There’s nothing quite like closing out a long year (this one felt especially extended) with family, friends, and a fun, fabulous bash. While entertaining on New Year’s Eve is no simple feat by any means—the friends of friends, keeping track of the time, all the confetti, the never-ending pour of champagne—it’s the one gathering each year where we enjoy easing up our entertaining. And so we find ourselves playing intimate-party hostess year after year despite the expected aftermath.
To help pull together a stylish countdown celebration, we tapped in-house stylist and party queen Michelle Wong for some easy-to-wrangle, last-minute ideas that will make this particular New Year’s Eve one for the books.
Tip #10: Make Nice Cubes
“I love freezing sequins and pink sanding sugar for pretty party ice cubes as decoration,” says Michelle. “Get these frozen in batches the day before so they’re ready to go, and fill a glass or an acrylic ice bucket to show off the sparkles and colors. Just remember it’s only for decor, not for drinking!”
Tip #9: Tape a Bow on It
“Dress up your champagne glasses with a New Year’s bowtie. All you need is double-sided tape and some nice ribbon, like one with polka dots for a festive look.”
Tip #8: Keep It Sweet ’Til the End
“Use vintage coupe glasses as candy dishes, and spread them out across a table for an easy-grab dessert bar,” says Michelle. “I always go for no fewer than five candies, from store-bought gummies to chocolate truffles.”
Tip #7: Forget the Formalities
“Forget floral arrangements and the gorgeous centerpiece, and instead fill glass hurricanes with New Year’s foil horns, silver balls, and confetti and even tiaras,” Michelle suggests. “New Year’s Eve is the one occasion to look back and celebrate all the other parties you’ve pulled together—but without any of the fuss.”
Tip #6: Put on the Glitz
“Use a sequin runner on your table, and sprinkle confetti and more sequins on to pump up the glam factor. You can also layer strands of gold ribbon for extra glitter.”
Tip #5: Think Clockwork
“For a nostalgic and quirky touch, corral old alarm clocks and add them all across your table. Set them all to ring at midnight for some old-timey cacophony!”
Tip #4: Shower on the Silver Shine
“Disco balls, metallic votives, silver trays—go big with bursts of sleek shining moments. They are fabulous alongside sequins and will match the festive notes of all your party pieces and foil horns.”
Tip #3: Break Out a Real Camera
“An Insta story might get you 24 hours of eyeballs, but instant Polaroid photos lasts forever; there’s nothing like making memories you can hold on to. Display your snaps in a confetti- and sequin-filled tray,” says Michelle.
Tip #2: Countdown with Sparkles
“Set sparklers aside in tall hurricanes and glasses ahead of time. When the countdown strikes, guests can easily grab one and light them at midnight. Make sure you have a glass of water close by just in case and to hold the extinguished sparklers after.”
Tip #1: Time Out for a Minute
“Everyone will want to snap, post, LiveStory, tweet, text, call, and hit the social apps, but take time—even a minute!—to just enjoy the early moments of the new year with the people around you,” Michelle says. “The night isn’t over just yet, so there’s plenty more moments to tell the world how you kicked off the new year!”
One Kings Lane stylist Michelle Wong is a New York-based foodie and passionate party planner. When she’s not styling a beautiful room or setting a gorgeous table in our photo studio, you can find her hosting dinner soirees in her downtown apartment, noshing her way through the city, or taking in the best of NYC’s bars and restaurants.