Cocktail parties serve many different purposes, from providing an avenue for friends to get together to raising money for local charities. Because these parties can be so diverse and cover a wide range of events, etiquette changes from one party to the next. Some cocktail parties are more reserved, professional events while others may closely resemble a frat party from your college years, although they should never be treated as such unless you want to be remembered as an immature party animal.
Regardless of the purpose of the party, there are a few simple etiquette rules that can save your social standing in the community when you attend your next cocktail party.
Don’t Expect a Keg
As fond as you are of those frat parties from last decade, don’t try to recreate them at the next cocktail party you attend. There’s a reason the women are dressed in cocktail party dresses and the men aren’t wearing their football jerseys or T-shirts from their alma mater. The simplest explanation is also the most obvious; this is a cocktail party, not a frat party.
Feel free to enjoy the open bar, but don’t embarrass yourself by drinking everything in sight. You’ll turn into the laughingstock or the constant drunken guest if you can’t keep your hands off the alcohol all night. Drink one cocktail at a time and limit your drinks to two or three throughout the course of the evening.
Do Put the Phone Away
In today’s world, it’s way too easy to report to the masses every time you step outside to walk the dog. If you hope to keep your friends and be a tolerable person to be around, you should probably put your phone away during the get together.
As tempting as it is to document each and every person you meet and those gorgeous hi-lo dresses you saw, remember that no one ever died before cell phones when they were unable to take a picture of their new best friends. Focus on enjoying the party with the people you are with..
Do Make the Rounds
Typically, the purpose of a cocktail party is to give people a chance to get to know each other and make new friends. This is tough to do if you are holed up in the corner all night by yourself or with people you already know.
It’s hard to step outside your comfort zone and start conversations with new people, but you may be surprised at how the environment makes the interaction seem more natural. Take a chance and get to know more people. In a worst case scenario, you are able to walk away from an awkward conversation you began in order to meet more new people.
Don’t Stay all Night
There’s nothing worse than the guest that overstays their welcome, and you really don’t want to be that person. Regardless of how much fun you’re having, always go home before the last drink is served. It’s always better to leave your hosts and fellow guests with a good impression of you. Leave them wanting more interaction with you rather than thinking about how you were the one who couldn’t seem to get the hint and head home at the appropriate time.