Dear brides-to-be, forget about the summer. If there's one day of the year that pretty much guarantees a fun party, it's New Year's Eve.
Some couples are reluctant to book their I Dos on December 31, assuming their guests may have other plans in mind. But think about it—your guests are already in a celebratory mood so the moment is just perfect for you to tie the knot. Plus, people generally dread planning New Year's Eve since it's so often expensive, stressful, and underwhelming; you'll take all that off their hands. And, of course, it's a date that no one will ever forget so you'll be receiving anniversary messages for years to come.
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Of course, since it's still your special day, you'll want your nuptials, not just the ball drop, to remain the center of attention. Your inspiration for the party will be, well, PARTY. But think a never-ending champagne flow, confetti, and midnight fireworks on top of other fun wedding-specific moments like your bouquet toss and the cake slicing.
It may be wise to choose a convenient location over that remote barn since guests may have other travels planned for their winter vacations.
Timing becomes key in a New Year's Eve wedding, says Lindsey Nickel, owner and event planner at Lovely Day Events. Because as much as the night is about you and bae, you'll want your guests to be able to continue their favorite NYE traditions. First of all, you don't want to end the party too early, leaving your friends to find another venue to dance into the new year. Second, says Nickel, keeping the ceremony on a schedule is "extra important so that you can also include New Year's Eve's activities such as watching the ball drop and kisses at midnight. Work with your wedding planner to create a realistic timeline and keep the day on schedule."
Keep reading for 13 ways to ace your New Year's Eve wedding.
1. Invest in Music
"Nothing says NYE like some serious rug-cutting, so up the ante with a big, boisterous band.” — Calder Clark, owner and creative director, Calder Clark
2. Make an Entrance
“Set the tone of the night and help make the evening even more magical by decorating the reception entrance with sparkly lights.” — Virginia Edelson, owner, Bluebird Productions.
3. Use Champagne-Inspired Décor
“Nothing says 'Happy New Year' like a popping cork and fizzing bottle of bubbly, so get creative with ways to incorporate this drink in your New Year’s Eve wedding, such as these custom escort cards created by The Detail Department.” — Emily Clarke, creative director, Emily Clarke Events.
4. Offer Loads of Treats
“When in doubt offer loads of delicious treats, both sweet and savory, as a late night snack. This is one party that will easily go well into the night!” — Cassandra Santor, owner, Cassandra & Company.
5. Get Creative with Your Cocktails
“Bubbles are quintessential NYE but mixing it up with some fun cocktails like a fizzy pear concoction is a fun way to ring in the new year as well!” — Elisa Bricker, owner and lead photographer, Elisa Bricker.
6. Get Festive with Your Food
“A cocktail reception-style dinner is a great way to make your NYE wedding feel like a NYE party. Think interactive food stations, a dessert bar, and enough room for plenty of dancing!” — Jamie Gansler, senior event planner, A Savvy Event
7. Balloon It Up
“Balloons are a must. Try a dramatic balloon ceiling treatment paired with a confetti balloon countdown when the clock strikes midnight.” — Kaitlyn Hostetler, director of marketing, EVOKE
8. Warm Up Your Guests
“Serve some holiday-style drinks to help keep the holiday spirit while warming up your guests!” — Amy Nichols, owner, Amy Nichols Special Events
9. Splurge on Confetti
“There’s nothing more fun than setting off a confetti cannon at midnight! It’s such a fun way to ring in the new year. Your guests will go crazy with excitement. Bonus? It makes for stunning images!” — Diana Venditto, owner and principal planner, Eventi Floral & Events
10. Dish Out Noisemakers
“Pass out little gold bells tied with velvet ribbon for guests to ring at midnight and as sweet keepsakes to take home, or dish out noisemakers for a louder fanfare when the clock strikes! Ask your servers to pass these celebratory trinkets on gold trays to guests on the dance floor!” — Aleah and Nick Valley, founders, Valley & Company Events
11. Keep the Bubbles Flowing
“It’s not New Year’s without champagne. Keep it flowing all night and consider incorporating vintage crystal coupes, an eye-catching champagne tower, or a sparkling specialty cocktail with a festive garnish.” — Callista Osborn, owner, Callista & Company
12. Make The Evening Glow
“Invest in lots of candles to keep the evening glowy and to create a warm feeling. A disco ball never hurt anyone either.” — Anna Le Pley Taylor, owner and lead designer, Anna Le Pley Taylor.
13. Set Off Fireworks
“What says ‘Happy New Year’ more than fireworks? If you're lucky enough to host your wedding at a venue with windows in a city like Chicago where fireworks over Lake Michigan are an annual tradition, your guests will be treated to a great show and you'll get some spectacular photos!” — Beth Bernstein, owner and event director, SQN Events