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EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR A CHIC COCKTAIL HOUR AT HOME

AJE DRESS (SIMILAR HERE) // TABLECLOTH // PLACEMAT // FLATWARE // DINNER PLATE // SALAD PLATE // GOBLET
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KRISTEN KILPATRICK

Longer days and warmer weather makes spring the perfect time to host a cocktail party with friends. Below, a few tips and tricks – along with a shopping list at the end! – to get the night just right.

GREAT GLASSWARE

First things first: glassware. Skip the clear glasses and opt for something festive – think: something vintage, a unique color, or an interesting shape. This set of hexagonal glassware checks all of the boxes.

SHOP

Have plenty of ice. Nobody wants a warm drink.

INVEST IN GREAT LINENS

Let your cocktail napkin start the conversation. Skip the plain white hemstitch and invest in sets that make a statement. My favorite ones I’ve found are always vintage.

SHOP

SIMPLIFY YOUR SNACKS

Just as important as a well-stocked bar, snacks (good ones!) are a must at any cocktail party. My advice is to keep your snacks simple. Opt for easy, crowd-pleasers like salty potato chips served in chic bowls. Tip: Keeping the bites light will keep guests from lingering as they’ll be motivated to head elsewhere for dinner.

SHOP

GOOD MUSIC GOES A LONG WAY

I think we can all agree that a dinner party with no music is a total buzzkill. Make your own playlist ahead of time or find one on Spotify and tweak it to suit the mood. My rule of thumb: a mix of Jay-Z, Sam Cooke, and Vampire Weekend.

Tip: Cover all the genres.

YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY TINY BOWLS

When it comes to hosting cocktail parties, large bowls won’t do you any good. Tiny bowls are essential as they’re the vessels for garnishes, olives, small bites, and more. ¬†Amanda Lindroth’s bowls are the ideal size.

SHOP

LIGHTING IS EVERYTHING

People really underestimate how important lighting is to a party. Even the most casual of cocktail parties need good lighting. Dim your lamps and add a mix of votives on tables throughout the house. If the party is outside, twinkle lights are quick way to set the right vibe.

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