Thinking of throwing a New Year's Eve party this year but don't know where to start?
Follow our simple step-by-step plan to party perfection.
Go digital with your party invites. There are several free apps you can download to your phone. Each feature dozens of designs to choose from and all you have to do is add the essential details – date, time, address, phone number and RSVP date. Let your guests know if it’s adults only or if kids are welcome.
Specify if it’s nibbles and bubbly, or an all-night barbie and beer – you get the message, once they’re clued in on how much food will be served, they can plan around that. You can send the invites by text or share anywhere. They may even track your RSVPs. How easy is that?
Lift the mood from the get-go with low-level lighting. Everything will twinkle and glow. So, either turn off or turn down your lights – so if you’ve got dimmers, now’s the time to use them. Don’t stop there, switch on your lamps, string up LED seed lights and bring on the candles – the more the better.
3. The playlist
Sort out your playlist well before the event as good music is as important as mood lighting when it comes to a party. Some say it’s best to have background music with instrumentals or lyrics in a foreign language as foolproof options, others say lead in with great rock bands and have the party songs ready to go when the clock strikes 12.00. But wait, you might prefer jazz…
And that’s why it’s important not to leave your playlist to the last minute, the choice is endless.
4. Photo call
Have an Instax Mini Instant Camera (with loads of film on standby) ready to take instant-print party pics of your guests to take home. They’re bound to get a giggle out of them. Check out Harvey Norman for Instax cameras and Fuji Instax Mini Film.
5. Cocktail hour
You’ll love the Dial-a-Drink Cocktail Shaker Set which will have you mixing cocktails like a pro as all your fave drinks are printed on the glass. And as you mix up drinks, offer up a little trivia – like, in which movie did James Bond first order his signature Vesper martini?
6. Set up a bar
Make it easy for your guests to serve themselves with any one of these ideas:
- A DIY garnish bar that lets you customise a basic cocktail such as a gin and tonic or a vodka soda with a garnish station stocked with fresh herbs, cucumber spears, fruit skewers, and various bitters.
- Drinks in jugs – mix up big batches of cocktails, label them, set out glasses and ice and have guests pour their own.
- Bubbly Juice Bar – serve up one kind of sparkling wine and a selection of juices such as pink grapefruit juice, coconut-lime and apple-ginger or just plain apple juice. PS, Treat yourself to a bar cart worthy of a Mad Men episode.
7. Food fabulous food
Give your guests options that don’t require a lot of work on your part. Finger sandwiches offer flavour and variety without having you slave over a hot stove. Putting together an impressive spread is as easy as a visit to your local deli for dips, deli meats, cheese, crackers, fruit and sliced bread or use mini rolls instead. How about these sambo suggestions: upgrade a BLT with flavoured mayo, pair sliced turkey with peach or mango and apricot chutney on rye bread.
Assemble a cheeseboard with a diverse selection of cheeses starting with a cheddar, Brie or Camembert and a blue or flavoured cheese and build from there till you have up to 5 cheeses. Along with an endless supply of crackers, you’ll want to refresh and cleanse the palette, so add fresh fruit such as sliced apples, grapes, pomegranate, apricots and include quince or fig paste on your board.
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