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Cocktail Party Ideas For Your Engagement

Cocktail party ideas: Some things never go out of style!

bartender pouring champagne

Perfect for a simple, fun and elegant affair. It will keep costs low, is easier than most other party ideas because of the limited time and menu that fit perfectly with a cocktail theme.

Set up a bar, hire a bartender or designate a family member or friend. Have them dress in black pants and a white shirt with a black bow tie. They need to look the part.

Cocktail parties are great outdoors or indoors. If you do it outside, move out some good pieces of furniture to dress up your yard for the event. You can even use one of the pieces as your bar.

Desk used for bar and display

Be creative, if the furniture has drawers, open them up and use them for flowers, to display pictures or your bar menu.

Take inventory of what you have inside the house that will work for you and think of ideas that will transform your backyard into a fun party space.


All successful party themes and ideas start with an invitation. It sets the tone and tells your guests what to expect. Choose fun invitations for a more casual party and more formal ones for elegant affairs.

daisy with tag

You can also think outside the box and come up with creative ideas for invitations. For an informal outdoor cocktail party, use a flower as your invite with a simple tag that lays out the details.

The Cocktails

Mix classic cocktails such as martinis, scotch and soda, gin and tonics, and make sure you have lighter beverages too, like wine and beer.

Quantity-wise use the following as a guide: If you're only serving a mixed punch, think about having a gallon of punch for every 10 guests. A bottle of wine will serve about 5 guests, while a large bottle of hard liquor will make about 25 drinks.

Don't forget drink decorations! Fresh fruit, little paper umbrellas, colorful straws, stir sticks etc... add to the celebration and are just plain fun.

Our favorite party supplier (visit them here to get Free Shipping) has some great cocktail accessories that are sure to please. They're inexpensive and add that special touch!

martini glass with cherrycolorful party drinks with fruit picksdecorated cocktail

Design and print a cocktail menu, perhaps a signature drink in honor of the future bride and groom, and place it on the bar.

Food & Fun

Cocktail party food is fun. Finger-food, canapes, appetizers... whatever you want to make is fine as long as they are easy to pick up and eat in one bite AND with one hand. It makes it easier on your guests since they'll be holding a drink in the other.

Each guest will likely eat between 4 to 6 hors d'oeuvres an hour so multiply that by the number of hours you expect the party to run for, and then the number of guests and you will have a good idea of your food requirements.

finger food and canapesolives with pickscocktail napkins with save-the-date on them

Use party picks whenever possible, they prevent "double dipping". They also cut down on clean up since you won't have any cutlery to wash. Finally, personalized cocktail napkins (like the one's above from beau-coup) are a great inexpensive idea and add that special touch!

Setting The Scene

When having the party at home, clear the room of excess furniture. If you have enough guests to fill the room, place several platters of appetizers on a buffet or dining table in one area, and then pass a few more choices on small trays.

Small table with flowers

If your room is large and the place may look a little empty, scatter small tables throughout with different nibblies on each.

By doing so, you will create a good flow and guests will move around the room to check out what's available.

Make sure you refresh your trays and platters, and add a flower to each one, to add a pop of color. It also helps visually unify all the trays.

Flowers are an inexpensive way of creating a festive mood and party atmosphere. Make sure you read our tips on buying wholesale party flowers along with some great decoration ideas.

Guest Thank You Gifts

plastic water bottle with personalized label

Send your guests home with customized and personalized water bottles like these from beau-coup. They have a ton of different styles and you can buy just the labels or the bottles with the labels already on them.

You can also serve them at the party too. They make a great keepsake of the night, and a practical take-away if your guests had a few too many. 

Stirred, shaken, or on the rocks -- this is a terrific party to start the couple on their celebration path.

Want more? Check out our party theme ideas and how to apply color and themes to your party decorations.

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