50th Birthday Cocktail Party

by Donna
(Greenlawn, NY USA)

Would it be ok to have just horsdovors and cocktails for a 50th Birthday Party? The party will start at 5:00.

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Amanda’s Reply:

Hi Donna!

A cocktail party is a great idea for that age group. Most of your guests will likely be in and around the same age group as the birthday guest of honour. Just as you labelled it here, label it like that on your invitations - a cocktail party. A cocktail party is a great way to satisfy all guests, and it gives people things to snack on throughout the party and still gives a less formal atmosphere by eliminating the sit down and serve dinner atmosphere.

If you really want to make sure the cocktail idea maximizes on the idea of everyone mingling and being interactive, be sure to lay the platters all over. This will allow for guests to group together and chat, while grabbing some food. There will be no line up in one area to grab food. There is a nice flow amongst the room and everyone mingles.

You can also make it interactive and have the guests all bring hors d'oeuvres - cuts cost for you and makes your guests feel like they are contributing to the fun, and also, some great variety make come out of it! These types of parties will also cut down on the clean up afterwards. Use some disposable cutlery and plates – this saves on hours of dishes afterwards!

If you are sure to label it as a cocktail party, those that will starve on just having appetizers will know to have a bite to eat before heading to the party.

Also, be sure to note if the cocktails are free; in saying that, they do not have to be. Just be sure to note on the invitations what the cost for cocktails is. Or you can provide the first two or three free and advise them of the charge for any additional cocktails. Don’t think that asking people to pay for drinks is rude, it’s not! Most people expect to have to pay for drinks, there is rarely parties with open bars. A nice treat that people would not expect is giving them the few free. So never worry about asking people to pay for the drinks – or ask them to bring some of their own.

Good luck with the party, hope it’s a BLAST!

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