Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Recreation & Activities  > Cocktail Party

Cocktail Party Cost


How Much Does a Cocktail Party Cost?

 
low costAlcoholic Beverages: $4-$22 Per Personaverage costAppetizers: $15-$35 Per Personhigh costVenue Rental: $50-$2,500
post E-mail post Post  

A cocktail reception, also called a cocktail party, is a formal-attire event at which guests are served drinks and hors d'oeuvres instead of a full dinner.

Typical costs:

  • Common costs for a cocktail reception include catering, bartending, invitations and venue rental. The typical cost for a two-hour cocktail party ranges from $25-$230 per person. On the higher end, hosts may choose a high-end venue, premium hors d'oeuvres and a full bar.
  • Caterers specializing in cocktail receptions let the host choose hot and cold appetizers for about $15 to $35 per person. For example, The Blue Mesa Grill in the Dallas area offers cocktail party appetizers from $10 per person (three items) to $19 per person (nine items).
  • When alcohol is not included in the catering fee, bartenders can be hired to serve drinks for an hourly rate (alcohol not included) or a per-person rate (drinks included). The typical range is $4- $22 per person for each hour of the event, with options ranging from beer or wine only to a full bar. For a 2-hour party, Cork Catering[1] in Illinois charges $7.50 per guest for beer or wine only and $14.50 per guest for a premium bar serving most types of mixed drinks. For detailed open bar pricing, see How Much Does an Open Bar Cost.
  • Cocktail party invitations are typically printed on quality cardstock to match the formal event, and costs typically cost $1-$3 each. The Graphic Cocktails Invitation[2] is custom printed and costs $55 for 25 invitations, at a cost of $2.20 each.
  • Renting a cocktail reception venue, such as a restaurant or a catering hall, typically costs $50-$2,500 depending on seating allowance and amenities. Restaurants, hotels or clubs may offer all-inclusive cocktail receptions by providing all services on site. For example, The Thorndale Inn[3] outside Philadelphia hosts 2-hour cocktail parties including an open bar and unlimited appetizers for $38 per person. This type of party is suitable for a minimum of 40 guests, and venue rental is included for the length of the party. The cost does not typically include invitations.
Related articles: Event Planner, Public Address System

What should be included:
  • A caterer should include the agreed-upon number of appetizers, typically 4 to 8. Food should be served buffet-style or carried on trays to be passed out by the catering staff. The catering staff should arrive in uniform and with all servingware.
  • Bartenders should serve mixed drinks, beer, wine and a non-alcoholic beverage in any combination chosen by the host, as long as the selection is made in advance.
  • A cocktail reception venue should provide tables, but may not provide chairs for all guests; it is common to stroll around the room. The Wedding Channel[4] lists items that should be included in a catering contract.
Additional costs:
  • Expect a 25% deposit to reserve a caterer or bartender for a cocktail party.
  • Additional or premium hors d'oeuvres may cost $2-$10 per selection. At St. John Catering[5] in the U.S. Virgin Islands, an appetizer selection costs $5 per person, with a three appetizer minimum. Bar setup typically costs $25-$350, with the highest prices reserved for a full-bar setup with liquor, mixers and fruit garnishes. For receptions of 40 guests or more, The Avenue Grill in Denver charges $25 to set up a beer and wine bar only or $100 for a full martini bar with fruit mix-ins. Additional fees apply to all alcohol, ranging from $3 for a domestic beer to $36 for a bottle of champagne. For an event with 125-250 people, Sean Martini's Bartending Service in northwest Indiana will provide two bartenders, 1 bar helper, a portable bar with caddy, menu, wine storage, utensils, large tub for chilling drinks for $350. In this case, the party host is responsible for providing all alcohol and mixers. Always ask if alcohol is included in the rate and get a quote for each option (full open bar, beer only or wine only).
  • Gratuity for caterers and bartenders costs an extra 15% to 20%.
  • Table linen rental may cost an extra $6 to $10 per tablecloth.
Discounts:
  • Limiting the number of appetizers and drink options at a cocktail party will typically save the host money. Jack's Firehouse[6] in Philadelphia offers limited budget cocktail parties with 4 appetizers, house beer and wine for $25 per person. This is a $10 savings off the cost of the same party with 5 appetizers.
Shopping for a cocktail party:
  • If shopping for alcohol, The Bar Mix Master[7] recommends buying enough for each guests to have 1 or 2 drinks for each hour of the cocktail party.
post E-mail post Post  
CostHelper News


Forgotten Expenses In a Home Addition Budget
Items like construction costs, permit fees or debris removal aren't the only expenses to consider when calculating the total costs of a home remodeling project. || Posted August 5 2013


7 Ways to Stretch Your Reduced Food Budget
End of the year budgets are tight for everyone, especially in this economy.It's especially hard for the millions of Americans who depend on government programs like food stamps to help make ends meet. || Posted November 11 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


 

Comment On Your Experience With a Cocktail Party
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Beverages: Number of Attendees: 
Venue:   
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.corkcatering.com/pdf/CocktailPartyMenu.pdf
  2.  www.thestationerystudio.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/catalog.viewProduct/productID/22248/ca...
  3.  www.thorndaleinn.com/banquets-weddings/weddingreceptions/wedding-reception-cocktail-par...
  4.  weddings.weddingchannel.com/wedding-planning-ideas/wedding-reception-ideas/qa/what-shou...
  5.  www.stjohncatering.com/passed-apps.html
  6.  www.jacksfirehouse.com/Portals/0/docs/Jack%27s_Cocktail_Part_2008.pdf
  7.  www.barmixmaster.com/2006/05/planning-cocktail-party.html
More Recreation & Activities Topics
Check Out All Costs for Recreation & Activities How Much Does Quilting Cost? How Much Does Beadwork Cost? How Much Does an Acoustic Guitar Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com




Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
simple re-keying turned into outrageous replacements
Paid: 1100.00
I wanted locks rekeyed for a purchased home. I found a locksmith who runs his own business and is a one man team. $40 fee, $25 each lock for labor, and parts. Fair enough. I told him I wanted 3 locks rekeyed and one broken lock replaced... [more]
-expensive lesson
Door Lock Cost
Braces 12 yr old son
Paid: 5100.00
Insurance will pay 2000. Try not to deal with a office accepting Horizon NJ Health /Medicaid. Your child may end up waiting over 30 minutes over the scheduled appointment because Medicaid pts. need to be seen first... [more]
-LavenderBlue
Braces Cost
Child 2 surface Cavity Fill
Paid: 170.00
My dentist charges $170 for a 2-surface filling on an elementary aged child. Total bill for 9 cavities and 6 sealants is $1900... [more]
-
Cavity Filling Cost
Shingles Vaccine
Paid: 162.50
Presented at Dr. Office with mild shingles diagnosis. Was given vaccine to treat possible post shingles neuralgia. Poster in exam room showed CDC FDA protocol guidelines changed from age 60 to age 50... [more]
-Flyngator
Shingles Vaccine Cost
Air duct and furnace cleaning
Paid: 320.00
Found a deal on groupon for $59, for duct cleaning. Two guys came out a week later. They cleaned all the vents then stuck a vacuum in the main vent, they said, and let the machine go to work... [more]
-Torro
Duct Cleaning Cost
timing chain replacement
Paid: 2000.00
2001 F150 timing chain, I'm getting quoted a grand more everyone on this site, why is that?... [more]
-Chris Clingshoff
Replacing a Timing Chain Cost