If you’re like me, from the end of November through the end of December, holiday party invites take up a lot of weekends. Let’s be honest though…some parties a severely lackluster in their presentation, the host is running around with a perpetually furrowed brow, and someone forgot to plug-in the crockpot with the little sausages. It doesn’t have to be like that! With a little planning and attention to detail, your NYE party will receive applause.
Simple steps to follow:
1. Decide on the vibe you want to portray: Remember you are the host and in charge of the vibe. Others cannot make it something it’s not if you do not allow the deviation from the events purpose. Ask yourself what kind of evening you would like to have (low-key/high energy/classy/unique/casual) and tie the rest of the following steps into your vibe goal for the event.
2. Pick a theme: This is a fun way to get people excited about attending and can influence your decor choices. I personally like ‘Silver and Gold’ as it is simple and classy. Other ideas to consider; ‘A kiss at Midnight’, ‘Timeless Celebration as time Moves on’, ‘Champagne Cheers’ and ‘Father Time is…Old’. You can be as simple or as elaborate as you choose.
Themes can help direct and reinforce the vibe of your party. The detail work does matter.
3.Guest List: This is closely tied to the vibe step as your attendees have the potential of steering a vibe off track. If you know you would like to have a relaxing night with close friends, then don’t invite your coffee shop barista who just seems lonely and might end up crying in the bathroom all night. If you are having family over, anticipate some awkward questioning (do all families do that, or just mine?!) and be prepared with board games or distractions that will not place the single thirty-year-old cousin on the hot seat. For a classy party with a dress code, know that if you want to have portray a certain fashion atmosphere, it is imperative that you are clear about that on the invitation. I have hosted dinners before where the guest list has been selective, only to find that the guests invited their own guests! Clear communication is key and it is within your rights as host to say no additional guests, if you so choose.
4. Send out invites via snail mail: You heard me right, snail mail. Doing so communicates intentionality and effort, which may increase your turn out to your party. The time commitment for creating invitations is minimal and will set you part from other who have chosen to just click and send out e-invitations.
5. Create a Menu: This can be as elaborate or as simple as you wants. Crockpots can serve dressed up or dressed down fare. Fried chicken can be picked up in buckets and pizza can be delivered. For a cohesive event and positive experience for guests, your vibe should influence the menu. Appetizer spreads are most popular for NYE gatherings as people will graze throughout the evening and it is a good idea to keep the food in proportion to the beverages being served. Some of my favorite appetizer to make are parmesan mushrooms and prosciutto wrapped asparagus. Super easy and with the right presentation–very classy. Traditionally champagne is toasted at midnight, but if you want to go the non-alcoholic route, there are plenty of sparkling beverage options to choose from!
6. Decor: Due to New Years falling so close to Christmas, most holiday decorations are acceptable and appropriate to leave up for a NYE party. If you have stuffed animal Santa’s or something in the same vein sitting around, I would recommend removing them. Most decor choices can be subtle, but have a large effect on the perception of the environment from your guests. I love to use table runners, place cards, and menu boards. All of those are fairly inexpensive to utilize and they communicate to guests that they are welcome and informed. Have you ever been to a party where you didn’t know what a fish was but were too embarrassed to ask the host? Problem solved with food selection tags. For a ‘Silver and Gold’ themed party, I would obviously utilize silver and gold items (place card holders, centerpiece, photo backdrop), but could accent with a pop of red (my holiday table runner is red) to warm it up a bit. I would use silver and gold chalkboard markers for the menu board and perhaps tie silver and gold ribbons around the champagne bottles. Attention to detail in decor choices communicates that your party should not be placed into the ordinary category, but rather the extraordinary category.
What ‘Hostess Hints’ would you like to add?