New Year’s Eve is always a fun occasion to celebrate – whether you’re getting all dressed up for a night on the town, heading to a posh party, or keeping things casual with a get-together at home.
If you’re in a low-key mood this year, it’s totally acceptable to skip the expensive restaurants and over-the-top soirées by hosting a New Year’s Eve dinner party at home instead. To help you plan a festive yet relaxed NYE celebration at home, here are must-read tips on hosting an easy and effortless New Year’s Eve dinner party.
New Year’s Eve Dinner Party Guide
From beautiful tablescape ideas incorporating natural elements and shimmering candlelight to simple yet elegant menu suggestions, here’s how to plan a New Year’s Eve dinner party at home.
Setting the Table
- When it comes to setting the table, incorporating metallic accents (like gold charger plates, napkin rings, and flatware) adds a glamorous, elegant touch to any tablescape.
- Festive, holiday napkins (such as tartan plaid napkins in a cheery red color) add a pop of color.
- Keep things simple with basic white plates, which enables your food to stand-out.
- Instead of using a table runner or tablecloth, opt for natural elements as your centerpiece. Fresh garland with dried berries and leaves makes a gorgeous focal point on the table, without competing with your place settings.
- For added ambiance and warmth, place a few shimmering mercury votive candle holders on the garland.
Planning the Menu: Beverages
- Depending on your guests’ preferences, it’s advisable to offer a variety of wine options (such as Chardonnay, Champagne, Rosé, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet).
- If you know that your guests prefer liquor, serve them a signature cocktail (such as a Pomegranate Margarita).
- Keep guests hydrated with chilled flavored sparkling water.
- Set-up a designated DIY Bar (in your kitchen, on a table, or even on a breakfast bar if you have one). This enables guests to serve themselves, which makes your hosting job easier.
Planning the Menu: Appetizers
To get your New Year’s Eve dinner party off to a great start, when your guests begin to arrive, encourage them to mix and mingle while nibbling on bite-sized appetizers or a delectable assortment of fruit and cheese.
- A gourmet cheese plate is one of the easiest options to serve, as it can be prepared in advance of the party, doesn’t require any cooking or heating, and can sit out for a couple hours without spoiling.
- It’s advisable to offer a mix of cheese types, including a crowd-pleasing savory cheese (like Soft Cream Brie), something salty (like Blue Cheese), and something sweet (such as a caramel-flavored Gjetost Cheese).
- Add some fresh fruit (like ripe strawberries and grapes) and mixed nuts to the plate.
- To make your cheese plate even more interesting, offer guests specialty crackers (like Apple Walnut crisps).
Planning the Menu: The Entrée
To keep things easy for you, opt for fuss-free main dishes that require minimal prep time and don’t need to be labored over. One of our favorite meals to serve is Salmon, Asparagus, and a Baked Potato. The reason why we love this entrée idea is that it takes only 10 minutes to prepare and can all be baked in the oven.
- To prep the Baked Potato, wash and scrub them to start. Then season with Italian Herbs, poke holes in the top with a fork and wrap in aluminum foil. Pop them in the oven for 2 hours to bake at 400°F.
- To prepare the Salmon, place on a baking sheet and drizzle honey mustard and lemon juice on top. Allow 45 minutes to bake at 400°F.
- To prepare the Asparagus, wash and dry to start. Then place on a baking sheet, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, and some black pepper. Bake for 25 minutes at 400°F.
- Serve hot.
Planning the Menu: Desserts
To make life easier for you, skip the baking and simply offer your guests a variety of sumptuous sweets after-dinner such as store-bought cookies and chocolates. These can be displayed on a festive holiday plate, enabling your guests to choose the desserts they want to nibble on.
New Year’s Eve Dinner Party Ambiance
To create a warm and inviting atmosphere, light scented candles (such as our favorite Voluspa candle) and turn-on your twinkling tree lights. If you have a fireplace, get a roaring fire going, which encourages your guests to stay cozy and warm, while enjoying your company.
After dinner, keep the party going by heading to the living room for games or entertainment.
- Turn-on an old classic holiday movie or break-out some board games or cards.
- One of our favorite games to play is Cards Against Humanity, as it always gets everyone laughing.
- You can also encourage your guests to share their New Year’s Resolutions or wishes for the New Year. This is a great way to get the conversation going and connect with the people around you.
No matter how you choose to spend New Year’s Eve, make sure you enjoy celebrating the festivities with the people you love and cherish. Cheers to a wonderful New Year’s Eve dinner party that both you and your guests will enjoy!