Posted by Marcel Olshansky on December 23, 2014
There’s nothing better than starting off the New Year with family and friends. If you’d rather stay in this year, consider throwing your own party. Planning your own party can take a lot of work, but it will be well worth it if you take the time to plan ahead. Check out these tips for planning and executing an awesome New Year’s Eve party that no one will want to miss!
While formal invitations aren't a necessity, they do get people excited to come to your bash. If you’ve sent invitations, you've already started planning, which is a plus in guests’ minds. If you do send invitations, make sure to give people around two weeks to RSVP. If you don’t want to go the formal route, simply send an email invitation, which allows guests to RSVP directly to your inbox. Want to keep your guests pumped up? Have them RSVP with their three favorite songs. Then, compile a mix CD of everyone’s favorites to play at the party!
With anything, organization is key. An unorganized party can leave guests wishing they went elsewhere, or worse, leaving your party for another one. Creating a theme keeps people engaged and willing to stay at your party. Themes can range from super simple, such as a black and gold theme, to elaborate, such as a masquerade party. Matching your décor to your theme creates a unique atmosphere that guests previously haven’t experienced at your home.
Make sure to buy enough alcohol to last you through the night. No one wants to go out during the party to buy more, so it’s better if you over purchase, rather than under purchase. It’s a smart idea to buy early, and if you’re working on a budget, discount liquor can often be easier to find if you buy alcohol online. Buying alcohol on the internet will give you more choices and chances for discounts than brick-and-mortar stores.
How much alcohol do you really need? As a general rule, guests will drink an average of two drinks in the first hour, and one every hour after. A one-liter bottle of alcohol is about 22 mixed drinks (depending on strength) and a 750-ml bottle of Champagne fills six regular Champagne glasses. Don’t forget your guests that don’t drink cocktails; count on one bottle of wine per eight guests. Depending on your guest list, you could need quite a few bottles. If you purchase your alcohol on the web, you can avoid having to transport all the bottles to your apartment.
Don’t forget to provide garnishes for all your drinks. Plan on half of a lemon and lime, two olives, and two cherries per guest. Another item that people often forget is ice. Plan on one and a half pounds of ice per person to keep drinks cold and ice baths for wine or beer.
Unless you’re hosting a party for an extremely small group of close family and friends, you won’t need to serve dinner for your guests. Starting the night with light snacks, like veggies and dip, pretzels, mini pizzas, or chips and salsa will be a nice start to the night. As the night progresses and more drinks go down, you’ll want to put out more food. Try doing a potato, taco, or breakfast bar where everyone can pick the toppings they want and be happy. Plus, it’s easy to make ahead and put out while guests are still partying.
If you’re serving alcohol, it’s a good idea to be aware of transportation options for your guests. If you live in Chicago, the CTA offers free rides from 10 PM December 31 to 4 AM January 1. Some cab companies even offer free transportation on New Year’s Eve, so do some research on local cab companies and have their contact information handy. Another good idea is to have a space with blankets and pillows set up for guests who want (or need) to stay the night. Most importantly, make your guests feel like they are welcome to stay if necessary.
While it might be silly, people still love the traditional New Year’s Eve party items like noisemakers, hats, boas, light up classes, etc. Have some handy to get everyone in a festive mood. Candles and any sparkly décor also add a nice touch, especially in photos.
All in all, hosting a party can be a lot of work. But, if you put in the time beforehand, it will make the whole party a better experience for both you and your guests. Make sure to have enough alcohol and food, while creating a unique atmosphere that guests will remember. Buying alcohol online is a safe bet to ensure you get the best price and it gets delivered directly to your door. As a host, things can get hectic and stressful, but remember to take the time to actually enjoy your party like your guests are.