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How to Host a Simple Cocktail Party

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

Q: How can I beautify a simple cocktail party?

A: I love cocktail parties! They are an easy way to entertain. If friends are coming over for a glass of wine before you go to a restaurant, there is not much to do. Put out some nuts out along with grapes, cheese, and crackers. Add a dip that goes well with saltines. That is all I would do. If your cocktail party IS the event, then you need to offer some hors d’oeuvres. To keep it simple, I would choose some flowers that are in season and make my own arrangement (or have it made). I then choose a color(s) from that arrangement for my color theme. Blue and white hydrangeas? I would purchase blue and white cocktail napkins. I might pull in a few blue and white knick-knacks from around the house to set up my food table. Have several floral arrangements around the house to tie in your colors.

Food: Bite-sized pieces that do not require any utensils are best. Being able to plop that cracker in your mouth without having to bite into the middle is usually recommended. By keeping things simple, guests can use their fingers to pick up the food or provide tongs next to the platter. Make your table more pleasing by elevating different areas. Items in the back should be the highest. Or create your best display a little taller and put it in the middle of the table with lower displays surrounding it. I use everything to create elevation: old books, baskets, cake stands. You do not need fancy items for a pretty table. Bottom line: keep it simple!


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