A New Year's Eve wedding is such a good idea.
A lot of people have the next day off. Everyone is in the mood to party. And your guests will love that they have plans for the occasion, without having to navigate a packed bar or over-priced restaurant.
It's exciting, it's glamorous and it's full of revelry.
And while New Year's Eve can often be an anti-climax, when it's a wedding, you get the exciting/nervous bit out of the way early, (the actual getting married part!), so you and your guests are free to simply let your hair down until the all-important countdown.
But New Year's Eve weddings are special, and need to be treated as such. So we've come up with 10 must-haves for throwing your bash on the biggest party night of the year.
1. The Late Bar
Photo by Calligraphy by Jennifer
While where I'm from, Irish weddings always go on 'til the wee hours, and a wedding's not a wedding unless the couple have arranged for a late licence on the bar (yes, we live up to the stereotype on that one!)
But in the US and UK many weddings are wrapped up by midnight, and it's often the venue's policy that no liquor is served past a certain time. If you're getting married on New Year's Eve, ensure you can have your venue, some staff, and the bar until at least 2am – your guests will be expecting a late night party.
You may want to consult with your DJ, photographer, photobooth company and any other vendors about staying past the countdown on NYE too.
2. A Slew of Sparklers
This one is a no brainer, but a NYE wedding, needs an almighty sparkler send off. But you don't need to limit it to the end of the night; leave indoor sparklers on the tables for guests to get into the celebratory spirit from the beginning, serve desserts with sparklers already in them, or maybe even a flaming cocktail for added drama.
If your budget allows, you could opt for a fireworks display – nothing else rings in the new year with quite the same wow factor.
3. Abundant Bubbly
Photo via Love Luxe Weddings & Parties
Another no brainer if you ask us, but New Year's weddings need copious bubbly. While it might be pricey to serve Champagne all night, Cava, Proscecco, or a fizzy cocktail toast at midnight, will work just as well.
For a really glamorous focal point, you could talk to your caterer about creating a Champagne tower with old-school babycham glasses – if you're not dessert fans, pouring your own tower would make such a luxe alternative to cutting the cake.
4. All That Glitters
Photo via 20 20 Academy
Toying with the idea of a sequin wedding dress? A New Year's Eve wedding is the ultimate occasion to pull it off. A party on the 31st of December should be loaded with sparkle!
From sequinned table cloths, to glitter dipped feathers, a touch of gold on your glassware to all-out glitter in your decorations, if you're ever going to throw a bash that twinkles and glows, New Year's Eve is the night to do it.
Keep it classy, by pairing gold sparkle with whites, blacks, beige and blush for a luxuriously glimmering finish.
5. Prop Party
We've already mentioned the sparklers, but there are lots of little touches you can add to your party to remind your guests it's New Year's Eve.
While the 2015 glasses and dodgy hats can be a little tacky, lots of Etsy sellers and decoration vendors create chic versions, that will match the palette of your wedding. You could also add year-end photobooth props, confetti poppers and stylish party horns into the mix.
6. A Glamorous Location
New Year's Eve can often be one of the most glamorous nights of the year, when revellers really push the boat out with what they wear and where they go – glitzy parties, black-tie soirees and lavish dinners.
To add the same instant luxury to your wedding, opt to host it somewhere really special. While we love a barn wedding or vineyard backdrop in the summer time, NYE calls for something grander. Think a party on a boat with a show-stopping skyline view, a rooftop bash over the city, or bagging the keys to a private manor for one raucous house party.
7. A Resolute Idea
Everyone knows the new year is a time to make resolutions, plans, and aspirations for the year ahead. And we think incorporating them into your wedding is a lovely touch, and allows your guests a chance at their own fresh beginning on your wedding day.
You could have a DIY wishing well or a resolution jar, or you could turn it into something fun and interactive, like getting your guests to write their resolutions on chalkboard for the photobooth, or pinning their wish for the new year on a paper lantern and letting it float away.
Every culture has its own traditions for ringing in the new year, so find one that means something to you both, and share it with your guests.
8. Babysitter's Club
Photo by Ooh La La Couture for Nordstom
If you want your guests with kids to be the last ones standing with you on the dancefloor at the end of the night, organising some babysitters is a really thoughtful (and handy for you!) gesture.
If you have accommodation onsite or nearby, organise for one or several reputable babysitters to look after any wee one guests once it's past bedtime. This will allow you more options in your choice of late night venue, the kids will have an NYE slumber party, and parents among your guests will have piece of mind, while they party down.
9. The Getaway Car
Ever tried to get a taxi on New Year's Eve? It sucks. Don't let the end of the night be a dampener for your guests who are trying to get home in the early hours of the new year.
If you're getting married in the city, or if some of your guests will be staying away from your venue, try to organise transport in advance to make their journey home as smooth as possible. Whether it's a big bus dropping all your guests home, or having a pre-booking with some local cab companies, this thoughtful foresight will be massively appreciated.
10. A Plan for Countdown
So you've booked the late bar, bought the sparklers in bulk, and have enough bubbly to fill a swimming pool – you still need to hatch a plan of action for midnight.
Your guests will at the very least be expecting some kind of countdown crescendo, or else you might be partying so hard, you realise too late that it's five past midnight! Chat to your venue co-ordinator or DJ about creating something special for the moment, and make sure someone with a mic (and a watch) will be on-hand to announce the countdown.
We love the idea of a big balloon drop, but a killer party track at midnight would be just as fun. (Any of these will bring the house down!)
Have you ever been to a New Year's Eve wedding? Or are you planning your own for ringing in 2016? We'd love to hear your tips and advice?
Check out our unique ideas for planning a winter wedding.