The key to hosting the perfect New Year’s Eve soirée is to have a plan and prepare as much as possible beforehand. Avoid spending too much time in the kitchen while the evening unfolds in the other room. After all, your guests should not be the only partygoers enjoying your efforts!
Send out invitations. Whether formal or casual, sending out invitations will let your guests know you’re planning a serious affair – one that requires them to RSVP and show up on time! Set your response date to at least one week before the event, allowing yourself time to reach out to those who have not responded.
Choose a theme. Before you begin planning your menu or décor, decide the atmosphere or ambiance you would like to create. Once this is determined, all of the details will fall into place cohesively.
Plan your menu. You’ll want to plan your entire menu before heading to the market and decide whether you would like a sit-down dinner or cocktails with light bites. When preparing a New Year’s Eve dinner with multiple courses, incorporate dishes that can be cooked ahead of time and can be reheated when ready to serve – braised dishes work best. If you prefer lighter options that pair well with cocktails, wine or champagne, crudité platters served with hummus and charcuterie boards complemented by a variety of artisan cheeses, all make for easy to prepare small, yet delicious bites. On the day of your soirée, be sure to have everything you need and ingredients ready to go before you start cooking.
A little something extra. Party favors are always well received. Decorate your mantle or coffee table with a variety of festive hats, tiaras and noisemakers for guests to grab throughout the evening.
10, 9, 8… Before your event begins, set an alarm for 11:50 pm, allowing yourself some time to pour champagne for all of your guests and for everyone to gather in one room. Designate someone to begin counting down 10 seconds before midnight, or live stream the ball drop in Times Square – it’s a great tradition that really brings the entire night together.