How should guests dress for the party?
How do I determine the parameters for my budget?
How many guests is the right amount?
Size & Accommodations
Cocktail parties are meant to be intimate and should be confined, if possible, to one room. For the party to take life there should be a minimum of 12 people, anything less is just a gathering and may be awkward if the guests don’t know each other. At 12 or more guests there is enough activity and conversation that individuals feel comfortable and safe. If you have a room large enough, you may invite up to 30 people. Beyond 30, it becomes difficult to adequately connect with all of your guests, and you should consider a longer full-scale party.A room filled at or beyond capacity is the perfect setting to encourage mingling and conversation. Consider arranging the space to accommodate a smaller group at first with the ability to expand the area as more guests arrive. For example, start out with the bar or furniture further into the room and pull back if needed.Sitting is counterproductive to mingling; therefore, it is critical that you arrange the room and furniture to discourage anyone from even thinking about sitting down.
Close Size & Accommodations
How much preparation time do I need?
Preparation TimeCocktail parties deliver the biggest bang for your investment of time, but you still want to plan for that last minute crunch. In choosing a date and time, consider how much preparation time you will have the day before and day of your cocktail party. Much of the preparation for the party can be done in the time leading up to the day before your party, including:
The day before the party you will need to:
The day of the party, you will need to allow time to:
Weekdays, especially Fridays, are fine for cocktail parties and most of your invitees will be able to attend, but consider how much time you will have for the last-minute preparation. If you work, it may be less stressful to take the day or afternoon off. If you have the whole day to prepare, some of the day before tasks above can be done on the day of the party. With practice, you will soon get a feel for how much time you need to host any kind of party; this is great experience for being able to throw an impromptu gathering for any number of guests.
Close Preparation Time
When is the best date and time to have my cocktail party?