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How to Throw the Ultimate Cocktail Party (Plus What to Wear)

If you’re looking to throw a memorable and classically awesome cocktail party, you’ve come to the right place!

Party planning is always a challenge, especially when tackling a cocktail party. So if you’re trying to decide what to wear to execute the look of your party, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered.

I’ll teach you how to make sure the bar is fully stocked, set up for a fun and inviting atmosphere, what to wear, and make incredible appetizers.

Choose Your Theme

Choosing a theme for your cocktail party is one of your most important decisions — it sets the tone for everything that follows. Whether you want something sophisticated like an Art Deco-inspired soiree or something laid-back like a backyard barbecue, there’s no wrong answer.

If you’re thinking about going big with your theme, consider hiring a professional DJ or band for entertainment instead of relying on friends and family members for music (unless they’re also pros).

You can also hire waitresses/waiters or bartenders from a local catering service if you don’t want to serve yourself or have to deal with the ugly side of excessive cellphone use at your party.

Have a Signature Cocktail

When hosting a party, it’s always nice to have a signature cocktail on hand. This way, if anyone asks what they should get, you can easily direct them to the evening drink. It also helps if your guests want to make the same drink at home so they can enjoy the taste again when they get together with friends.

If you are hosting an afternoon affair, try something light like a gin and tonic or a white wine spritzer and serve them to your guests in common types of cocktail glasses for maximum effect. For an evening event, choose something more festive, like a champagne flute with sparkling wine or a mojito garnished with fresh mint leaves.

Pick Out Your Outfit

You’re going to be the center of attention at your party, so make sure you look good: Wear something that makes you feel confident and beautiful. For example, if you want to wear jeans, don’t pair them with heels — wear flats or sneakers instead. You want to mingle freely with your guests without worrying about stepping on your hem or tripping over your shoelaces.

If you’re pressed for time and have to wear a dress, ensure it has excellent features for a cocktail party dress. You don’t want to feel exposed or uncomfortable as you walk around your home and mingle with friends and family.

Set the Scene

Setting the scene for your party is one of the most important parts of throwing an amazing party! First, ensure you have enough food and drinks for everyone (and don’t forget about non-alcoholic beverages).

Decorations are another great way to set the mood — think balloons, streamers, paper lanterns, and more! Just ensure not to go overboard — an overly decorated house can look tacky if done wrong.

Encourage Mingling

You want to ensure everyone gets a chance to meet each other, but don’t force it — people should feel free to mingle or just hang out with their friends as they please. You can make the party more social by setting up a few activities, like mingling games or a trivia quiz.

Have plenty of seating options — including couches, chairs, and stools — so people can mingle without feeling obligated to stand all evening. 


If you’re planning a cocktail party, keeping the following tips in mind will help you have a blast. Of course, guests don’t always act up to your expectations, so enjoy yourself and don’t take it to heart if everyone decides to order a beer over a Mojito. All will have a good time—don’t stress!

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