Hosting a fun New Year's Eve party doesn't mean you have to break the bank (besides didn't you already do that with holiday shopping?). With the help of Sabrina Soto and our party decor picks, you'll be throwing a fab bash in a flash.
Set the scene
Party hats and other classic New Year's Eve party favors are a must Sabrina says. You have to get whistles, poppers, sparklers and even the cheesy glasses that say 2013 on them. "You don't have to spend a lot of money. Enlist the help of your friends. Trust me, everyone is willing to help."
Set up a little celebration station at your party. Have all of the party favors laid out so that guests can pick some up when they walk through the door. Set up your own DIY photo booth next to it along with a digital camera so that guests can pose and capture their favorite party moments. Chances are those pictures will evolve throughout the night as the Champagne kicks in and the festivities take off.
"You don't have to spend a lot of money. Enlist the help of your friends. Trust me, everyone is willing to help."
Nibble and nosh
Rather than bothering with a formal dinner, do a buffet-style spread. Set up little stations around your house. Organize a drink station with an assortment of beverages, with maybe some holiday favorites like eggnog, and include a signature cocktail. "I always make spicy sangria with jalapeno. People love it! I think everyone should have a signature cocktail they are known for."
Sabrina also suggests having a hors d'oeuvre station and a dessert station. Doing cold appetizers, like a Greek spread of hummus, olives, feta, will save you from slaving over a hot stove (and keep your makeup from melting off) so you can enjoy your guests. Sabrina recommends buying things that are premade at a local gourmet store to keep it simple.
One for the road
For the dessert station Sabrina likes to pick up little decorative baggies and have them ready at the table so that people can take home a sweet treat. She also suggests including a small pouch of fresh ground coffee in each bag so that guests can have coffee and treats first thing in the morning (it will also help them recover from the night of partying). Consider also having a few bottled waters on hand that guests can take to go and rehydrate from the evening's festivities.
"I always make spicy sangria with jalapeno. People love it! I think everyone should have a signature cocktail they are known for."
Planning is better than scrambling
Little touches like this are what make a New Year's Eve party special, but just make sure to preplan as much as possible so that you aren't running around like a mad woman scrambling to get everything together as guests arrive. "Unlike other times, you want to get decked out as well," Sabrina says, and you want to have time to clean yourself up and relax before guests start showing up.
No one likes a harried, stressed-out host so if all else fails simply take a deep breath, put on a big smile and pour yourself a glass of Champagne.
Our party picks
1. Chevron Paper Placemats, Layla Grayce, $25
More on hosting a New Year's Eve party
Photo credit: WENN.com