. Catering companies recommend starting around 7 p.m. and expecting the event to run for about three hours. Ideally, cocktails parties are best on a Friday or Saturday to ensure that nobody has to work the next day; this essentially means that the likelihood of attendance is much higher. 

2. Take into account the needs of your guests

Is your guest list made up of energetic youths? Young professionals? Seasoned adults with full schedules? Senior citizens with limited energy? Considering your audience is an important part of the planning, as people of different generations will generally enjoy different things. Speak to your catering company about the menu to make sure all your guests enjoy it.  

You might also want to start earlier if you are planning on hosting for senior citizens. 

3. Remember the attire conventions

Cocktail parties are known for their simple, yet elegant dress code. In fact, that is often the appeal for it. As such, the following outfits are recommended: 

  • Dress pants and a nice shirt 
  • A suit or blazer 
  • Dress shoes 
  • A little black dress 
  • Cocktail dresses 
  • A skirt and blouse 
  • A pantsuit 
  • Heels or classy flats 

Ties are optional unless specified, and tuxedos would be overdressing. As cocktail parties are usually spent standing up, it might be best to wear comfortable shoes rather than new ones that still need breaking in. 

4. Prepare the invitations

The invitation is actually where the party begins. Your invitation should be impactful as a first impression. While the digital age has made it possible to send e-vites, if your cocktail party is a little more formal, it might be better to mail your invitations in. This is where you can get creative; it is not unheard of for invitations to be set in glass bottles, boxes, and so on. 

Whatever form your invitations might take, don’t forget to include the following information: 

  • RSVP information 
  • The dress code 
  • The time and venue 
  • Parking and transportation information, if necessary 
  • A request for special dietary needs.

5. Hire a catering company

One of the best ways to make the planning process easier and faster is by hiring someone else to handle the food, which is especially important if you’re planning a large party. Instead of slaving all day over a kitchen only to end up at the party tired and dishevelled, leave that work to another instead. With fewer concerns weighing you down, you might just have a recipe for enjoying your next big cocktail party.  

Final thoughts 

Organising events is not an easy endeavour, but with the right level of planning, you could make it through the event with few obstacles. The better your planning, the smoother it can go. Your guests could leave your cocktail party with it sitting nicely in their memories for a long time.  

If you’re in need of a catering company in Balgowlah to provide the food at your next event, send us at Gourmet Tarts Catering a message. We have a wide range of menus to suit your special occasion.