With the stress of Christmas behind you, New Year’s Eve is a great time to let loose. If the thought of heading into the city and battling hundreds of thousands of people for the best fireworks vantage spot starts to make your blood boil Bruce Banner style, then probably best to entertain at home.

So to get some hot tips on how to plan a party we called in the big guns and asked Sally McNamara, senior event manager at Merivale. Helping people plan everything from intimate dinners to huge gatherings for hundreds at Merivale’s venues; think ivy, Establishment, The Beresford and Coogee Pavilion, Sally knows how to throw a shindig or two.

Top six tips to hosting a party

(1) Budget – the most important thing is to first work out how much you want to spend. What does that need to include? Food, drink, invites, theming, travel, etc. People often budget thinking that’s just food and drink but there’s so much more that goes into hosting a party which needs including.

(2) Theming – everyone loves to have a party with a theme. People like to dress up and wear something glamorous for a night, especially New Year’s Eve.

(3) Food – it’s always the thing people remember, especially if there’s not enough! Select the right food for your crowd. It doesn’t have to be fancy just sensible and attractive. If it’s a big event and you’re asking people to dress up then maybe not have chicken drumsticks.

(4) Drinks – if you have really nice drinks people will have a good time. Match food and drinks of the same standard. There’s no point going all out on the food and serving cheap drinks.

(5) Guest list – if you have a fun group of people in the room then you’ll have a great time no matter what.

(6) Entertainment – always fabulous. A DJ is great live entertainment that underpins the night. Bands are good until their set ends and people have to clear the dance floor, whereas a DJ can go throughout the event.

(7) Drinks – better to have too much then too little. Nothing ends a party like the booze running out.

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