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Ladies, grab your little black dresses! Gentlemen, get out your suit jackets! With spring just around the corner, it’s prime time to throw a cocktail party. Don’t just throw an average cocktail party, though, make it personal. Personalize your cocktail party and your friends will think you’re the party planner of the year!
This isn’t a keg party at a frat house. Cocktail parties are elegant, classy, and they are full of sophistication. Your invitations should give off that same vibe and sent at least a few weeks in advance. Invitations should be tasteful and reflect the atmosphere of the party. Something in a neutral color with a little bling would be nice, or even an invitation with a martini on it. Afterall, it is a cocktail party!
Make sure you’ve either stocked the bar with spirits or have requested that your guests bring a bottle. Once you’ve decided on your spirits, you need to decide what your mixers will be. Have at least four or five options for your party guests. Consider a regular cola, diet cola, a lemon lime soda, and ginger ale or tonic. Sometimes soda bottles can look tacky next to the fun and attractive liquor bottles, so make the soda bottles your own with a personalized label! If not everyone is into true cocktails, you’ll probably also want to have wine and beer available. Personalize those labels as well, and your friends will really think you’ve outdone yourself!
Cocktail party guests probably won’t be expecting any sort of meal, but it’s always a good idea to have some finger foods for guests to munch on throughout the party. Make sure to have plenty of napkins for your guests (personalized napkins, of course). Spilled drinks and messy fingers don’t go well with nice dresses and suit coats.
Take your cocktail party from great to fabulous with personalized decorations. Get a personalized banner made that matches your invitations, that way when guests arrive, it all comes together. They’ll recognize the same design. You’ll want your entire party to seem like it all came from the same kit, otherwise it will look like it was thrown together at the last minute.
Since cocktail parties are elegant, you don’t want to overdo it on the decorations. Something like a giant cocktail standee would be cute, with something fancy hanging from the ceiling. If most of your guests will be sipping on martinis all evening, stand up some giant martini standees.
Imagine this- your party was a success. Your friends found the cocktail party unlike any they had ever been to because it was personalized and catered to them. From the labels on the bottles, to the banners and the napkins, every inch of the cocktail party was planned with perfection. Just when they think things couldn’t be any better, you send your guests home with a personalized favor. Maybe it’s some sort of martini glass with your name on it and the date of the party. It could read, “The Johnson’s Annual Cocktail Party 4-20-13,” and that way every time they drink from the glass, they are reminded of the blast they had at your get-together.
Other great personalized favor ideas include key tags, magnets, coasters, and more! Favors are a way of saying, “Thank you for coming,” and just another way to make sure your cocktail party is unforgettable.
Anyone can have a few friends over for drinks, but personalize your cocktail party and you’ll have the hottest event on the block!
Forget Snoop Dogg, the Kardashians, and Lindsey Lohan. Let’s be a little more creative. Here’s a trendy list of celebrities that know how to party!
Dana is a great start to any party. Intelligent, well versed and willing to dive into any conversation. She is engaging, charming and quick with self deprecating wit. She would make everyone feel at home at any party. Reminds us of January Jones in Mad Men but happy.
Number 5. Jim Cantore. The Weather Channel.
Can anyone say Hurricane Party? This guy is prepared to party on a moment’s notice, looks great in a windbreaker and knows more weather trivia than anyone. His casual but quiet intensity brings calm in any storm. Who wouldn’t want to head out into 100mph winds and hoist a drink with this party pro?
Number 4. Carl Quintanilla. CNBC Squawk Box.
Even if the market is crashing, Carl would be the guy to be with next to the bar to talk it through. A guy’s guy and a hottie for the ladies, he is smart, witty and knows business. He is quick with a joke and one liner but also makes everyone around him feel better about themselves. With Carl, it isn’t about him, it’s about everyone else around him having a good time. A great person to have crash our party.
Number 3. Robin Roberts. Good Morning America.
Classy, funny and an inspiration to all. Who wouldn’t want to sit around the table and share stories with Robin? She knows it all about sports and brings a smile that lights up any celebration. She would spend the night meeting every person and making all the guests feel like they were the most special person in the room. The nametag is ready for Robin.
Okay, an odd pairing right? Well, that’s what make for a great party. Arianna brings an exotic flair combined with a grace and nobility that will class up any event. She would be great at the gala ball or an intimate dinner. But, we bet she could throwdown at a hoe down as well. Smart and tough, this is a lady we want to party with.
David Gregory brings an urbane wit, height that towers over everyone and a willingness to laugh at himself. We like him for his direct approach, his ability to make guests feel at home and his family values. We think he would be great at a kids birthday party or at a game time party with wings. A very versatile party performer.
Think this guy knows his way around a party? Oh yeah! Whether he is in Beirut or Boston, Istanbul or Indy, Anderson is the guy who will be the life of any party. He is wickedly funny, doesn’t take himself too seriously and man, does he have some stories to tell. He is willing to try just about anything and we know that when the late night fun starts, Anderson will be leading the charge. He will stir up the party troops and keep them going all night long. Smooth, stylish and oh so cool. Get the martini bar, ready.
Did we miss anyone?
As Season 3 ends for Downton Abbey and the Crawley family, we can learn a variety of wonderful party and celebration tips from the hit BBC show.
Lesson 7. Always dress for the occasion.
White tie for dinner may seem a bit much, but the Crawleys are always dressed properly for dinner. And isn’t a dressing gong just a marvelous idea? Dress well for your party or event. Formal never goes out of style.
Lesson 6. Seating arrangements matter.
We know that one had better think through who will be sitting next to the Dowager Countess or who might be sitting next to his Lordship. Leave nothing to chance and assign seats based on creating an interesting dinner conversation and thought provoking discussion while avoiding conflict among those who might be looking to gain social advantage of the moment.
Lesson 5. Having a butler can be of a great advantage.
Imagine if you had a Carson or a Mrs. Hughes to help you with your party planning. Things might be a bit easier! In our day, there are a variety of wonderful event planners willing to help and bring the pieces together for you. Or appoint your children to new roles in the household “staff” to help with party execution. Little Johnny can be a magnificent footman serving the guests! Just don’t forget the white gloves!
The Crawleys would never mix the flight of wines to be paired with dinner or use an inappropriate piece of silver in the service, so you should do the same! Be attentive to the small details from the moment of arrival to the time of departure. Have you planned for coats and galoshes? Have you planned for after dinner drinks in your drawing room? Have you thought about games and activities for the group? A lovely game of charades is always a favorite! Show your guests you have thought about the little things and you will be lavished with praise!
Lesson 3. Be welcoming to all.
One never knows who might arrive at Downton for dinner on short notice. Be prepared with extra food and drink for all events and welcome everyone who might attend. Who knows, they may bring news of newly discovered family or riches you have not yet imagined!
Lesson 2. Have friends with an accent.
It just seems so much more exotic and refined to have guests with a lilt or different language. Throw in a guest or two from the British isles or elsewhere in the Empire and your party and event will seem new and refreshed! If all else fails, put on an accent yourself for the evening and see how it goes.
Lesson 1. Garden parties rock!
Whether you have 10,000 acres or just a humble backyard, the Crawleys know that a garden party is both refined, relaxing and wonderfully proper. Guests will enjoy the outdoors, a canapé or two and a delightful strong quartet on the lawn. As spring approaches, plan your garden party with tea and crumpets.
What thoughts or lessons have you learned from the show to share with us?