Our Top 10 Favorite New Year's Eve Wedding Tips From The Pros
Looking for a quick and easy theme for your wedding that guests are sure to love? Choose a New Year wedding theme! It comes with a lot of glitz and glam, and it’s the perfect choice for couples who are looking forward to the party that will go long into the night after saying, “I do.”
That doesn’t mean a New Year’s wedding is easy. From New Year’s wedding decorations to your guests, food, favors, and more, we’ve organized a list of tips from the experts who will make sure your New Year’s wedding goes perfectly from start to finish.
1. Lock Down Your Venue as Soon as Possible
Is New Year’s Eve a popular wedding date? Not necessarily, but the date itself is extremely popular. Many New Year wedding venues may already be booked for other gatherings, events, and parties, which means planning at the last minute could leave you without a reception space.
We recommend locking down your venue as soon as possible. Strive for six months in advance, but earlier is even better to ensure you get the New Year’s wedding you want.
2. Send Out Invitations Early
Not only do you need to reserve your venue early, you should also send out invitations earlier than you would if you were planning a wedding any other time of year. Many people are already planning on coming home and would love to attend your wedding, but others may need to adjust their holiday travel plans to be there.
Want to make sure as many people show up to your wedding as possible? Plan it close to home. Although you might be dreaming of a NYC New Year’s Eve wedding, many important family members may not be willing to adjust their holiday travel plans to be there.
3. Hire a Live Band
Asking yourself, “How can I make my wedding more fun?” A DJ will do, but when it comes to a New Year’s Eve wedding, a live band is a must. Calder Clark, owner and creative director of Calder Clark, agrees, "Nothing says NYE like some serious rug-cutting, so up the ante with a big, boisterous band.”
As is the case with your venue and invitations, make sure you book early to ensure you get the band you want.
4. Make Sure There Are Plenty of Snacks
It’s important to plan a delicious dinner, but don’t think your New Year’s Eve wedding menu stops there. New Year’s Eve weddings tend to go a lot longer than weddings during other times of the year, so make sure you have plenty of snacks planned too.
“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!” shares Cassandra Santor, owner of Cassandra & Company.
5. Be Ready for Any Kind of Weather
It doesn’t matter where you live, you have to be ready for any kind of weather. Tori, a real bride who had a New Year’s Eve wedding, says, “If it were to rain, move the ceremony indoors. I also provided inexpensive blankets for guests at our 30 minute ceremony.”
You also have to think about transportation from your New Year’s wedding reception. How are guests going to get home if there’s a snow storm? If the weather is bad, how will your pictures be affected? How will wind affect your hair? It’s important to plan for all of these things ahead of time.
6. Don’t Shy Away From Balloons and Confetti
Don’t automatically assume the common New Year wedding ideas of balloons and confetti are cheesy and look cheap. They are right at home at a New Year’s wedding!
Kaitlyn Hostetler, director of marketing at EVOKE, says, “Balloons are a must. Try a dramatic balloon ceiling treatment paired with a confetti balloon countdown when the clock strikes midnight.”
Don’t forget the confetti! Diana Venditto, owner and principal planner of Eventi Floral & Events, says, “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!”
7. Use Flameless Candles
It’s going to get dark, and stay dark, at a New Year’s wedding reception, but it also has the potential to get a little rowdy. Make sure you don’t end up burning the place down by choosing flameless candles over open flames.
“Do yourself a favor and use flameless candles. The fire department is the last guest you want at your New Year’s party!” shares Tony, a resident party expert at Pottery Barn.
8. Consider an Open Bar
Guests love an open bar, no matter when you plan your wedding, but at no other celebration is alcohol expected than New Year’s Eve. If you can adjust your budget for an open bar, you should.
That doesn’t mean you have to offer free access to a complete bar. Make sure there’s plenty of champagne to do a New Year wedding toast, have plenty of kegs, and consider offering a few signature cocktails so you don’t have to worry about having too much alcohol on-site.
9. Pass Out Favors With a Theme
Guests love wedding favors, but they’ll especially love your New Year’s Eve wedding favors when they follow the theme of the day!
Things like party horns, party crackers, mini New Year’s resolution diaries, and clock inspired treats, like clock-shaped cookies, make great party favors. If you really want to go above and beyond, pass out hangover kits to each of your guests.
10. Don’t Forget the Kids
Some of the best New Year’s wedding ideas involve the kids because they deserve to have fun ringing in the new year too! Make sure they have activities to do, and give them plenty of party poppers and horns so they’re prepared when the clock strikes midnight.
The parents will appreciate it if you hire someone to entertain and keep the kids out of trouble. Gina Wade of Gina Wade Creative says, "Find someone engaging and energetic. The more engaged they stay, the happier the kids will be. Give them a schedule of activities so that they have a plan of attack for the evening."