Whether you're planning an intimate New Year Eve's party of four, or a maximum bash of 40, you can have a fabulous and memorable party in your home. As long as yo can fit everyone comfortably in your home. Here are some tips to help you have a memorable New Year Eve party that runs smoothly and sets a tone for the new year ahead:
Keep These 6 Tips in Mind When You're Planning
- Mix your cocktails in advance, and place them in large glass pitchers. You'll be glad you did when the party gets going.
- Don't run out of chilled drinks, soft drinks and ice. Plan up to four alcoholic drinks per person. If you know your friends like to drink more, plan for more.
- Plan on at least two glasses per person in case of breakage or misplaced glasses. If you're on a budget, get plastic glasses and champagne flutes. They look almost real, yet are cheap and don't break.
- If midnight champagne is beyond your budget, you can substitute a good white wine and search on Google for white wine cocktail mixes for options. Here's a great list of 5 white wine cocktail recipes to get you started. If your friends don't drink alcohol, there are a range of herbal Twelve Beverage options you should consider.
- Because there are lots of New Year's Eve parties, invite your guests early to ensure a good crowd. Set a silver clock in the center of your table for the midnight countdown. Or, if you don't have a clock that you can use, you can tune to New York City's ball drop in Times Square, or any local events in your area and country.
- If possible, have a separate table for food, and another one for drinks. Even better, have a separate room for drinks that is easily accessible. This will make your job as a host easier and ensures that there is room to dance and mingle without spilling drinks and food. From time to time, however, you can serve drinks from trays if you have room to maneuver between people. But keep in mind, you'll be busy and won't have time to mingle as much.
Now, for other must-haves for your memorable New Year's Eve party:
Lighting. Change the bulbs in your lamps to pink ones (or another color). Dim the lights and let your votive candles shine. Just be careful with candles, make sure you they are not near curtains, hanging clothes, Christmas tree or other objects that may catch fire.
Welcome drink. Have a special welcome drink for your guests. It's alright to add BYOB on the invitation, provided you have soda, soft drinks, tonic, limes and lemons for mixes.
Food. Finger foods allow people to eat and mix and chat more easily. Some options are goat cheese stuffed apricots, sweet potato bites, chicken and waffles, spinach and artichoke and stuffed mushrooms. Remember the traditional lucky New Year foods, namely grapes, green, beans, noodles and grains, fish, and cake.
Make sure you mention in your invitation if you're serving food or not, you don't want people showing up hungry expecting food if you're not serving anything. Set clear expectations beforehand.
Dessert. For an elegant feel, you can have a chocolate-bar-fondue with pound cake to dip in the fondue pot.
Table setting. There is no need to buy new things. The idea is to use what you have, just keep things clear and white so that they will glow and glitter with candles and small lights. You can use a plain white tablecloth, and add glittering wrapping paper as your table runner. With gold or silver metallic beads, Styrofoam cones, and PVA glue with T-pins you can make lovely sparkling “trees” as part of your setting. Include white flowers and surround it all with candles. This will spare you from needing crystal glasses. You can decorate your stemware with gold or silver leaf hearts or circles. However, this is where you can use your beautiful serving plates.
Plates and napkins. Paper plates are just fine, or plain white dinner plates. You can set them on 13 in. gold plastic chargers with beaded rims, which cost a dollar each. Paper napkins will do, too.
Music. Doubtless you will know whether your friends prefer John Mayer or Bruno Mars. However, it won't hurt to ask in the invitation for friends to RSVP and mention their three favorite songs. You don’t have to incorporate all the songs, but at least you can have something for everyone. Plus, it wouldn't hurt to integrate some New Year songs, and save Auld Lang Syne for midnight. Here are some New Year music options:
- New Year's Eve – Snoop Dogg featuring Marty James “Golden Years”
- What Are You Doing New Year's Eve – Ella Fitzgerald
- Let's Start the New Year Right (One Minute to Midnight) – Bing Crosby
- Happy New Year – Abba
- New Year's Day – U2
- This is the New Year – A Great Big World
- “Celtic New Year” – Van Morrison
- Auld Lang Syne – Susan Boyle, or Rod Stewart
Games. Rent casino games or simple board games if you're on a budget, or make your own on the computer using play money. For a smaller group, pass out cards that say, “This year, I will kick the habit of ______. Instead, I will be more like _______. I will learn how to _____. And my New Year good deed will be to _____.” After everyone fills out the cards, collect them and read them and see if the guests can figure out who wrote what.
To make your life easier, we've created a free PDF template with resolution cards on a standard 8.5×11 in paper ready to be printed at home. Print, cut and have fun!
Photo booth. You can make your own photo booth if you're feeling creative following these instructions. You can add noisemakers, tiaras, horns, masks, boas, hats on a bowl so people can choose what they want to pose with.
Mints. Everyone wants a mint especially if they expect to kiss everyone at midnight, so keep bowls of mints handy and within everyone's reach.
Taxi. Don't let your friends drink and drive. Make sure you have phone numbers ready for local taxi or car service available. If you expect heavy drinking, you can go an extra step and collect car keys unless they have a designated driver with them who won't be drinking.
Your New Year's Eve party should be fun for you, don't turn it into a chore. Get help if you need it, your friends will be more than happy to help. Happy New Year!