15 cocktail party invitation wording examples for your next soirée

A cocktail party invitation with a doodle-style illustration of a table with cheese, charcuterie, candles, and drinks surrounded by actual bottles and drinks.
Paperless Post BlogBusiness > 15 cocktail party invitation wording examples for your next soirée

A cocktail party is one of the most versatile types of celebrations around. You can dress it up for a formal business event or keep it casual with Margarita Mondays. And because a cocktail party is so wonderfully customizable, your invitation wording is especially important so guests know what to expect when they arrive.

The right message will let guests know whether it’s time to break out the LBDs (Little Black Dresses) for martinis, or if they can CAYA (Come As You Are) for cocktails and craft beer. Find the best cocktail party invite wording—and cocktail party invitations to match—to set the tone for your party before you set up the bar.

An invitation with a tile-like pattern in blue, greens, and whites and individual event details pointed out.
Bicottura” by Paperless Post.

What goes on a cocktail party invitation?

No matter the tone or formality of your event, your cocktail party invitation wording should give guests the information they need. When writing your invitations, consider adding details like:

  • Date and time: “When” and “What time” are the most important parts of an invitation. Add the day of the week, the date itself, and the time your party starts.
  • Location: “Where” is another necessary detail on your invitation—otherwise, no one will show up! Include the venue’s name, the street address, and any other information, such as a specific patio or ballroom.
  • Occasion: Are you celebrating something, or is your cocktail party an opportunity to mingle and catch up? Let guests know why the party’s happening—especially if it’s a special occasion.
  • Food and drink: Drinks are a given for a cocktail party, but food is typically optional. Tell guests whether they should expect light apps, a full dinner, or dessert.
  • Attire: When guests see “cocktail party” on the invitation, they may plan on cocktail attire—which is fine if your party is formal or semi-formal. If you’d like guests to dress more casually, indicate that in your invitation message.
  • Extra guests: Can guests bring a plus-one? Specify who is invited—especially if your venue has limited space. Once guests arrive, check them in using the Paperless Post app so you know who’s arrived and who hasn’t.
  • RSVP-by date: For more formal cocktail parties or events that require headcounts in advance, set an RSVP deadline a few weeks before the event. Use Paperless Post’s RSVP tracking to shore up your guest list and follow up with anyone who hasn’t responded.
A white invitation reads COCKTAIL PARTY in large gold letters surrounded by bubbles; a black invitation reads COCKTAILS in fine gold script with delicate gold stemware at the bottom and a gold border all on a burl wood backdrop.
Embossed Bubbles” by Paperless Post; “Cocktails Maisner” by Bernard Maisner for Paperless Post.

Formal and business cocktail party invitation wording ideas

With semi-formal attire and sparkling Champagne, business cocktail parties have a touch of elegance that complements any occasion. Peruse these business cocktail party invitation wording suggestions to find the phrasing that best fits the tone of your sophisticated party.

1. Professional cocktails

Office cocktail parties are excellent opportunities to welcome new clients, socialize with other employees, and get off-the-clock face time with the boss. Use a classic cocktail party invitation like “Cocktails Maisner” by Bernard Maisner and formal wording like:

 

You’re invited to a cocktail party

to celebrate the opening of our Wilson Street location.

Saturday, January 10th

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Jupiter Hotel, Ballroom 1A

5837 Hibbert Road

Los Angeles, California

Drinks and refreshments provided

by Gordon-Pruitt Inc.

Semi-formal or cocktail attire requested

RSVP by December 28th—plus-ones are welcome

 

Professional event invitations

Find sophisticated, business-minded designs that streamline planning and impress guests.

2. Drinks and conversation

Gather everyone together in a quieter setting with a sophisticated cocktail party focused on networking or conversation. The “With a Twist” invitation lets everyone know what kind of party they’re invited to—especially when you add wording like:

 

Join us for cocktails and conversation 

as we celebrate the end of the quarter

and the hard work done by the whole Levinson & Sons team.

Friday, February 21st

6 p.m.

Owl Ridge Country Club, Patio C

937 Coyote Court

Phoenix, Arizona

Cocktail attire requested

RSVP by February 5th with your favorite drink order

 

An online invite for a cocktail party with hanging stemware and an animation of falling confetti and the words JOIN US.
Gold and Glass” Flyer by Paperless Post.

3. Sparkling cheers

Whether you’re celebrating an important accomplishment or welcoming a distinguished guest, Champagne is the way to go. Send the “Gold and Glass” Flyer with wording like:

 

Please join us in honoring 

our dear friend and best-selling author 

Daphne St. James 

with cocktails at our home.

Saturday, March 2nd

5–7 p.m.

The Henderson home—823 Wilcox Boulevard

Baltimore, Maryland

Parking is available on our street or Arcay Street.

RSVP by March 1st

 

4. Join us for a reception

Welcome clients, customers, and other stakeholders to a professional cocktail reception. The understated “Pick Me” invitation by Paperless Post sends the message loud and clear with wording like:

 

You’re invited to a cocktail reception 

hosted by Cloud Nine Cosmetics

to learn more about our new DIVA & DOLLS collection

Friday, April 25th, 4–6 p.m.

Our corporate headquarters: 

788 Michelin Road

Dallas, TX

Enjoy cocktails, live entertainment, and VIP access to our new collection.

RSVP to enter a raffle and win a sample eyeshadow palette!

 

5. Appetizers for all

Cocktail parties are always pleasant experiences, but adding passed hors d’oeuvres puts your event on a new level. Let guests know that appetizers are on the menu with “Another Canapé, Please” by Happy Menocal Studio and this wording:

 

Enjoy cocktails and appetizers

at our annual Member Appreciation party,

featuring a stargazing exhibit 

and a fossil presentation by Dr. Edward Simone.

Thursday, May 12th, 7–10 p.m.

Tuscaloosa Natural History Museum

123 Alabama Court

Families and children welcome

RSVP by May 2nd for a chance to win a museum membership

 

A square invitation with a watercolor illustration of a hand spilling wine from a glass and another hand balancing a tray of hors d'oeuvres; an invitation with an abstract depiction of a large wine glass and green bottle.
Another Canapé, Please” by Happy Menocal Studio for Paperless Post; “Pour You” by Paperless Post.

Casual cocktail party invitation wording ideas

Not every cocktail party is a lavish, formal affair. If your group is more likely to order vodka sodas than Aviations, add some casual and funny cocktail party invitation wording. We’ve also included a variety of invitation designs to match each message.

6. Pass the chardonnay

If your friends are more likely to come to a wine tasting than a party only serving hard liquor, send “Wine Salut” by The Indigo Bunting and let guests know they don’t have to miss out on the fun since their favorite drink will be on the table. Use fun and playful wording, such as:

 

School’s out—and the bar’s open!

Enjoy a glass of wine (or two) with the Lincoln High band parents

at our annual Denim & Diamonds fundraiser

to raise money for a new sousaphone.

Saturday, June 1st

6 p.m.

Lincoln High Multipurpose Room

Drinks and appetizers will be provided

RSVP by May 20th

Click the Sousaphone Fundraiser link below to donate before you arrive!

 

7. Open bar

Tell guests that their money’s no good at your open-bar cocktail party with the self-explanatory “Free Drinks” invitation by Derek Blasberg and wording like:

 

Anyone want a free cocktail?

Now that we have your attention, please join Tomlin Medical Group 

for a Client & Customer cocktail party.

Enjoy the comedy stylings of Harv Bennett 

and the company of our amazing employees and board members.

Thursday, July 16th

7 p.m.

Rosewood Ballroom & Dining Hall

900 Whittier Ave.

St. Petersburg, Florida

 

8. Cocktails and craft beers

Some groups cringe at the thought of dressing up for formal cocktail parties that serve drinks they don’t like. Instead, give the people what they want with a cocktail and craft beer party, starting with the “Almaviva” invitation by Paperless Post and wording like:

 

Celebrate the end of an incredible World Series

(or drown your sorrows)

with Dave, Mike, and the rest of the Fantasy Ballers gang.

We’ll be tasting beer flights 

while discussing strategy for next year.

Penny Sports Bar and Grill

Sunday, October 30th

Game starts at 4—don’t be late, or Dave will drink your beer.

 

9. Cocktail exchange

Inspire amateur—or expert, if you’re lucky—mixologists with a cocktail exchange party. Guests bring their own recipes and ingredients to share so everyone can flex their bartending skills. Send a fun cocktail party invitation like “Coquetel,” and use Guest Questions or Surveys to ask everyone what their favorite drink or liquor is before the party begins.

Add some fun—and explanatory—wording to your invitation like:

 

Teach me how to make 

your favorite vodka cocktail 

for my 24th birthday!

You bring the mix-ins, 

I’ll supply the vodka 

My place: 562 Indiana Road

Saturday, September 12th

5 p.m. to ???

Wear something purple (my favorite color) if you have it!

 

10. Margarita Mondays

Margaritas are good on any day, but there’s something special about starting the week with a Margarita Monday. Put these tasty iced drinks on display with the “Margarita Mixer” invitation by Jonathan Adler and wording like:

 

Mondays are always better when margaritas are involved!

Bring your favorite marg mix to the Masterson’s place 

(274 College Avenue)

to celebrate the first day of summer break.

June 24th, 6 p.m.

We’ll have drinks, chips and dip, and dessert!

 

A light blue square invitation with a border of gold calligraphy flourishes; an invitation with a doodle of instruments, disco balls, garnishes, and fireworks in a martini glass.
Flourishing” by Stephanie Fishwick for Paperless Post; “Jazz Affair” by Pulp Templates Co. for Paperless Post.

Special occasion cocktail party wording ideas

Christmas, birthdays, retirement, Arbor Day—the reasons to have a cocktail party are endless. Find the right wording with our suggestions for special occasions for any time of the year.

11. Winter holiday fête

Host a warm and cozy Christmas cocktail party—or a cocktail party for any winter holiday. Send the animated “Merry and Bright” Flyer and holiday cocktail party invitation wording like:

 

Baby, it’s cold outside—

so get warm at June and John’s holiday cocktail party!

Enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres around the fire

on Sunday, December 15th at 6 p.m.

The Newsome Home—472 Orchid Row

Louisville, Kentucky

RSVP by December 1st

 

12. Cocktail celebration

Celebrate a birthday with an upscale cocktail party. The “Scribble Script” invitation by Paperless Post sets a festive tone for a party to remember. Add birthday cocktail party invitation wording like:

 

It’s not a party unless cocktails are involved!

That’s why we’re celebrating

Sam’s birthday 

at the bar.

Toast the birthday boy from 6–9 p.m.

on Wednesday, February 22nd

at Heart and Dagger in Oakland.

Drinks and desserts will be provided.

RSVP by February 2nd

 

13. Gather for a toast

Celebrate a momentous occasion like a graduation, engagement, or retirement with a cocktail and some toasts. Invite guests with the “Make a Toast” invitation by Paperless Post and wording like:

 

Let’s surprise Annie with a retirement party

and a few of her favorite things: 

cocktails, dinner, and YOU!

Friday, June 17th, 8 p.m.

Green Iguana Bar

18 Point Avenue

RSVP by June 1st 

And please fill out the survey with your RSVP if you plan on giving a toast.

Remember—don’t tell Annie!

 

14. Happy anniversary

Celebrating a marriage or work anniversary? That calls for a cocktail bash! Commemorate a milestone with the “Sparkling and Swinging” invitation by Paperless Post and wording like:

 

You’re invited to Barry and Tom’s 20th anniversary party

full of cocktails, light appetizers, live music,

and the lasting love of two very special people.

Saturday, June 10th at 7 p.m.

Mariposa Country Club

Butterfly Ballroom

183 Connecticut Boulevard

Des Moine, Iowa

RSVP by May 25th

 

15. The guest of honor

Graduations, promotions, and baptisms (yes, baptism cocktail parties are a thing) all deserve special attention—and a raised glass. Put the focus on a person worthy of praise with the “Pop Fizz Clink!” photo invitation by kate spade new york and cocktail party wording like:

 

Paging Dr. Perez!

Celebrate Charlotte’s graduation from med school 

at a cocktail party hosted by her proud parents

on Saturday, August 13th

at the Perez home—6127 Hansbury Road

Come by anytime between 5–9 p.m. 

to wish Charlotte luck in her new career!

 

Invite Paperless Post to your next cocktail party

From elegant, formal affairs to casual gatherings around a high top, it’s easy to customize cocktail parties to your flavor of festivity—just like Paperless Post’s party invitations and features. Once you’ve customized your invitation to your liking, sharpen your planning and hosting skills with our tips on how to throw a cocktail party for any professional occasion.

 

Hero image: “Apertivo” by Paperless Post.