A wise girl once said, “The way you spend New Year’s Eve is the way you’re going to spend the rest of the year.” That girl was Summer Roberts from “The O.C.,” and the quote was uttered just hours before Ryan dramatically ran up multiple flights of stairs (in slow motion, naturally) to get to Marissa before midnight. Every Millennial remembers this dreamy episode, and every millennial wishes to have a rom-com-inspired proclamation of love like that on New Year’s Eve. Yes, you do. Don’t lie.
But, since we live IRL, we’ll probably have to settle for the next best thing—throwing a fabulous New Year’s Eve party. Invite all your friends, skip the overpriced party tickets and avoid Uber’s surge pricing. Sounds easy enough, right? Not quite.
There’s a lot of pressure on this bash. Like Summer said, it’ll set the tone for the year ahead, so you have to be ready to make it unforgettable. Here, 10 party tips that will ensure one heck of a memorable New Year’s Eve bash. Shop through Ebates to earn Cash Back on all your decor, favors and party essentials.
1. Have a theme.
This isn’t any old Saturday night get-together. Differentiate it from the other parties you throw by having a set theme. Go the elaborate route and take a cue from Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball and have everyone wear a masquerade mask. Or go the low-key (and super comfortable) route and ask guests to wear their favorite onesies.
2. Look the part.
If it’s not a onesie party, you’ll want to make sure you, the hostess, are wearing a fabulous outfit. Steer clear of the norm (like sequins and gold) to ensure you stand out. Go for a slightly sparkly dress in a fashion-forward silhouette, like this stunning Tory Burch number.
3. Prep your pout.
It may be cold out and the air may be dry, but that’s no excuse to have dry lips. Prep them before your New Year’s Eve kiss by applying lip conditioner so your pout will be perfectly kissable by the time the ball drops.
4. Make a special cocktail.
Have a signature drink to make the night a little more special. Try winter sangria or a champagne cocktail. Anything with bubbles will work perfectly.
5. Set the mood.
Light a scented candle to create a warm atmosphere, and have a selection of your favorite records on hand—or a few top Spotify playlists ready to go.
6. Don’t forget the essentials.
Have plenty of ice, alcohol and salty, hearty and sweet snacks.
Scratch the overhead lighting and opt for candles and fairy lights instead. Grab some party hats, and, while you’re at it, get some noisemakers. Drunk people love them!
8. Plan the after party.
Cabs are going to be as hard to get as a good Tinder date, so plan for your guests to stay extra late to avoid the rush. Have plenty of food and games that’ll last until the wee hours of the morning.
9. Don’t get caught up in trying to make it perfect.
The more you relax and go with the flow, the more likely your guests will enjoy themselves. If Stacy’s boyfriend gets super drunk and annoys everyone again, just laugh it off. If Mike keeps spilling stuff, steer him to a room without so many hard-to-clean textiles. And if Alice won’t shut up about her fabulous job, fabulous fiancé and fabulous house, stick her in a corner with Stacy’s boyfriend and Mike.
10. Include an element of surprise.
Someone once said a surefire way to ensure guests have a great time is to include an element of surprise. Whether you go all out with a fun entertainer, make a crowd-pleasing dish or hand out hangover care packages post-fete, your guests will love the unexpected touch.