December 28, 2011 at 8:00 am , by Beth Roehrig
I love New Year’s Eve! When I plan a party, I always make sure to create a welcoming setting where guests will feel comfortable. I also repurpose items I already have on hand to make the most of my budget, which totally makes it possible to throw a glamorous New Year’s party on a dime. Here’s how:
1. Accessorize affordably. New Year’s Eve supplies are easy to find at affordable stores. Look for small touches and metallic accessories that will bring the chic quotient up a few notches and complement your everyday décor.
2. Don’t forget the essentials. Every New Year’s party should have:
• A punch bowl to serve up a signature cocktail
• A beverage tub to keep the bubbly chilled all the night
• A mirrored tray to help present treats like finger foods
• A mirrored ball that sets the mood
3. Put out a buffet. A mix of hot-and-cold finger foods on tiered trays and cake stands will give your table some dimension. Bonus: When you’re not tied up in the kitchen, you’ll have time to work the room and welcome guests as they arrive.
4. Create a signature cocktail.When I throw a party, I serve the “Spicy Soto.” It’s a sangria that’s a perfect balance of sweet and spicy. I set up a tray near the entryway with a few of glasses of my beverage, water, white wine and Prosecco so guests can help themselves! Clear liquid cocktails and mixes are key to keeping your cherished home items from red wine mishaps! For a New Year’s Party – make a commemorative cocktail that celebrates the past year and serve it in a punch bowl.
5. Set up a bar. Uncork wine and pour into decanters, and set out pitchers of pre-made mixers before guests arrive. The right serving pieces are not only practical, but beautiful visual displays that add decorative touches to your buffet table or bar. Remember to place sparkling beverages in an ice bath about half an hour before serving.
6. Keep the party going. The best way to get your guests mingling is to apply the one-less chair rule. Having a few less seats than there are people in the room encourages people to stand, mix and mingle more.
7. Make it festive. Have party hats and noise makers on hand to get everyone excited for the ball drop. I give each guest a New Year’s Survival Bag equipped with party hats and noise makers, or put them out in a decorative bowl on the coffee table. Just make sure they’re easily accessible so guests can grab them quickly when the countdown begins.
8. Let the music play. Build anticipation for the countdown with a custom New Year’s Eve music mix. I like to mix a blend of new hits with some classics by streaming from an online site like Pandora or Spotify. When picking songs for your playlist, include a mix of classics, top hits from the current year, and the songs you and friends can’t help singing along to.
Have a Happy New Year!
Top photos courtesy of Sabrina Soto/Target.
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