What better way to see out the year – and welcome in a new one – than a big celebration with family and friends? To help ensure yours goes off with a bang, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to hosting a New Year’s Eve party, packed with ideas for entertaining at home. Gather your nearest and dearest, throw in a few sequins and follow our lead – the countdown is on.
As our Co-Founder and Creative Director Sue Jones notes, “it’s not much of a party without people”, so begin by considering who you would like to invite. Decide whether you want your event to be confined to one room or spread across several, then think about how many guests you can realistically fit into your space. Once you’ve settled on the guest list, you might want to consider sending invites with all the necessary details, from dress code to location. Choose a clear and realistic theme – this could be as simple as ‘dress to impress’, or perhaps something more specific, such as a 1920s party theme – and make sure your guests are aware of this in advance so they can plan accordingly. For those wondering what time a New Year’s Eve party should start, we’d advise asking people to arrive after 9pm, as these events typically last until the early hours.
A festive party is nothing without food, so prep the kitchen for serving delicious treats for everyone to enjoy. If you’re kicking off proceedings later on in the evening, most people will likely have already eaten, so plan for a casual buffet or a few canapés to accompany drinks. Serve them on your prettiest tableware to give your spread a sense of occasion. If your party is beginning earlier, why not plan a memorable meal? An intimate dinner, shared with family and friends, is the perfect way to see out the year.
Home bars are instant crowd pleasers at house parties, as they allow people to help themselves and ease the pressure on the host in the process. Choose your location wisely – you’ll need to select a spot that is easily accessible and can be enjoyed by more than one person at once, so try to avoid corners. You might also want to factor in potential spillages; in this instance, a room that has tiled or wooden flooring, such as the kitchen, might be the most appropriate place.
For the home bar itself, you could style up a bar cart or drinks cabinet, or simply choose a dining table or side table. Serve drinks that speak to the season, such as a selection of festive cocktails, and mix in a few bottles of wine, spirits, beers and soft drinks to appease all palates. Don’t forget to include a mix of glassware, from wine glasses to tumblers, as well as slices of lemon and lime, plus plenty of ice. When the ball drops, it’s time for fizz; make sure you have some bottles of champagne or prosecco chilled and ready to go, so you can raise a glass to a new year.
If you celebrate Christmas, then your home is likely to already be in the festive spirit at this time of the year – but that doesn’t mean you can’t add an extra New Year’s Eve twist. Why not string up a few supersized baubles, such as our Large Honeycomb Bauble Decorations, or add some glitter to existing displays? Dedicated party banners and balloons could be a welcome addition, too. If you’re serving food, consider a festive table centrepiece, featuring plenty of sparkle. Candles in scents of the season will make the house smell festive, and will add a lovely glow to your home. To up the atmospheric ante, dim the lights and string up the fairly lights – from the ceiling, along bannisters or around your mantelpiece.
While cocktails and conversation should keep your guests plenty amused, a little entertainment will add to the sense of occasion, particularly as you gear up to midnight. Music is a must; create a playlist that ebbs and flows with the night, starting off with background music while people catch up and ending with a more celebratory sound as everyone inevitably takes to the dance floor. Board games make for great ice breakers and are particularly useful if your guest list includes a mix of generations; keep a stack of your favourites to hand and try to get everyone involved. For some interactive entertainment, why not set up a photo booth complete with New Year’s Eve props? It will keep the whole party amused, plus you’ll be able to give your guests a memento to take home – the perfect way to remember the final moments of 2022, and the first of 2023.