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A Guide to hosting a New Year’s Eve Party

December 26, 2019

A simple get-together might have done the trick last year, but the fact that we’re approaching a new decade calls for a more special New Year’s Eve shindig. In other words, it’s time to bring out the big guns this year. We’re talking bright, sparkly decor, delicious finger foods and an Insta-worthy photo booth. Sounds like your kind of affair? We thought so! Which is why we did your homework and rounded up all the places you’ll need to hit up before the big day. We’ve also included a few small, low-effort additions that’ll leave a big impact on everyone on your guest list. That way, you’ll spend less time researching and more time enjoying the fun stuff.

The food:

A delicious spread is the anchor that holds a successful party together. Get it right, and you’ll be the toast of the town. (Well, the toast of the soiree at the very least). Keep it easy and casual with a buffet-style table stocked with crowd-pleasers. First, the cheese and charcuterie platter, which you can order off of Bristol Farms’ New Year’s menu ahead of time. (Bonus points if you also offer your guests the Sicilian beef wraps and mini chicken empanadas). The locally loved A Market also whips up a mean cheese platter your friends will be hard-pressed to pass up. Next—the sweet stuff. Impress everyone with an assortment of treats from Moulin, whose pastries are as close as you’ll get to Paris without leaving your living room.

The drinks:

Head over to Whole Foods or Gelson’s Market to stock up on bubbly—because, chances are, you’re going to need it. Although champagne is key to finishing off the year with a bang, a good host or hostess knows better than to offer guests a single option. Make some space at home for a DIY champagne cocktail station. Allow guests to play around with ingredients like fresh berries, fresh squeezed juice like grapefruit and orange, lemon twists, sugar cubes and bitters. Go a step further and print out recipes for a few champagne-based holiday classics like Raspberry Royale and Poinsettia—just to give your friends a nudge in the right direction.

The decor:

Now that you have the basic party formula (that’s food and booze) down, it’s time to think about the vibe. Spruced up your space with holiday decor up already? Good—you’re already halfway there. Now, all you have to do is add a little bit of NYE-centric touches. Think: gold tinsel chandeliers, metallic tassel garlands, party fans, a gold foil star curtain, and of course, lots of confetti balloons. You can snag these decor items at Wild Child Party & Supply. (They’ve got all sorts of chic cups, plates and napkins for your new year’s tablescape to boot). Want to completely kick back and relax? Take advantage of the business’ custom installs and event styling services.

The activities:

Here’s where you can really showcase your creative side to keep your guests entertained. One great way to break the ice between that friend from marketing and that guy from finance? A good party game. Pull out your copy of Codenames or Apples to Apples, or scoop a few classics from Barnes & Noble at Fashion Island. Alternatively, pick up a quirky present or two if you’re more inclined to host a white elephant gift exchange. Lastly, there’s no better way to say goodbye to the decade than by paying homage to one of the biggest driving forces behind it—social media. With some balloons and a fringed curtain, you can build a DIY Insta wall, but if you want to leave it up to the professionals, companies like the Newport-Beach-based Pixarity can dream up a photo booth perfect for your last candid snaps of 2019.

Written by Mariam Makatsaria

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