How To Host An Epic NYE Party
Photo by Samantha Gades
New Year’s Eve — a perfect time for so many people of all ages across the global village, whether it’s to end a magnificent year with a bang, to welcome a new start and to ring in a new year of endless possibilities or even to just pause, catch your breath and enjoy a break from the daily grind.
For some, the year-end is a chance to unwind and reflect, while for many others, New Year’s Eve is synonymous with parties and partying, and while some may choose a chic speakeasy at which to chill with friends, and others may choose the loudest, trendiest nightspot in town with which to make merry and dance the night away, there are others who prefer to host a house party at their own crib or organise a group party with co-organisers from their inner circle.
If you are choosing the latter and think it’s a great opportunity to perfect your hosting skills and think you have the talent for throwing a perfect NYE party, we’re sharing with you some helpful hints, tips and tricks to take the hassle and stress out of party hosting.
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Food and Drinks
Photo by Brooke Lark
A party is not a party unless the spread of food and drinks is, at the very least, (a) enough for invited guests and their plus-ones (or even plus-twos) and (b) guaranteed to loosen everyone up, or even, get everyone so relaxed and happy that the pace of the party picks up.
As a host, you should remember people have differing and varied tastes, so do show how considerate and thoughtful you are by having not only a plentiful supply of different foods and drinks, but also something for everyone (including the vegans, the non-drinkers and perhaps your favourite auntie who has the allergy to nuts but loves her tipple of G&T). The last thing you want during the NYE countdown is someone having a severe food reaction.
Similarly, do prepare (or order) food that can be held or eaten with one hand or a single utensil. (Unless you’re dead set on inviting a small number that can fit around your dining table, then, by all means, go wild with cooking a dinner that guests can enjoy leisurely with the full spread of cutlery.)
For the casual parties, remember, most of your guests will be mingling and chatting, often with a drink in hand, and it’s easier for them to eat food that has been sliced or cut into bite-sized pieces. Now you understand why canapes and hors d’oeuvres are so popular and not at all cliché.
You could always holler at your squad and ask them to bring food; just remember to keep track of who’s bringing what so that your party isn’t offering three types of salad, five bags of crisps and one tray of cream puffs.
If you’re on a budget, get friends to bring a bottle but be a good host and make sure you don’t end up with 20 bottles of red wine and no tequila or soda.
Do also remember to provide the necessary add-ons for cocktails such as lemon slices, cherries, juice, and so on. Your guests will love you for saving them the trouble of these little touches that take a drink from flat to wow. Cheers!
This is important — you want your guests to be comfy and have plenty of space to move about but you also don’t want anyone spilling red wine on your pristine white sofa. Think bean bags (easy to assemble); also think about moving some furniture around (you might find you prefer your new setting for the new year!). Be a good host and think about the comfort of your guests. Very few of us want to spend two hours on a hard wooden chair with no cushion for our bum and no armrest for our drink, sorry, arms.
Photo by Marc Babin
Jazz up your place with some decorative trinkets, fresh flowers, scented candles, party favours or even — if you can get one — a disco ball. Cheesy, perhaps, but admittedly, just screams “Party in progress.” Yes, you’ll have to clean up the next day but a party ain’t a party till the crib is decked out to look like a party.
It’s also a good idea to think about storing your precious items away for the night, lest someone accidentally knock over the lovely antique vase from your grandma in a spontaneous dance move. Which brings us to….
Nothing says party like music; specifically, good music to liven the mood, get the toes tapping and the mood going. While people have different tastes, there are classics and contemporary hits that most people can agree falls under the category of “Let’s Get This Party Started” and while you can start the volume low when the party starts, you can crank it up later once everyone’s eaten, relaxed and the vibe is palpable. Just don’t crank it up too loud until your neighbours call the police. Always a vibe-killing party pooper when the cops turn up at your door.
Crafting the perfect party playlist should keep you pretty busy. It’s a talent not many have but enjoy nonetheless. It’s like being a DJ for one night.
The rest of the other stuff — Actually, when you’ve perfected your food, drinks, furnishings, decor, music and other little touches for the night, there is little to stop it from being a great party. (You could raise the bar and prepare goodie bags for your guests but that’s just setting the rest of us up for failing to meet expectations.)
There are small things you can do to liven things up (spin the bottle, anyone?) but generally, when guests are fed, they have bellies full of their favourite drink and the conversation is bubbling just like the champagne and the music is the perfect soundtrack for the night, it should become a great party.
Photo by Heidi Fin
If you’re confident your guest list is made up of a mix of people who you are sure will all get along fabulously, it’s a beautiful night, your guests have little difficulty finding your place or finding parking (very important!) and you’re certain no-one is going to mind your eight cats, two dogs, the birds and the aquarium, you’re pretty much set to go.
Have fun party planning and have an awesome start to the new year!