Ready to host your best New Year’s Eve party ever? Whether you have a standing date with friends and family on December 31 or you’re doing something extra this year, now’s the time to put the final touches on a party everyone will remember. Consider this your guide and checklist for truly memorable celebration and start to the new year.
1. Your best NYE outfit
You are the hostess and it’s your time to shine. You can glow from head to toe in a track suit or a formal dress — as long as you’re feeling confident. To that end, do some serious planning ahead. Nothing kills confidence like scrambling last minute to make cookies when you should be getting dressed.
Also carve out time in your calendar soon for a hair cut, at-home facial, and DIY mani and pedi.
Now let’s talk about what to wear. Below are a few no-fail New Year’s Eve party outfit ideas. Use these as thought-starters to dream up an outfit that reflects your style and the theme of your party:
- Metallic midi skirt paired with a silky blouse
- Tank top with sequins teamed with faux leather pants
- Blazer-style sequined mini dress
- Glamorous one-shoulder jumpsuit and high heels
- Flapper-style dress with feather or fringe detail
- Bodysuit with elegant, wide leg pants
- Slip dress and moto jacket
- Silky wrap dress
- Menswear-inspired suit with a sexy camisole underneath
- Mini skirt in faux leather paired with an off-the-shoulder knit top
Establishing a theme for your New Year’s Eve party provides parameters for the rest of your decisions. Having a theme also gives your guests a fun idea to rally around. As a stylish gal, you might warm to one of these ideas:
- Old Hollywood: Decorate with lavender and silver and encourage guests to dress for the press, retro style. Roll out a red carpet and do your own hair in pin curls.
- Roaring 20s: Art deco-rate your place. You’ll wear a beaded dress and set Pandora to play jazz all night.
- Formal masquerade ball: Play up the jewel tones in your home and add some velvet touches. Have a stash of masquerade masks on hand and ask your guests to dress formally.
Alternatively, you can set a theme that invites your guests to get into the “new year” mindset. An example is an “Out with the Old” party. You can ask guests to write down experiences, emotions, and happenings from 2023 that they’d like to forget. Then have a ceremonial burning (in the fireplace of course) of those notes.
You don’t want the break the bank on party decorations, so think about investing in a few pieces that’ll make a big impact. At a minimum, set out a few centerpieces that match your theme. These can be simple floral arrangements, dressed up with supplies from your nearest craft store — velvet bows, sequined fabric at the base of a vase, feathers, seashells, glitter, candles, or mirrors.
You can also make tasteful NYE signs or banners. Or, even better, incorporate New Year 2024 pictures into your party invites. Then print out a blown-up version of that invite to use as a party decoration.
Finally, don’t forget a countdown timer. Set up an iPad or small TV screen with a countdown to midnight, so everyone will know when it’s time to toast.
4. An amazing menu
Food and drink are essential components of any social gathering. But you don’t need to go over the top. You absolutely can create a memorable dining experience for your guests with four components: a signature drink, champagne or sparkling wine, easy appetizers, and indulgent desserts.
Coming up with a signature drink isn’t as hard as it sounds. Try taking your favorite beverage and making one small tweak to it. Then give it a fun name and you’re ready to go.
As an example, you could make margaritas with jalapeno-infused tequila and call it the Hot Maggie. Or you could mix grapefruit-infused vodka with cranberry and club soda. You might name that one Sea Breeze Bubbler. Have fun with this — your guests will love it.
Champagne and sparkling apple cider
Champagne and sparkling apple cider are must-haves for any NYE party. Have enough on hand for everyone to enjoy a small pour at midnight.
The right appetizers for your party are easy to eat and not messy, sticky, or saucy. You don’t want someone to ruin her gorgeous velvet dress with drips of barbecue sauce. So steer clear of wings or anything saucy. Sweet-and-sour meatballs and similar dishes are non-starters.
Instead, choose appetizers that can be eaten in small bites with minimal utensils. Here are some ideas:
- Sliced cheese and crackers
- Prosciutto-wrapped melon (served with toothpicks)
- Bacon-wrapped dates
- Smoked salmon crostini
- Chicken satay skewers
- Deviled eggs
Follow the same rules for your dessert menu. Avoid sticky, fudgy desserts and opt for things like brownies and cookies. If you have the baking chops, set up a table with an assortment of desserts. Your guests will love picking their own combination of sweet treats.
Try these recipes from Blog Chef, our sister site:
- Addictive peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
- Cherry cookies
- Mocha brownies
- Chocolate peanut butter candies
5. A playlist that pumps
Music sets the tone for your New Year’s celebration. Try building a playlist that begins with calm, relaxing tunes and builds into a party vibe by midnight. You can create your own playlist on Spotify or Pandora. Or borrower someone else’s NYE playlists on platforms like SoundCloud.
You can also ask your invitees to share their favorite tunes ahead of time. Compile all of them into a playlist that has something for everyone.
Once you finalize your guest list, peek into your cupboard to make sure you have enough champagne flutes and cocktail glasses. If you don’t, fill in with plastic. You can grab a set of 24 plastic flutes for less than $20. Better to spend your dough on good champagne than real glasses which may end up broken before the night is done.
You will also want to have a big stack of cocktail napkins, small paper plates, and toothpicks on hand for serving.
7. Chic party favors
Everyone else will be handing out cheesy 2024 hats, glasses, and paper horns…why not do something different? Make your party extra memorable with one of these chic party favor ideas:
- Glittery lip gloss for the ladies and travel-size men’s face wash for the guys
- Mini champagne bottles
- Artisan hand soaps
- Homemade nut mix wrapped in cute jars
- Satin eye masks
- Mini succulents
- Mini journal and pen sets
8. Resolution board
You can inspire thoughtful conversation at your New Year’s celebration with a board where you and your friends write down your 2024 resolutions. All you need is a large poster board plus some markers. Add ink stamps and glitter if you run in an artistic crowd.
You could also write a motivational quote on the board to get everyone thinking about the possibilities for the year ahead. One that comes to mind is, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ~George Eliot, Middlemarch.
To 2024 and beyond
Kick off the new year with a party your friends and family will remember. To do that, invest in an outfit that pumps up your confidence, plan ahead, and work in special touches like a signature drink and a resolution board. Then relax and enjoy this special time with your favorite people. Happy New Year!