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Cocktail Event Planning
Cocktail Party Planning
The Party Layout
Planning A Birthday Party
Get This Party Started
Lighting & Aroma
Disaster Planning TIps
Choosing A Theme
Cocktail Party Checklist
Setting Up A Bar
Party Shopping Lists
Cocktail Party Planning Guide: The Guest List & Invitation
Cocktail party invitations should be
sent out 2 weeks ahead
of time for the best attendance. If you don’t have contact information, be sure to allow an
additional week to gather addresses
and prepare the invitation.
The Guest List
Cocktail parties tend to have better than the standard two-thirds turnout, therefore
expect at least 75%
of those invited to attend.
Begin by making a list, in order
, of everyone you would like
to invite. If you have a guest of honor, you should add any of their close friends and focus on friends that know the honoree.
Your party should look something like this:
No negative Nancys
of singles and couples
In addition to your close friends, include
fun, interesting people
and keep the party lively. You may wish to add an ego stroke by making a couple of
personal phone calls
near the party date to
assure their attendance
Good guests that add to the party, make you look good. Be sure to do the same when you are the party guest and you will gain a position at the top of everyone’s invite list.
Draw a heavy, dark line
through anyone’s name that is
, or just always seems to
see the bad
side of things.
It only takes one
to spoil the lovely ambiance and festive spirit you have worked so hard to create.
Just as no one wants to get stuck talking to someone that brings them down, eliminate or at least
minimize the bores
Keep in mind that the secret to fantastic parties are (good) surprises, so be sure to invite a
mix of people
do and don’t know each other
Quality is key
Don’t be shy about inviting
acquaintances or individuals you don’t know well
, it will only make you look good in their eyes. Your own cocktail party is a great opportunity for you to
make new friends too
You may also consider individual guests that have things in common or
similar interests with other potential invitees
. Your objective is, of course, to provide the environment that everyone has a marvelous time.
Take into account any
major rifts or conflicts
between any two people
only if it will cause problems
at your party.
Otherwise, don’t worry
about sorting through your guest list for drama; someone that can’t behave politely as a visitor in your home should be permanently removed from the guest list (and maybe your life).
Cocktail parties are
not appropriate for children
, under any circumstances. If someone is rude enough to show up with kids in tow, let them know that it would not be appropriate or considerate to the other guests for their children to be present.
Once you have a prioritized list of potential invitees,
adjust the list to your desired size
, assuming at least 75% of the invitees will attend.
In today’s society, it is
totally acceptable to send party invitations via email
; however mailed invitations are the preferred method for formal affairs.
You may also consider mailed invitations if your party’s purpose is particularly commemorative, such as a 50th wedding anniversary. Otherwise, the extra zing delivered by
mailing is not worth all of the additional time, fuss, and expense
is an excellent
site for inviting your guests via email. In addition to a
of invitations and the ability to
design your own
, Evite provides several
emailing invitations significantly better
than snail mail. Specifically:
to the invitation
change their RSVPs
The host can see if and
when an invitee has viewed the invitation
You can store and
maintain your database of email addresses
on the site
send out reminders
before the party to each invitee
You can, optionally, allow the invitees to
see everyone else’s name
, RSVP, and comments
Furthermore, the first strong impression of your Evite invitation will
in anticipation of a well-coordinated theme party.
also offers an “Event” option to invite guests and handle RSVPs. You may wish to send out a
to keep the event and details in front of your invitees.
However, Facebook is
as your primary invitation because 1) of the large number of
generic and group invites
people receive, and 2) the event option is
text-based with a photo
reflect the level of fabulousness
that your party will be.
Assuming you have accumulated the information in Getting Started and Choosing A Theme, begin the process of
gathering email addresses
Identify all of the email addresses that you need, then identify the
other invitees that are likely to have the addresses you need
. This way you may only have to call a few other invitees to get all of the email addresses that you are lacking.
Obviously, do not contact someone that will not be invited to get someone’s address that will.
Contact everyone necessary
by email or phone; leave a message with your request if you reach voicemail. Once completed,
begin choosing or designing your invitation
while you wait for return emails and phone calls.
From this point on,
always collect an email address from new people
you meet. Designate a specific place to put them, and you will have them next time you sit down to plan a party!
Putting Together the Invite
Enter the first and last name along with the email address into Evite to ensure that the invitee names display properly on the guest list.
Choose an invitation
consistent with your theme and “cocktail party”. Use the invitation text and/or title to
identify any special purpose
, such as a birthday or anniversary.
“design your own”
option lets you choose each component to use, and is a great solution for
color themed parties
. You simply select the background, text color, and graphics to display. If you are particularly ambitious, you can upload your own graphics to be used.
to the basics about the party, if applicable, include:
how to get in
to the party
Evite will provide a link to Google maps on the invitation, but be sure to verify that it is correct.
Once you have prepared the invitation, take the plunge and
invite your guests
, you have plenty of time to
work out the rest of the details once the invitations have been sent
A week before
call everyone that has not viewed the invitation
, in case they never received the email. Evite shows you the last time each invitee has viewed the invitation or if they have seen it at all.
To create a party atmosphere from the moment the first guest walks in,
arrange for a few
of your close friends
to get to the party early
guests show up
on time and
the party is already going
, people will quickly learn to be on time to your parties.
that gets a special invite to arrive early
will feel like VIPs
. Contact your key friends
a few days before the party
and have their cocktails ready when they arrive.
Now is time to start planning all the fun details, starting with
the party layout