Whether you are planning a party for five, 50, or 500, it's always important to consider the moments guests will remember and cherish forever. From darling decorations, to finger-licking food, right down to the champagne glasses you use, it's these sensory details that will make a lasting impression.
It's also these details that can make hosting a party seem like a daunting task, and with so much to think about, it's easy to miss out on enjoying the fun yourself.
To help you throw a New Year's Eve party that both you and your guests will remember, we asked Deliveroo's event planning expert for the festive season, Jason James, to share his top tips for planning, decorating, and catering a fuss-free, yet festive event.
Where do you start when planning a party?
The most important element of any party is your guests' experience, so we always begin by creating a clear and engaging concept and theme containing a series of fun sensory experiences our guests will fall in love with.
Ensure your theme is cohesive across all elements of your party including the styling, menu, and beverages, and can be adapted with ease within your home or venue.
Once we have created a clear concept for our event that suits the venue, we set the time for the event and write our guest list. Then, the fun begins, and the countdown is on to creating the most fabulous and fun party!
What are the most important things to tick off first?
Create a cohesive and festive concept that will suit our venue and excite our guests with a major "wow" moment included.
Write your guest list.
Create a floor plan and ensure your layout allows moments for socializing, dancing, lounging, and a zone for creating food and beverage installations.
Create a food and beverage menu that is accessible, offers guests a dining experience they will remember, and is fuss-free and festive. You could look to food delivery services such Seamless or GrubHub to create your ultimate menu, and surprise guests with a restaurant quality experience.
Go shopping. One of our favorite parts of planning an event is sourcing and coordinating all the styling elements and décor that will surprise and excite guests.
Build your playlist and ask your guests to send you some of their favorite songs.
What are your top styling tips for a great NYE party?
I like to design and style events to be a series of moments and scenes. Always ensure your concept and theme is present amongst all the points of your event. Beautiful flowers and scented candles will transport your guests emotionally; interactive food stations will create theater, and always create a "wow" moment that will excite your guests.
More is better! Balloons are the must have event accessory of 2018. Choose gold metallic foil balloons with fringing or clear bubble balloons, and cover a whole wall and ceiling or create an amazing entry statement. This can be a great spot for guests to take their New Year's Eve photos. Introducing gold accents through your table décor, floral, serving ware, and on signature cocktails will ensure you create a cohesive concept and experience for your guests.
(Photo Credit: Homes to Love)
You can also introduce accent lights for some sparkle that will reflect off the gold and metallic surfaces and create a dramatic atmosphere. Ensure you have created an epic playlist that is fun, fabulous, and personalized with you guests favorite songs, ensuring your friends party beyond the clock striking midnight.
What decorating themes are most on-trend this winter?
Guests always love a bit of sparkle and shine. Introducing a gold and white color palette throughout your home and event décor in a sophisticated way always guarantees a stylish and dramatic finish to your event.
The 1950s and 1970s are hot trends amongst European fashion houses, and this will continue to resonate through event design and decorating. Midcentury modern fused with retro bling, metallic accents featuring brass and copper centerpieces, and metal details intertwined with rich, walnut and rosewood timbers is a gorgeous look.
Balloons and flowers always create drama, impact, and beauty within a space. Be bold, colorful, and look into combining the two to create table runners, wall sculptures, or foil fringing.
(Photo Credit: Homes to Love)
Fuss-free Party Food
The festive season should be just that: Fuss-free, fun, fabulous, and festive! When it comes to catering my parties, I look to my favorite local restaurants and then create a shared feast or grazing table for my guests by using Seamless or GrubHub. This offers guests a food "experience" that is interactive, a backdrop to incorporate styling moments amongst your food station, and has variety by introducing various cuisines within the same event. As the the host, you don't want to be stuck in the kitchen the whole evening.
When creating the menu and dining experience for your guests, select local restaurants through Seamless or GrubHub that best suit the overall theme of the night. If you're creating a shared feast or grazing table for guests, use your large platters, timber boards, and even vases to assemble and serve the dishes in a banquette style. Use accents such as florals and even bouquets of fresh herbs to add some "wow" factor to the table. This allows guests to graze throughout the evening and interact in a casual and relaxed way.
If you're planning a cocktail style event, prepare ahead so when your food arrives, you wow your guests. Present dishes in fun and festive bowls, colored and textured vessels, stone serving boards and platters, gold or matte black cutlery, and chop sticks. You can also look to your local vintage and glassware shops for serving vessels that sparkle and shine.
Small additions and details throughout your party will keep your guests excited. Champagne is essential at every New Year's Eve Party. Surprise your guests and create a signature champagne cocktail and add sparkle to mocktails with swizzle sticks or edible flowers. Update normal confetti with contemporary confetti, and a frosé is guaranteed to quench everyone thirsts. These little details will have guests thinking they are attending an A-list party. Be bold, think big, and be creative!
This post was written by the writers at Homes to Love. For more, check out our sister site Homes to Love.