Top Tips for Hosting the Perfect Cocktail Party

Top Tips for Hosting the Perfect Cocktail Party

Cocktail parties are a great way to celebrate a special occasion, reconnect and catch up with friends or network and make business connections. Less formal than a dinner event, cocktail parties are a relaxed and fun affair with flowing drinks and fancy finger food, perfect for celebrations at any time of year. At Barlens, we have everything you need to create a killer cocktail event. From shakers and stirrers to trays and table hire, if you want to throw a memorable event our team are here to help. Hosting a cocktail party can take a bit of work and planning so we have put together a few tips to help you host an amazing cocktail party.

Classic Cocktail Party Catering

While a cocktail party is all about the beverages, it’s important to provide food, and enough of it, when alcohol is being served. Start the night with simple nibbles and introduce more gourmet finger food and canapes as the night progresses. This allows guests to nibble consistently throughout the night and ensure they don’t go hungry. Don’t forget to cater for special diets by providing some vegetarian, vegan or gluten free options and try to resist serving anything that’s too messy (like ribs or wings), or where a plate is required. How much food do you need? If you’re catering for a three-hour event, you should aim to serve between 10-12 finger food pieces or canapes per person.

It's All About the Party Drinks

You don’t need to have a fully stocked bar to host a fabulous cocktail party, however as the primary purpose of your cocktail party is to let your guests socialise, keep it simple with a few signature or easy cocktails, red and white wine, sparkling wine, beer and some non-alcoholic drinks options for the non-drinkers or those who are driving. Upon arrival of your guests, greet them at the entrance with the offer of a drink. This will make them feel welcome and allow them mingle straight away without needing to hunt for drink when they first arrive.

Seating and Tables Are Necessary

Seating is a must at any event, especially ones that last 3 hours or longer. For a cocktail event, you should aim to have seating for half of your guests. Everyone will want to sit at some point, whether it’s to rest sore feet or have a bite to eat so any less and guests will be scrambling for a seat. Having more than 50% will look like you miss counted and the space might look too cluttered with chairs. It’s also important to mix it up and have a lounge area with bigger comfy couches, some cocktail tables with bar stools and the a few round tables to allow for the comfort and mobility of everyone. Be practical about the placement of small tables to avoid crowding. Tables should allow guests a spot to socialise and perch their drinks, they shouldn’t get in the way of guests being able to move around.

Simple and Stylish Décor and Entertainment

Scatter elegant vases of fresh flowers or simple decorations throughout the entertaining space.

Create a warm and inviting ambiance with dappled, indirect lighting and keep it dim. The aim is to have just enough light for your guests to be able to see each other and make their way around.

You don’t need to go all out with entertainment for a cocktail party either. Instead, keep it simple with smooth music that’s conducive for conversations, or get someone to sing live.

If you are planning a cocktail party and want to make sure it’s a fun and memorable occasion, enlist the help of the experienced team at Barlens today. For everything you need to create a stylish and sophisticated event, get in touch with us on (02) 6206 2020 or (02) 6043 0605 and let us handle all your event hire needs from start to finish - table hire, decorations, theming and styling, catering equipment hire and more. With over 50 years’ experience, we can help make your next cocktail party a roaring success.

Barlens Canberra
67 Gladstone St, Fyshwick ACT 2609
T 02 6206 2020

Barlens Albury
234 Kiewa Street, South Albury NSW 2640
T 02 6043 0605