Planning Your New Years’ Event – Part 1

In general New Years Eve party planning is not a difficult process. There are a number of standard elements which are common in any type of party such as invitations, location, food, beverages and entertainment which should be considered but beside from that there aren’t many unique aspects of a New Years Eve party which require special consideration. The late hour of a New Years Eve party is somewhat unusual and results in some unique food option such as offering cocktails and appetizers in the evening and cocktails such as the Bloody Mary and the Mimosa in the morning along with a breakfast buffet. However, New Years Eve party planning does prevent a challenge when it is necessary to complete this planning on a tight budget.

The first step in planning a New Years Eve party on a budget is to establish an ultimate budget. Once this is done, you can list all of the individual aspects of the party such as invitations, decorations, location, food, beverages and entertainment and determine the percentage of your total budget you wish to spend on each of these components.
When planning a New Years Eve party on a budget, it is important to carefully consider the guest list for the party. This is important because the number of the guests you invite may dictate the location of the party. For example if you are planning a relatively small party, you will likely be able to host the home either in your own home or in the home of a friend. However, if you plan to invite a large number of people, you might have to consider holding the party in a restaurant or a catering hall. This is significant when you are on a tight budget because these facilities charge a usage fee and may require you to use their catering services as well which can be costly. For this reason you should consider limiting your guest list to a size which your home can accommodate.

Get your invites out early. New Year’s Eve is a popular party night and people get booked up quickly. Get your invitations out early so your friends know that your house will be the place to be.

Delegate. Don’t do everything yourself! Tell your friends what they can do to help you for the party. If a friend offers to bring wine or an appetizer or wants to come help you decorate, take her up on it! It will make your job easier and you will feel less stressed when it’s time for the party!
New Year’s Eve party food should be simple. This is not the night for a full course meal that will have your guests feeling sleepy by 9 PM. Instead, serve a variety of finger foods and other items that can be made ahead (so you’re not stuck in the kitchen while the party is going on). Food is a very important party of any New Years Eve party. After you have determined the budget for food at the party, you can start to consider your options for providing food for your guests. If you want to serve more of a “meal,” keep it simple by putting out a cold cut platter with some good-quality rolls. Ask everyone on the guest list to bring along their favorite snack or dessert to share. Consider using your crock pot for items like Swedish meatballs or a crock pot full of sliced roast beef in au jus for sandwiches. The most expensive option will likely be to provide a catered sit down dinner for your guests. This option is expensive but many guests enjoy the elegance of this option. If this is important to you, you should consider devoting a large portion of your budget to food. However, there are much less expensive ways to feed your guests at a New Years Eve party. Other popular options include providing appetizers only or putting out a buffet of homemade foods for your guests. Both of these options will be considerably less expensive than providing a sit down dinner with multiple courses. If you are hosting the party in a home, you could even consider making the event a potluck to drastically reduce the cost of food. You could prepare a main course item and ask your guests to bring appetizers, side dishes, salads and desserts.

Don’t break the bank over the bar. Don’t feel as though you have to have a fully stocked bar in order to have a good party. Consider offering beer and one red and one white wine selection. If you have some great cocktail recipes that you’re dying to serve, narrow it down to one type and make a pitcher or a shaker full. Be sure to have some non-alcoholic drinks available for those teetotalers and designated drivers!

If you already decorated your house for Christmas, keep those decorations up for your New Year’s Eve party for a more festive feel. You can also add some gold and silver streamers or balloons. Buy some fun things like noisemakers or blowouts and New Year’s party hats. You don’t have to hang balloons and paper streamers all over the house to prove you’re having a party. Dim the lights, light candles, and consider hanging red Christmas lights around your home to create a party ambiance.

There are many affordable options for entertainment when you are planning a New Years Eve party on a budget. Have background music for your party by tuning into a commercial-free satellite radio station or by using CDs or mix tapes. You can download great party music online on sites, and then create a play list that can play back during your entire party.  Music is one of the most popular options for entertainment at any party but you do not have to incur the expense of hiring a band or a DJ to host the party. You can even make the party more fun by asking each guest to bring along a few of their own CDs and have everyone at the party take a turn playing DJ for an hour during the party. While there aren’t many New Year’s-themed songs around, one classic that you should play during your party is “Auld Lang Syne” — if you don’t recognize the title, it’s the well-known Scottish song that is always played when the New Year’s Eve ball drops in Times Square.

When the clock strikes midnight, have the television on to countdown to midnight along with the folks in Times Square. Make sure your friends have noisemakers and confetti to throw when the clock strikes midnight.

If your friends have had too much to drink or just have a long way to travel, make sure you have sleeping accommodations or a designated driver for them. New Year’s Eve is a heavy party night and there are many irresponsible drivers on the road so keep your friends safe and start your new year off on the right foot.

Tip: Use paper cups, plates, and plastic cutlery to avoid things from breaking and to avoid having to do the dishes the morning-after — or the month-after that is..

all the alcohol you need

This is a very important point, especially for New Year’s Eve. Make sure to check your bar or fridge to see what you need to buy. Don’t be a big shot and assume that you have everything, or the last thing you’ll be doing is shots. Try to do your alcohol shopping before December 31st, to avoid the mayhem in stores.

This entry was posted in Party Ideas. Bookmark the permalink.