While many cocktail parties are casual affairs, there are times when it makes sense to make the occasion more elegant. After letting the guests know in advance what type of attire is appropriate, begin making the preparations for the event. Here are some ideas that will ensure the ambiance at the party is what the host has in mind.
Since the party will be a more formal affair, that means bringing out the best of everything. Choose a dining table cover that is of the finest material. If there is a chandelier in the dining room, experiment with the settings to ensure it gives off the desired amount of light. Remember that candles placed in strategic locations around the room will add softness and warmth to the space.
An elegant cocktail party means keeping the paper plates and napkins in the pantry. Go with cloth napkins and some type of china for the plates. Since the plates do need to be smaller, go with clear glass. In a pinch and depending on the number of guests, it may be possible to use the bread and butter plates from the fine china set.
Matching utensils for serving is also a must. The finish and the design must be the same for all pieces. If one utensil is gold and has the initial of the host as part of the design, all the utensils must sport the same.
For a more formal touch, arrange for a bartender to be on hand. Arrange the bar in an area where it’s easy for guests to come over, order a drink, and then get back to mingling with ease. Have at least nine liquors on hand, plenty of mixers, and a nice selection of wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages on hand. The bar should also be stocked with everything from martini glasses to brandy snifters.
While casual is great, hosting a more uptown cocktail party gives people the chance to dress up and enjoy something a little out of the ordinary. With a little extra attention to detail, the party will be a huge success and set the standard for future events.