We realise that today is the last working day for many of you out there and I'm sure your heads are full of Christmas presents, food and spending precious time with family and friends. As specialists in wedding and event design at Pocketful of Dreams, naturally we love any excuse for a party, but New Year's Eve for us is the big one, the one we look forward to all year and enjoy attending for a change rather than planning and hosting.
If you're in the very early stages of your wedding planning and are still choosing the perfect time of year for your nuptials, have you considered a New Year's Eve wedding? Perfect for the party-loving couple, there's a real sense of celebration and joy in the air, much more so than at any other time of the year. As event planners we always advise our couples on a highly practical level regarding the things they must consider when choosing their wedding date and there are definitely more considerations when planning a wedding that coincides with the year's biggest celebration. Below we have provided you with a few inspiring ideas to really personalise your New Years wedding and ensure it feels distinctive as well as practical advice that will take the stress out of your planning.
As it's a key celebration anyway there is a sense of expectation that the evening will be decadent and glamorous so think about how you can style your day to meet those expectations. Think all out sparkle and glamour with bold details for a truly decadent celebration and a full on party atmosphere that will ensure guests remember this as not just the best New Year's Eve party they ever attended but the best wedding too! A colour palette of rose pink, gold and black will provide all the glitz you require, plus oodles of elegance.
There are a number of practical considerations if you want to get married on this date; you may find that not all suppliers are available and venues are bound to get booked up far in advance so be sure to start your planning extra early to ensure you are not forced to compromise. Instead of public venues like hotels or heritage properties, consider private houses like Aynhoe Park (you have to see this incredible wedding hosted at Aynhoe Park!), Hedsor House or the fabulous Parallel Venues properties which are likely to be more accommodating. And don't forget, if you are planning a civil ceremony to check that the local register office will perform ceremonies on this date before booking your venue!
We know that New Year's Eve is all about the countdown to midnight and the excitement starts to build as the daylight fades so plan your celebrations to start as late in the day as possible to capitalise on the ready-made party atmosphere. This way you are also intruding less onto a day where many people may traditionally spend time with family. And don't forget to make sure your venue has a late license – you don't want your party to be ending as Big Ben strikes!
If ever there was a wedding date worthy of a dress code, it's a New Year's Eve wedding; this is a date where guests expect to dress up, so go to town with a black tie or all-out-sparkly dress code. Just remember to give people lots of notice and clear instructions around what to wear.
Regardless of whether you set a dress code for your guests, your groom will look stylish and perfectly dressed in a tuxedo, white or black, with a hand tied bow tie of course! Or if he can't master tying his own, opt for a ready tied one for the ceremony and then switch it over for a casual, untied look for the evening reception…nobody will ever know!
Expectations will be high for a set of New Year Nuptials, so this is the perfect opportunity for a high drama wedding gown; think bold and beautiful with lots of texture and interest. Regular Love My Dress readers will know that Annabel is just dying to feature a bride in a black dress…well this wedding is the perfect occasion to wow your guests in the fabulous black frothy tulle design from Ouma recently shared on these very pages.
As the chimes approach, the party mood will really be upon you and your guests so perhaps a second dress and literally letting your hair down may be in order…how about a gold and sparkly number to give you the freedom you need to twirl and dazzle on the dance floor? And of course, this would be the perfect opportunity to show off those crystal embellished heels you've been hiding all day…
And as for your maids, well we just love the idea of them rocking tuxedo jackets like this one from ASOS with cute little black bow ties, a crisp white shirt, slinky little black skirt and killer heels!
Set the tone for your party celebration from the off with a suitably decadent paper suite. You want something that encapsulates the glitz and fun of New Year but in a tasteful and chic fashion; luxurious black letter press invitations are bound to create just the impact you are after.
Food and drink should be in keeping with your celebratory theme; if you are planning a black tie do then a formal and elegantly styled sit down meal will be appropriate but remember that after the excesses of Christmas the week before, people may not want anything too heavy. And certainly no Turkey! For drinks, fizz is a must but up the ante with champagne based cocktails served in sugar rimmed glasses with gold sparkly drink stirrers and maybe the odd jello shot as the night progresses.
Don't forget that such a party atmosphere and a later than usual carriages time means you need to make special arrangements for older relatives and children. Your grandparents may not be ready to enjoy jello shots or dance until 2am so make sure you create a quiet zone for them to sit down and catch their breath. A live swing band playing between DJ sets will keep the party atmosphere going all night long but also appeal to guests of all ages.
Children will feed off the party atmosphere but are likely to wear themselves out before the end of your night. So why not hire a nanny and speak to your venue about setting up a room to create a slumber party for the kids. Ask parents to bring a sleeping bag along for the kids and deck the room out with child-friendly movies and games for them to enjoy whilst the adults kick their heels off.
Instead of a traditional guest book, why not ask your guests to share their New Year's Resolutions? You could even create a large screen or walled area for people to write their resolutions on; this would be a fantastic keepsake after the day and provide much merriment as your guests can see how unrealistic some people's resolutions are! It's also a lovely anniversary follow-up to see how many stuck to theirs.
The focal point of the day will undoubtedly be the stroke of midnight and you can provide party themed favours like masquerade masks, streamers and sparklers to ensure this goes off with a bang. Really go all out to celebrate this moment in your day with streamers, confetti showers and maybe a live act playing as the clock strikes. But also consider this is a time of tradition and be respectful of the fact that your guests may have their own traditions they want to observe such as watching or listening to the countdown on the TV or radio and phoning distant family. Think about how you can accommodate all of your guests wishes and also where you want to be at midnight; do you want to be with all your guests leading the toasts or enjoying a private moment with your new husband, or perhaps you'd prefer to be on the dance floor with a later-than-normal first dance?
We do hope that this has provided you with some fabulous inspiration for a New Year's Eve Wedding or even a New Year's Party! If you'd like help planning your own unique and stylish celebration Pocketful of Dreams offers wedding and event design, planning and styling services across the UK.
Finally, we'd like to wish all you lovely Love My Dress readers the most fabulous of festive breaks, full of love, laughter and happiness. We look forward to seeing you all in 2013!
Michelle & Vicki
Event Designers and Stylists at Pocketful of Dreams.
Pocketful of Dreams offers wedding and event design, planning and styling services across
the UK, from simply refining your own ideas into a meaningful design
concept right through to managing your spectacular wedding or event. Our
services are entirely bespoke and based upon your needs. Email Vicki@pocketfulofdreams.co.uk to find out more.