Throwing a fabulous New Year’s Eve party doesn’t have to mean Auld Lang Stress. Here are some tips for making the most of your end-of-year bash without bashing your wallet or time:
1. Reuse your holiday décor: Chances are, you have some great holiday décor that would also coordinate with New Year’s Eve. While you’ll want to put your nutcrackers and Santa Clauses in storage, those gold and silver lights you had strung on the Christmas tree, fancy trays, candles and platters and even snow-and-reindeer decorations can still fit nicely within the NYE theme. Also consider buying chic NYE-themed paper plates, napkins and plastic flatware, as well as plastic champagne glasses. This makes the after-party cleanup easy and ensures your grandmother’s champagne flutes remain intact.
2. 2018 will be so next year … next year: Avoid buying tableware and decorations marked with “2018.” Although it seems fun for this year’s party, you’ll probably have a good bit of everything left and they will be of no use to you in future parties — especially if you plan to make your NYE party an annual tradition. Buying decorations in silver, gold, black and neutral colors will ensure you can reuse them at any time.
3. Get this party started AFTER dinner: Unless you are hosting a dinner party, plan to start your NYE event around 8:30 or 9 p.m. This gives guests time to enjoy their NYE dinner dates without worry of running late to your party, while also ensuring they will still be enjoying themselves when the clock strikes 12. Some guests might also be planning to ring in the New Year somewhere else, so this gives them an opportunity to visit your event between other commitments.
4. Cheers to enjoying a drink, not stressing over it: Most people expect alcohol to be available at a NYE party, so make sure you have a booze plan. There are a few options to ensure everyone has a good time without making alcohol availability a point of stress:
- Buy enough champagne for everyone at the party to have at least two glasses. Buy a few bottles of wine and a case of beer to have some other options available but state in the invitation that guests are encouraged to bring the alcohol of their choice. This ensures that you have options (and especially champagne to toast the New Year) but also that your guests are pleased with their drinks. They brought their favorites, after all.
- Provide enough beer and wine for every guest to drink as they like throughout the night. You could also consider providing a signature cocktail for the party, but trying to provide every liquor and mixer possible becomes expensive and tedious, and you still will likely not fulfill every guest’s preference.
- Hire a catering company to provide the food and drinks. This is more costly than providing the food and drinks on your own, but takes the stress out of buying, preparing and serving.
- Make the party completely BYOB. Make it clear in the invitation that you would like guests to bring the drinks of their choice to the party so that everyone is sure to have something they would enjoy.
5. Safety first: New Year’s Eve is notorious for drunk drivers — and for police officers catching them. If your guests will be drinking past one or two drinks, encourage them to take a Lyft, Uber or taxi ride to and from your event, or have a designated driver with them. No one wants to ring in the New Year with a mug shot or a car accident. Make sure your guests are safe so others on the road are safe, as well.