Thursday, 27 December 2018

Planning a New Year party

New Year party
Well, that’s Christmas done for this year! Time to start thinking about 2019.

For many people, the New Year celebrations are bigger, and often more important, than Christmas. And by their very nature, are certainly different.

While Christmas is a time for families, New Year celebrations tend to be more of an adult occasion – largely driven by the tradition to actually see the new year in at midnight (and beyond!).

If you are planning to host a New Year's Eve party, the plans are likely to be well underway by now and your invitations safely with your guests. But if it's a late decision to celebrate, don't worry, there's still time to rally people up but you need to hit the phone now.

Either way, you need to have thought about how many guests you can realistically invite as this will determine the type of party you are able to host. If it's a more informal drinks reception with finger buffet, you'll be certain to fit more people in; a dinner party on the other hand inevitably requires more space (and planning), even if it's just for the table and chairs. And then there's the dancing!

Catering should be next on the list. Whether it's light bites or a full 3-course dinner, you'll need to plan ahead and decide your menu in advance; food is always a talking point and can be the making of a good party. But don't forget to ask guests about any special dietary requirements, allergies or intolerances as you'll need to factor these in too.

After the food is sorted, turn your attention to the drinks because your options are endless. You can offer a full bar to suit all tastes, add a touch of style with a sparkling drink on arrival, indulge in a full menu of cocktails and let people get mixing or simply stick to asking everyone to bring a bottle (or two) of their choice! The latter will certainly help if you are party planing on a budget!

And it's always wise to make sure there are non-alcoholic drinks available too, especially for those who have drawn the short straw and are driving. Sparkling water, festive cordials and fruit juice are great, but there's always the option for some inspiring ‘mocktails’ too?

Music is also a key ingredient at any great party. What you play will depend upon the type of event you've planned, as well as how the evening takes shape in reality – background music is always a good starting point but something to dance to later on is almost an essential. Create your playlist in advance and leave it to roll on the night.

Party games - whether you love them or hate them, they can certainly add an element of fun to the evening.  Something where people can choose to be involved, or not, is often a good move to make sure no-one feels embarrassed or uncomfortable, although this is something usually overcome once the drinks are flowing.

And then you need to think how you will mark the stroke of midnight. A countdown to the turn of the new year – maybe from ten seconds beforehand – is always good fun, followed by a good sing-song of Auld Lang Syne. The fireworks on TV are always worth a watch too.

For some, this defining moment in a New Years Eve party can result in a momentary anti-climax but it's unlikely to end the party. Guests love to dance the night away into the early hours before making their way home. Hopefully most will have planned taxis well in advance, and if not, have an alternative plan in place.

But after all this, the most important thing of all is to make sure you have fun yourself! We hope you have a great New Year and look forward to welcoming you back to the blog in 2019.