You don’t need to be Martha Stewart to throw a stylish New Year’s party. In fact, even if you’re pressed for time—and cash—with these tips, you can put together a beautiful and memorable cocktails. Many of these ideas require nothing more than a a few cheap accessories that you may already have hidden away in your closet. You’ll save hundreds of dollars on a party planner, and take no more time than one afternoon of planning and phonecalls.
Make a good mix of guests
One of the simplest secrets to keeping party guests happy is to invite a good variety of guests who will entertain each other. Everybody wants to make a new friend—and good conversation and laughter are worth more than a string quartet or any gimmick you may introduce to your get-together. Tip: when you introduce guests, give them a way to connect to each other or at least start a conversation. ‘Steve, meet John. You know, he played in his college football team, just like you!’ Or work in an interesting factoid. For example, while you’re making small talk with them, you can mention that Steve recently went on a trip to Asia, or John has the biggest collection of Star Wars figures than anyone else you know.
Make it light and bright
New Year is all about lights, lights, lights. You may still have decorative lights up from your Christmas celebration; turn them on, and then use it to your advantage. Cover your tables with a white damask cloth, which will help reflect the light. Sprinkle confetti on it, and use silverware and glass. You can also make a simple silver centerpiece: place a silver clock to help count the hours till midnight, or center 6 candles in silver candleholders, light them, and blow out each one as the hour strikes. You can also fill large glass bowls or hurricane candle holders with silver balls.
Another trick is to use very minimalist colors: white tablecloth as mentioned in the earlier tip, white plates, glass bowls.
Save your heirloom crystal
It’s probably not a good idea to use expensive glasses; after one too many glasses of champagne, your guests can get careless and clumsy. Instead, use simple glasses and rely on your décor to add elegance and style to your table settings. You can decorate the stems with silver wire or glittery plastic decors, which can be bought in bulk for a very cheap price at craft stores.
Don’t get stuck behind the bar
It’s your party and you should enjoy it! You can save yourself a lot of time and trouble by preparing your cocktails in pitchers, ready to pour at any time. That way your guests can keep their glasses full while you mingle, dance, or enjoy a few glasses yourself!
The most important thing, however, is to make sure that you have enough drinks for everyone. One good rule of thumb is that every guest you have may have about 4 alcoholic drinks. Keep soft drinks and non-alcoholic beverages on hand, too, for designated drivers or people who want to minimize their alcoholic intake. And get lots and lots of ice!
Here’s an elegant and inexpensive idea! Use mirrors for serving trays or platters. These will reflect the light and are far cheaper than buying sterling silver trays!
Set up a drink and appetizer table…or two
Free up your dining area and send those guests mingling by creating a separate set-up for drinks and appetizers or wine and cheese platters. If you don’t have a big table, set up several small corners.
Plant a silver forest
You can buy small Styrofoam cones at dirt-cheap prices in craft stores. Decorate these with strings of metallic beads, which you can attach with glue or T-pins. Put white flowers. Position underneath the lights or group small candles around them so they’ll reflect the light.
Photo from lilduckduck.com