Should auld acquaintance be forgot? Definitely not - - and neither should a New Year’s Eve Party.
So how do you throw a New Year’s Eve bash that your friends, family or colleagues will always remember? You can start by taking a look at our 10 Simple Steps for the Perfect New Year’s Eve Party.
1. The Venue
One of the most important parts of planning a New Year’s Eve Party is choosing a venue. It might be a house, a bar or club; it could even be a gallery. Whichever venue you choose, there are some important things to consider.
What is your budget? What time is it open until? What transport links are available to (and from) the venue?
While it depends how big a party you plan to host, you may decide to charge admission and will need to decide what that will be. This is a good way to raise money for charity and friend in need.
2. The Invitations
The first challenge is deciding upon a guestlist; the second is deciding how to invite the chosen ones. A great invitation can do more than get the particulars of the party to the recipient. It can set the tone for the whole occasion, so it’s worth giving some thought to.
Is there a dress code? An admission fee? Are guests required to bring something? These are the questions that the invitation will serve to answer; and while you can’t beat a wonderfully hand crafted invite, sometimes a simple email will suffice.
Just make sure that the invitation is delivered in more than enough time, since people might eventually make other plans.
3. The Music
From Prince’s 1999, to an acapella rendition of Auld Lang Syne, some of your New Year’s Eve playlist will take care of itself. The rest of your music choices will depend on the occasion. Dance or pop music might not be well received at a classy black tie event, but is perfect for most New Year soirees.
The occasion is all about celebrating the past and looking forward to the future, but perhaps most importantly, it’s about enjoying the present; and music will be an important part of that.
Hire a DJ if you’d like the music to take care of itself, or if you’re party planning on a tight budget, simply make a playlist or tune into a local radio station, that’ll have their own New Year festivities planned.
4. The Food
There are so many options when it comes to food, you’ll have to think about what your guests will appreciate most. You could offer a catered meal or let partygoers help themselves to buffet. If you don’t intend to provide any kind of dinner, it pays to at least set out a few snacks.
This will help guests to keep their drinking in check (for the most part) and also gives a little value added to the occasion. It’s important to ensure that you provide enough food for all of your guests and a good rule of thumb is purchasing all the food you think you’ll need plus an additional 20%.
That should ensure that everybody gets what they need and if you have a lot left over at the end, you could always give it to guests to take away.
5. The Drinks
A well-stocked bar is a must on New Year’s Eve, unless you’re hosting a household bash and asking guests to bring their own. Try to cater for as many tastes as possible but, again, bear your budget in mind at all times.
If your party isn’t held in a traditional bar or restaurant venue, it is possible to hire a temporary bar which can be installed at the location ahead of the event. You might also choose to offer guests a welcome drink to invite them in from the cold and get them into the party spirit.
Add some individual flavour to proceedings with a signature cocktail prepared especially for the occasion. There are a wide variety of cocktail recipes available online and it’s possible to choose one that’s simple to prepare but also perfect for the event.
6. The Entertainment
We’ve mentioned the importance of music, but truly great party hosts won’t stop there when it comes to entertaining guests. You could organise any number of parlour games and offer prizes to raise the stakes. Most large scale parties will feature an act, like a tribute music performer, to give a performance ahead of the turn of the year.
Entertainment can give an occasion that special something it will be remembered for. Just take care when selecting an act; or it could be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Of course, sometimes it pays to take a DIY approach. A karaoke machine will entertain revellers for hours and takes care of music as well.
7. The Final Countdown
Step 7 is a big one, though it only lasts for a matter of seconds on the night. Typically, New Year’s Eve parties will feature a dedicated 10 second countdown and you can devise your countdown however you’d like it to be.
It’s particularly crucial to think about what you’d like once the countdown is up. You could set off some fireworks or let guests release a host of lanterns into the sky. You can play it as safe as like or aim to do something that people will never forget.
Bear in mind that those first few moments of the New Year are best enjoyed with family and friends and sometimes the simplest ceremonies are appreciated most.
8. The Real Party Starts
There are still a good few hours of party left to go at this point; and with all of the ceremonial stuff out of the way, it’s time for the party to really start.
A dance floor is pretty much essential to a good New Year’s Eve party and this is the point at which people will most want to let their hair down. Forget parlour games or performers and focus on plying people with treats and letting them have a good time. They’ll take care of the rest.
9. The Fond Farewell
All good things must come to an end, and the way you choose to end this particular good thing will ultimately decide how fondly it is remembered.
Getting people home safely is the most important thing to think about. You might want to arrange a fleet of taxis ahead of the party, or provide guests with adequate instructions for transport options.
Party favours are often provided to guests as they head for the properly marked exits. The choice of favour is entirely up to you and depends on how much of your budget is left once all of the essentials are taken care of. However large or small it is a gesture that will be greatly appreciated and not soon forgotten.
10. The Guest of Honour: You!
Amidst all of the planning, hosting and entertaining duties, you’ll be charged with, it can be tricky to remember that you’re there to celebrate New Year’s Eve too.
The best way to ensure that you personally enjoy the event as much as possible is to put in the work ahead of time. If the party is properly planned and organised, it should for the most part go off without a hitch. Then it’s up to you to take a step back, grab a flute of champagne and have some fun.
At that point the hard work can be done and you can enjoy some quality time before the New Year Resolutions kick in.