Before Halloween came, Scott and I were thinking about throwing a Gatsby themed costume party... but after thinking about it... not many people would exclusively dress for the event given that it's Halloween and maybe they'd rather be something else. So we scratched it. But I had a genius idea... why not New Years!? Everyone will already be wearing nice dresses and suits, sequins and jewelry, what a perfect way to bring in the new year looking glam. So I got to planning.
I wanted something that wouldn't be crazy expensive, but would be entertaining, fun, memorable... and somehow come New Year's Eve at 9pm, I had put together the perfect party. I could not have done it without my sister and girl friends who helped me get the party decor together and shopping vintage shops for the perfect headbands and outfits.
What is a party without the perfect decor to theme it up. I HIGHLY recommend during parties to always have a backdrop of some sort for photo booth pictures whether you have props or not. I didn't go crazy with props because with the theme and with new years, everyone had 2014 masks, boas, party favors, and amazing outfits. I bought a door backdrop in gold and silver from Party City for $6 each. Done and done!
One of my favorite memories of the party is how STUNNING everyone looked. Every girl was just dazzling with sequins, pearls, bling, headbands, curls, BEAUTY. Every man... holy moly. From the suspenders to the cigars to the hats... these guys were HOT! It made the party so much more fun to see everyone looking SO good. You can get suspenders from Party City for $8 and even a sequins bow-tie.
|And no, Matt is not that short. He literally couldn't stop dancing for the picture.|
3. THE PERFECT INVITE
This was so fun to create! We used the Gatsby Soundtrack most of the night for all the amazing jams. We were aiming for about 30-40 people for the evening, and really thought only about 12 were coming. We honestly didn't care we just wanted to bring in the New Year with our closest friends... well we were so wrong. We had about 35 people at our peak (around Midnight) with friends of friends, it was SUCH a great time. What else keeps it simple and inexpensive? BYOB. Sure, I bought
way too many bottles of champagne and OJ, but let the guests bring beer and liquor. Sure does save a lot of money! I also made sure to let guests know to bring blankets and pillows for staying over... Which I am so glad I did because we had about 10 people stay the night and they all were able to sleep comfortably - even if we did go to bed at 5am.
It was fun to update the event keeping people super excited about coming and reminding them about weather conditions (since we played a lot of corn hole outside we wanted to make sure everyone brought jackets, scarves, etc.)
4. FOOD SPREAD
Let's be honest. Going to a New Year's Party with all that booze, beer pong, outdoor corn hole drinking games, inside Catch Phrase drinking games, all that dancing.... you gotta have food! Big bonus: get a friggin chick-fil-a platter of nuggets. Those were the first gone (duh!). Chips, Dips, Desserts, Veggie Tray. This was a huge hit and kept everyone in a not too over the top drunken state.
Note to self: As delicious as they are, DON'T MAKE CAPRESE SKEWERS the night of the party!!!!! It was so tedious y'all. Here I was at 8:30pm yelling, "I still have to do my hair!" only halfway through the skewers. Not to mention it is super messy. Next year, I will stick to a buffalo dip or something.
We also set up a side of the kitchen where there were lined up 30 Champagne flutes (dollar store, y'all - this only cost me $14 for all of them), a jar of straws, a shotglass of toothpicks, a bowl of olives, pepperocinis, etc. People could set up shop with their liquor bottles (which a lot left so many leftover = winning!) and it was great because it kept people from being crowded around certain areas and also - less glassware, less mess to clean up, no broken dishes - I highly recommend paper plate/ solo cup, everything trashable!
I truly feel like we had the utmost PERFECT set up for the party in the house that kept it from being too crowded. We used the garage as a beer pong area with a few little lawn chairs and kept the coolers of beer in there. We used the kitchen and dining room for the bar/food. We used the living room for the dance party and music (spotify Gatsby Soundtrack was a HUGE hit... seriously listening to the music now brings back memories of this amazing party). We used outside and lit the backyard with leftover Christmas lights all the way around so it was all decked out. We had corn hole set up in the backyard and also a fire pit which was amazing due to the 40 degree whether. People were dancing in living room, chatting it up in kitchen, taking photo booth pictures (which was located to the left of dining room right next to the door to backyard). After midnight, we lit sparklers in the backyard too which was so fun! We had a huge cornhole drinking game tournament going on which lasted til a good 5am.
Always let your neighbors know that you will be hosting a party. Of course everyone gets that it is New Year's and all, but when you know your little house will have over 30 people and Bose speakers blasting dub-step, it is common courtesy to just let them know that they can call you or come over at any time to tell us we're too loud, etc. Luckily, we had no complaints and we even had neighbors come over to join the party with us. It was so fun!
7. DON'T CLEAN UP JUST YET
I know you're probably thinking, whaaa? But I'm serious! We woke up at about 1:00pm and all sat around on our couches with everyone who was still there and just laughed and talked about the night before and all the funniest moments of the night. I literally have never smelt so much beer/liquor and saw so many solo cups all over the kitchen, boa feathers on the floor (EVERYWHERE), sticky spots, shotglasses for days, flapper tassels and fake eyelashes on my staircase. Don't clean up just yet! Relax, you just threw a kick ass party. Go eat a juicy burger. The clean up can come later. (Or in my case, wait til that next work day when your honey still has off and he cleans it up for you ;-) thanks babe.) We still find boa feathers all over the house.
Any other tips that I am missing? All in all, it was one of the best parties I've ever thrown (or been to), and people still tell me they wish they could just relive that party.It didn't hurt my wallet, and we looked damn good. It was so fun bringing in the new year with loved ones and great friends. I got to spend it with my sister and my best friends... and that's all that matters.
Cheers to 2014! It's been great so far.