Surefire ways to elevate the year’s final party
Photography: Frances Marais | Styling: Charl Edwards | Location: Margot Molyneux
If 2016 was about realising things, 2017 was about shattering all those realisations. Whatever 2018 has in store, the first day is certain to bring with it that feeling of a fresh start – anything is possible, new year, new me etc. It can then be said that your motivation for the year on the horizon can be affected in one major way – how you celebrate New Year’s Eve.
Gone are the days of paying exorbitant entry charges for overcrowded nightclubs, drinking whatever’s left at the bar for twice the price and staying awake way longer than was ever necessary. No, this year
Now the connotations of throwing your own party is skulking around your place the next day as you clean up broken glass and questionably-smelling substances off surfaces substances shouldn’t be on. It’s all about perspective however, and the benefits of hosting far outweigh the cons – your choice of music, you control the mood, you can pass out in your own bed. The trick is to avoid curating a rager by establishing an atmosphere that suggests this is less frat-boy house party and more Instagram-worthy, fomo-inducing exclusive soiree. A great philosopher once said “your vibe attracts your tribe”, so with that in mind, here are a few tips on how to elevate your New Year’s Eve party.
Establish the mood
As we’ve mentioned, the last thing you want to do on the first day of January is assessing the damage caused by your party while you regret every decision you made the day before. Avoiding this starts before the guests even arrive – by displaying or leaving out your fragile pieces like vases or fancy glasses, you’re setting the mood for the whole evening. This is a real adult party, you say with your carefully-style home, and your guests will give an extra effort to ensure everything stays intact and free of spills.
Preparation makes perfect
When the shindig is in full swing, you don’t want to be doing stuff like finding clean glasses, mixing punch, getting your sound system to work or putting up decorations. Doing things ahead of time can be a drag, but in this context, it’s vital to ensuring you have as good a time as your guests. Premix punch, and then premix some more for when it inevitably runs out. Have your best party glasses out in the open, but have a few ready replacements stored in the kitchen. Curate playlists per hour of the evening, as well as backup options, and do a sound check while you’re doing the rest of the setting up. If you’re struggling to choose, you can always opt for someone else’s choices in the form of a mixtape(link).
Pick a theme and stick to it
Setting the mood ahead of the party has a big impact. A universal theme, like the silver-and-gold scheme in our shoot, further works to give the impression this isn’t some ad-hoc house party of yesteryear. A few party staples like a hanging garland, plastic cups and plates can form the basis of this theme, and allows you to mix and match whatever else you have lying around – don’t neglect those unused Christmas decorations.
Curate social corners
Depending on how many guests you invited or the success of your gathering, there’s going to be plenty of people aimlessly wandering around your place. By styling certain spaces in your home can allow people to gravitate to certain areas subconsciously. It’s probably best to clear out any furniture that isn’t serving a social purpose, while leaving a few choice pieces scattered around. Throw a couple of armchairs in a corner where the music is playing to let the wannabe DJs a place to contemplate their next move. Give those pesky smokers space on the balcony, because there’s millions of them. Keep all your glassware and drink ingredients on a long table with plenty of space around it to encourage shoulder-to-shoulder chats. Most importantly, make sure you remove any rug from the dancefloor area, as well as any breakables.
Your party, your rules
Living in the digital age makes throwing a party that much easier. Not only can your guestlist be targeted with surgical precision, you can manage everyone’s expectations well before the day itself with the help of Facebook. By going with a theme for which guests have to make an effort, they’re already under the impression that this is a fancy get-together, and that first-year-varsity attitude just won’t fly. An event page is a great place to post things like outfit mood boards, establish a list of who’s bringing what and even decide on the evening’s DJs ahead of time – all in aid of upping the excitement and making the party itself that much better.