Dear Miss Sophisticated Manners:
I am throwing my first cocktail party. Because I’m inviting the girls from work with their husbands whom have never met, I want the evening to be informal, but I’m not exactly sure what I am supposed to provide. I was thinking of a light supper.
Miss Sophisticated Manners Says:
Traditionally drinks and hors d’oeuvres are served at a cocktail party. If you want to serve a meal, then state on your invitations that you are having a dinner party. For a cocktail party, you are expected to provide several options of hors d’oeuvres and several drink options. The best thing that you can provide is good company, so make sure that you are prepared ahead of time so that you have time to visit with your guests and help them get acquainted.
One of the best guides that I have found concerning how much to serve per guest as well as suggested cocktail list is at epicurious.com: How to Throw a Cocktail Party