Engagement Cocktail Party Ideas

An engagement cocktail party? What could be better! It’s the perfect choice if you’re looking for a simple, fun and elegant affair. It keeps costs low and is one the easiest parties to throw. It doesn’t last long time-wise and you don’t need to feed your guests a complete meal.

And if by chance, you want to rock that Mad Men vibe, you can’t do any better than a cocktail party.

Pink envelopes tied with a ribbon on a desktop with a cup of tea and cookies

All you really need to do is set up a bar, hire a bartender or designate a family member or friend to play the part. Have them dress in black pants and a white shirt with a black bow tie. They need to look like a pro.

Cocktail parties are great outdoors or indoors. If you do end up 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.

Antique desk decorated and used as a garden bar

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. Think of ideas and furniture that will transform your backyard into a fun and surprising party space.

Engagement Cocktail Party Invitations

All successful party themes and ideas start with an invitation and a cocktail party is no different. Invitations set 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 as party invitation

Think outside the box and come up with creative ideas for invitations. For an informal backyard cocktail party, use a flower as your invite with a simple tag that lays out the details.  Add that extra special touch by tying-in your invitation to some aspect of the party.

Engagement Party Cocktails

Mix classic cocktails like martinis, scotch and soda, gin and tonics.  Make sure you have lighter beverages too, like wine and beer and always provide non-alcoholic options.

Quantity-wise use the following as a guide: If you’re only serving a mixed punch, sangria, or pre-mixed cocktails, you’ll need about a gallon 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. Most of us have an idea if our guests are big drinkers so keep that in mind when doing your calculation.

Another thing to remember is that this is a cocktail party and not a full night affair so even the heaviest drinkers won’t consume that much.

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

Colored glasses, martini glasses, cocktails and fruit slices

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!

Engagement Cocktail Party 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.

Platter of open-faced sliders with pickles and decorative party pick

Each guest will likely eat between 4 to 6 hors d’oeuvres an hour (hot or complex bites like sliders) plus half of that for cold simpler foods like a carrot stick or cube of cheese.  

Depending on your food mix, go with 8-10 pieces combined per hour.  Multiply that by the number of hours you expect the party to run for, and then the number of guests. This will give you a good idea of your food requirements.

Red and black monogrammed cocktail napkinsUse 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 at right) are a great inexpensive idea and add another special touch!

Engagement cocktail Parties: 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 around a few more choices on small trays.

If your room is large and the place may look a little empty, scatter small tables throughout the space 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.

Wood side table with platters of canapes, flowers and 2 glasses of champagne

Make sure you refresh your trays and platters throughout the party. Add special touches, like a flower to each tray for 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.

Engagement Cocktail Party “Loot Bag” Gift

Water bottel with personalized labels

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 — an engagement cocktail party is a terrific way of starting the couple on their celebration path.

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