Set the tone for your guests by sending out a physical invite It's a visual indicator of what your soiree is going to be like.
Set an rsvp date (at least two weeks out from event)
Indicate the attire and any special requests
Indicate what guests will expect for food (e.g. lite bites, hor d'oeuvres, buffet, dinner, desserts, etc.)
Send out an Evite save-the-date 4 -6 weeks out. This is also a good chance to get physical addresses if you don’t have them.
Think about your guest’s dietary needs when planning out the menu
Make sure you offer food options for everyone (e.g. vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free options)
Make menu cards for your food that highlight the ingredients. Not only are they a nice added touch, but they can help avoid situations where people are allergic to certain foods like peanuts, shellfish, or mangos.
Offer non-alcoholic options (e.g. punch, flavored water, a mocktail)
Good rule of thumb for a cocktail party is 1 or 2 signature drinks, beer & wine
Offer a self-serve punch so that you bar doesn't get backed up
Welcome guests with a cocktailSet the tone as they enter and remember to play off your theme.
Enlist help so that you can spend quality time with your guests
Hire someone to help with things like greeting guests, taking coats, bussing tables, replenishing food/ice.
Hire or designate someone to take photos throughout the night (how many times have you had a party and never a got a chance to capture any pics 😩).
Think about having a bartender is it's a cocktail focused party.
Think about entertainment that relates to your event's mood or theme.
DJ's are great if you are looking to set the tempo and play to the vibe of the room
A low cost option is curating your own playlist (be sure to make it long enough for the duration of your party).
Live music is a great options (e.g. carolers, pianist,)
Don't be afraid to think outside the box (Does Santa make a midnight appearance at your cocktail party dispersing adult beverages to guests?)
Send your guests home with a keepsake or favorLeave them with something to remember like personalized shot glasses, champagne flutes, homemade cookies, or candy grab bags.