Are you planning to get hitched on New Year’s Eve? What could be more romantic than starting the New Year and your new married life on the same day? You’ll never have to worry about remembering your anniversary, and you’ll have the perfect excuse to wear a swanky top hat or tiara. As long as you’re breaking out the bubbles and toasting the New Year anyway, why not give yourselves a little something extra to celebrate?
Because you’re requesting your guests’ attendance on a night when most people traditionally make plans far in advance, you’ll need to go one step further and send out save the date cards well in advance of your wedding. Five to six months in advance isn’t too soon, although you’ll want to send out another round of reminder cards closer to the date. You want to be sure your guests know you’re the best New Year’s Eve party in town.
If you’re planning a dramatic midnight celebration (and on New Year’s Eve, what just-married couple isn’t?) you’ll want to start your party on the later side of the evening. Eight or nine o’clock is late enough so guests won’t be tempted to turn in early, but is still early enough for guests to arrive late and get comfortable before midnight.
If you’re having a late start, small plates make more sense than a sit-down dinner. Talk with your caterer about the ideal finger foods to serve on platters throughout the party.
Make your special night even more special by requesting formal dress. Your guests will look their best in black tie attire and feel more festive, too.
As a New Year’s Eve bride, you have an opportunity to dress to the nines. Let yourself sparkle and shine in sequins and glitter that might be overkill in an afternoon wedding. Grab your tiara; even if you don’t want a bejeweled one, you can always make a statement in a classic “Happy New Year” foil adornment. The same goes for your groom and top hats: swanky velvet and satin top hats look quite distinguished, but the party favor kind is just as fun.
The New Year’s Eve couple has fantastic options when it comes to giving out party favors that will be well received by most guests. Start your celebration a little before midnight by handing out miniature bottles of champagne with customized labels announcing your names and wedding date, or a photo of the happy couple.
Rent a photo booth for the evening and let guests show off their New Year’s Eve finery while making silly faces at the camera. The photo strips can be printed automatically with your names and wedding date, so guests can take the photo strips home and remember your wedding every time they glance at the photos.
Involve your guests in the fun by arranging a table of fun accessories by the entrance. As guests come in, they can choose between sparkling “Happy New Year’s” foil tiaras and top hats, cone-shaped party hats, and noise makers or confetti party poppers for the stroke of midnight.
Hand-held sparklers make a great photo-op and give guests a festive way to greet the New Year. At a few minutes to midnight, hand out sparklers (for outside celebrations only) and send a few people through the crowd with candles to light them.
Worried your guests might not be used to late-night celebrations? Keep folks from dropping until the ball does by providing several well-stocked coffee and tea stations throughout the room. You can also provide small bottles of energy drinks, as well as novelty items such as caffeinated candy, caffeinated popcorn, and yes, even caffeinated soap.
Celebrate the year-in-review by featuring the chart-topping songs of the last twelve months. Brainstorm with your DJ to come up with the perfect song list. Or celebrate the once and future classics by hiring a live band to play their rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
Whether you decide to favor the best songs of the past, or predict the new hits of the upcoming year, be sure to leave plenty of high-energy dance songs for the end of the evening. As long as the music moves them, guests will have little difficulty staying awake and alert for the midnight countdown.
New Year’s Eve is typically celebrated in elegant black and white or shimmering gold and silver. Combine all four for a sparkling color palette that’s sure to impress. New Year’s Eve weddings are also winter weddings, so don’t be afraid to incorporate snowflake and icicle motifs to your decorations, as well.
Time is of the essence! Center your décor on a large clock that’s visible from all areas of the room. The more conspicuous the clock, the better; scour antique and vintage shops for a magical-looking clock right out of a fairytale. If you can’t find the perfect clock, consider projecting a countdown on a wall. Not only will your guests be stealing glances as they anticipate midnight, but you and your new spouse will also be able to plan events easily. Don’t miss the opportunity for a dramatic, pre-midnight speech or toast!
White flowers add an elegant touch to tables, whether large centerpieces of all-white roses, or single lilies and orchids in vases throughout the room. Mix in metallic tinsel or artistically-bent wire sculpture to make your floral arrangements pop.
As midnight hits, be sure you’re next to your sweetheart so you can share your first kiss of the new year. You might want to surprise your guests with an unexpected confetti or balloon drop as the clock hits twelve.
There’s only one thing to be cautious of when planning holiday weddings, and that’s ruining the date for yourself should the worst occur and you two ever decide to part ways. But that’s hardly a reason to steer clear of auspicious calendar dates; if your love stays true, (and you know it will), you’ll just be giving yourselves one more reason to celebrate every year.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.