Cocktail Parties 101
Creating a mood should be top priority when planning a cocktail party. Festive and colorful always sets the tone for an evening of fun. I want my home to exude creativity and inspire, always, but especially when it’s party time.
Encourage your guests to wear their most girly outfits - men don’t always appreciate our sense of style, but amongst the girls, well, it’s open season! Then, why not set up stations - or vignettes - for girly pastimes. I’ve had makeups artists, jewelry designers and vintage luxury goods vendors (like The Vintage Contessa) set up shop at my parties, to great fanfare.
Games always help break the ice. One of my favorites is pinning an image of an iconic woman on the back of each guest as she arrives. Throughout the evening, each must guess who they are. At the end, I throw all the names in a bowl and have a drawing for a fabulous prize (Hermes Twilly, anyone?) This is a great way to break out the competitive side us girls know and love, and also bond with over some amazing icons.
Boas and sunglasses always help guests initiate conversation with likewise - accessorized guests. Or, suggest a color or inspiration for the dress code. I love white parties but pick your hue. It’s a simplistic, yet wildly fun to rummage through your clothes to find the best-looking outfit in that color. And who knows, you may find some items you forgot you had. A Gatsby party is also a good idea. People love rules and boundaries – go for it.
Feeding the heard?
Passing hors d’oeuvres is great if you have help. But setting up light bites in pretty bowls in the kitchen or living area is always a hit. I like to mix it up - changing the menu from party to party. It keeps things interesting, and unexpected. Always offer variety. We are human beings – we all like something different – so offer food that will hit all bases.
Ha. Bet they didn’t teach you THAT in college! It’s the adulting content we all need for any stage of life. And although minute detail, they are very important in keeping the mood of the party at its peak.