I recently shared details about our New Year’s Eve dinner party – a menu that I highly recommend if you are entertaining a large or small group! This week I am sharing details about the drinks, decor, and other tips that will help to perfect your evening.
I love white dishes because they give your table a sleek, modern look and allow you to change up your color palette with other fun accents on your table. I’m also a fan of metallic/neutral place mats to enhance the modern look and add a metallic accent.
A fun way to add color and flare to your dinner table decor is colorful, patterned napkins. Pier 1 has a great selection of reasonably priced napkins and place mats in a variety of colors and styles. A nice final touch is to include personalized place cards on each plate. My 6 year old actually wrote our guests’ place cards which provided a cute, personal touch to the table decor.
When selecting table decor, you want to select centerpieces that are short so that all guests can see each other when seated at the table. I love fresh cut flowers on the table because they add a splash of color and sophistication. My favorite flowers for table arrangements are roses and hydrangeas – both look great cut very short in a smaller square vase (as seen in this picture). Quick tip, check your local grocery store for fresh flowers at a reasonable price. I only paid $6 dollars for 18 roses at our local Safeway grocery store!
Candles are another must have for your dinner table. Smaller candles and votives are non-intrusive and help to make your table feel more intimate.
When hosting friends we enjoy serving a specialized cocktail that goes with the theme of the evening or season. For summer barbeques, sangria is a popular choice. For New Years Eve we served a Kir Royale Champagne Cocktail. This drink was easy to prep beforehand and also had the added benefit of looking pretty when served to guests (see picture below!). A Kir Royale is just champagne mixed with Creme de Cassis or Chambord and can be served year round.
We also served Manhattans which provided a stiffer, alternative cocktail for the crowd. We mixed batches of both cocktails and kept in pitchers throughout the night so that guests could help themselves. We also set up a bar with a variety of alcohols, mixers, stirrers, and ice to offer a variety of beverages for our guests. Don’t forget to include non-alcoholic beverage options like sparking water and soda!
Music is another important factor in setting the ambiance and mood for your party. If you have the time, create a playlist that suits the crowd, mood, and ambiance you are trying to capture. Or play music via internet radio sites, like Pandora or Spotify, that will automatically generate playlists based on the genre of music selected.
One final note, while seated at dinner we went around the table and had all of our guests state their New Year’s resolution as well as one nice statement about the person seated to their left. It may sound awkward but it was actually a great way to break the ice, centralize the dinner conversation, and initiate dialogue around the table. Something to consider for your next gathering!
I would love to hear from you on your dinner party wins – menu, decor, drinks…..please comment in the box below!
For more tips on hosting a dinner party and menu suggestions, click here.