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10 Cocktail party basics

Brie Gatchalian is a freelance writer based in Montclair, NJ. When she's not writing about fashion and beauty, she researches topics related to relationships and mulls over her own love life. She'll be the first to admit she doesn't hav...

Throw a great cocktail party

There's a fine line between tons of fun and awkward moments. Party hosts, read on for the 10 ingredients of a successful cocktail party. If you're going to throw one, throw it right!

Cocktail Party with Chips

1. Decent Food

From hors d'oeuvres to the right kinds of chips, good parties have decent food. It doesn't have to be great -- unless you're holding a sit-down dinner party where people will really be paying attention to what they put in their mouths -- but bursts of flavor in bite-size form will do.

2. Endless Cocktails

A bad party is the kind that runs out of drinks and has people waiting while somebody goes to make another beer run. Make sure you have enough cocktails on hand. Even better, add a touch of lux by creating a mini drink menu for your guests to indulge in. Print it on cute notecards and "hire" one of your friends (who's willing) to be the "bartender."

3. Great People

This goes without saying, if you have great friends, your party will be a success. Good conversation, lots of laughs and fun mingling scenarios makes for a great party. Invite the right people.

4. No Drama

Make sure your guests leave the drama at home. If you have dramafied friend (i.e. that sloppy girl who drinks too much and makes a fool of herself), then don't invite him or her. Invite people who will vibe well together.

5. Good Ambiance

Set the mood with the right decor and music. You can't just throw people into a room and hope they mesh. Sometimes the setting has to be appropriate in order to illicit the kind of fun you want to have. For starters, a playlist with good tunes to set the mood is ideal.

6. A Funny Story

It's fun to reminisce with good friends. Sometimes those stories told make for a good party. Or, perhaps someone has a great story that happened recently that they'd like to share. These are great icebreakers for guests, who don't know each other well.

7. No (or Understanding) Neighbors

What could really break up a party are mean neighbors. If you're making too much noise, odds are your neighbors will throw a fit. So, let's hope you don't have any grumps living next door. Or, simply invite your neighbors. That way, they can't get upset now or for future parties to come. They'll know how it is.

8. Monitor the drinking

Let's hope that your friends know how to handle their liquor. A messy guest can turn a party upside down. Keep your guests in check by making sure no one is drinking way too much, way too fast.

9. The After-Party

If all goes well during the party, keep it going. As people pick up and leave, your closest friends will likely stay behind. Have some delicious desserts and coffee on hand for the after-party stragglers. Together you can laugh about the shenanigans that just wend down.

10. Help Everyone Get Home Safe


And lastly, a successful party is one that everyone gets home safe from. Fingers crossed that no major crises happen -- that no one gets pulled over, gets into a fight, etc. The unfortunate thing is that when alcohol is mixed in with the fun, it can turn into a recipe for disaster. Let's hope that's not the case with yours. Keep your friends in check. Don't let anyone drive who is not okay to drive.

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