Thursday, January 8, 2015

Tips and Trends: Happy Birthday Cocktail Party

Today is my birthday!! I'm probably the only person I know who actually still LIKES getting older, possibly because my dad always told me that a woman's best years start when she is 35 and keep getting better from then on. To celebrate this year's birthday, I'm having a classy cocktail party with my friends. I LOVE throwing cocktail parties because they are easy to pull off well, don't require a huge amount of effort, and everyone always has a good time. Here are my tips for throwing the perfect birthday cocktail party for yourself, or a friend!

Cocktail Party Food

For party food I love simple Hors d'Oeuvres that can be picked up and eaten with one hand. Start with an amazing cheese, meat and cracker tray. Pick three to four different cheeses with a variety of textures: creamy brie, chewy gouda, firm gruyere and crumbly feta. Pair the cheese with a sampling of crackers, and tasty meat rolls. 

Slice and arrange fruits and vegetables for a healthy, colorful platter.  This gives a healthy option for guests to snack on. Choose two to three hot Hors d'Oeuvres and have a friend pass them out during that party. You can make or buy these depending on how much time you have. For the busy working girl, Trader Joe's has a huge selection of tasty bite size foods that can be made in the oven in just a few minutes. 

Finish out your spread with lots of delicious sweets for guests to enjoy. A great idea is to choose a selection of cookies, chocolates, sweet dates, sugared nuts and mints for party goers to nibble on throughout the night.

Cocktail Party Drinks

For drinks, keep it simple with a selection of red and white wine, a craft beer and one signature cocktail for guests to enjoy. Make sure to also stock up on non-alcoholic options for friends who may not drink, and any younger guests. Place food and drinks in different places around your house or apartment to allow guests to flow around the house and not all congregate in the kitchen or dining room.

Cocktail Party Decor

I love simple and elegant decor for a cocktail party. Use different types of dishes for the food: glass, china or silver, and use different shaped dishes: small bowls, platters and elevated plates. This creates a unique and elegant look that does not appear too matching. Choose a simple color scheme for the table colorings, and have fresh flowers on each table. I also love using lots of candles to create a soft and warm ambiance throughout. Small touches like decorative napkins, striped paper straws, and a colorful cocktail glasses will make your party perfect. 

Cocktail Party Attire 

Cocktail party attire can sometimes be difficult to figure out and varies on the time and theme of the party you are attending. In general, an evening cocktail party will be more formal than a daytime event. Choose a knee or tea length dress that is elegant and appropriate for a variety of occasions. A little black dress, like the one I wore, is always a safe choice and can be dressed up with jewelry and an elegant clutch. 

Knowing how to throw the perfect cocktail party is a must for every polished working girl. Whether you are hosting a birthday, event for charity or a holiday party, these tips will help you throw a party everyone will remember. 

Leave your comments or questions below - tell me your favorite cocktail party tips!

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