I absolutely love hosting parties, especially during the holidays. There’s a magic and energy in the air during the month of December that I find electrifying, exciting. The various religious holidays that occur this time are special to many of us, and serve as reminder to be grateful for what mankind has endured before us, but I’m most fond of celebrating the New Year.
The New Year. It’s pristine. Untouched. A blank canvas, a clean slate. An opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been, and to make conscious decisions about where we’d like to be, who we’d like to be. The New Year offers the thrill of the unknown, excitement about the endless possibilities. What’s not to celebrate? No matter the reason for your next party, here are five simple tricks to ensuring your upcoming bash is a smashing success.
Cocktail parties are typically standing room only, encouraging your guests to mingle (and jingle) with people they’ve maybe not met before. That’s the whole reason for the season, no? Still, stilettos can be stifling, so create a couple of different seating options. The vignettes don’t have to be fancy; instead of moving existing chairs to the perimeter of your party space to make more room, pull a few pieces together. A couple of chairs, a pouf and a small side table lit with candles candles offers a place for cozy conversation where guests can rest both weary legs and cocktail glasses.
Festive beverages are a must-have at any proper party. Ever been to a dry wedding? Did you see anyone dancing? Chances are you didn’t. Cocktails with a holiday spin are some of my favorites, offering the opportunity to showcase flavors and spices unique to the season. It’s advisable to stock your bar with traditional libations, (red and white wine, beer, and bubbly), but try adding a signature cocktail to your bar menu. It’s a fabulous way to introduce something unexpected to tantalize your partygoers’ palates. This Winter Wonderland Champagne Sparkler created by Jenn is a fusion of our fave bubby, Le Gran Courtâge, spiked with toasted pecan bitters and cranberry. It’s like December in a glass!
If I have to tell you that music is essential to the success of your party, then we have a long way to go, sister. Music is key to any event. Not only does it fill the empty air with sound and create atmosphere, it literally sets the tone of your event. The choices on your playlist determine the energy of the evening. Think about it: Have you ever been dancing at a wedding, then completely appalled at the DJ’s next song choice that you promptly left the dance floor? I definitely have. Choose music that is a reflection of you and the theme of your party, and be sure to keep the volume at a proper level, too. If you want your crowd to dance, then pump up the pop tunes. If you’re beat and ready to wrap up the festivities, spin some slow jams at a lower volume to encourage your guests to collect their coats. Bluetooth speakers are life-savers when it comes to hosting a party across multiple rooms. Here’s what our tech-maven Jenn has to say about these superb speaker pillars:
“These gorgeous speakers by Dwell Studio for Stellé are stylish enough to display as part of your decor, ensuring that your party music is not playing in another room, but rather is right in the middle of the action. Using bluetooth technology, it pairs with your phone, iPad or MP3 device to stream music wirelessly and sports a rechargeable lithium ion battery for up to 15 hours of non-stop tunes. If you refuse to compromise style in your high-tech gadgets, then this sleek pillar speaker arrived just in time for the holidays!”
Don’t be fooled into thinking that more is more when it comes to decor. I prefer smaller, well-chosen pieces to add interest to my party scenes. Flowers are always a must; their freshness brings life and vivacity to the room. Place at least one arrangement in a highly visible place, like the bar cart, and a smaller display of stems in the powder room. Candles are necessities, as well. Just be aware of the placement of these open flames. Be sure to place them out of high traffic areas, and keep scented candles away from food and beverages as they’ll interfere with your taste buds.
Punch up your ice bucket! Why not keep your booze chilled over frozen balloons? It looks festive, and keeps the melted water to a minimum, so guests won’t suffer from chilly hands after bobbing for bubbly. I love the way these look, and they’re so simple to make. Fill balloons with water, freeze overnight, and voila!
Stop right there. I’m not talking about little printed plastic bags filled with flimsy toys and stale candy. This is a party for grown-ups, thank you very much. Create a layer of unexpected fun and add some pizazz to your party. Pull apart glitter and confetti-filled poppers, or light up some sparklers to make the night shine.
Hope your next bash is a blast!
Are you hosting a party this holiday? What are your plans to make the night special?