New Year’s Eve Party Planning Tips: Drinks, Decor and More!

Lea Michele in New Year's Eve
Lea Michele in New Year's Eve Andrew Schwartz/©Warner Bros. Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Break out the champagne and confetti! New Year’s Eve is just a few days away, but there’s still time to plan an unforgettable party. Skip the crowded clubs and ring in 2016 by inviting family and friends over for your own fete. Celebrity event planner Sharon Sacks, who has arranged dozens of parties for the Kardashians, shares seven creative tips for your end-of-year celebration.

1. Pick an all-white theme with touches of sparkle. “One of the things that I think is really fabulous for this year is 1920s meets 2016—glamour, glamour, glamour,” says Sacks. “You can ask your guests to come dressed in white.”

2. Put together a candy bar. “I do all-white candies on the buffet,” says the founder of L.A.-based events company Sacks Productions. Consider white chocolate–covered pretzels and raisins, gummy bears and personalized M&M’s with words like 2016 and New Year.

3. Stock up on bubbly. Champagne is a classic for the New Year’s toast, but Prosecco is another wonderful and less expensive option. “This year the bubbly is served in a champagne coupe glass instead of the typical champagne glass,” Sacks tells Us. “And I love doing the edible gold in my champagne. It’s just beautiful!”

4. Create an Instagram-worthy photo booth. Sacks suggests gluing festive gold rosettes to a backdrop, bringing an instant print camera and adding some fun props like rhinestone 2016 glasses and feather boas. “It’s a do-it-yourself photo op,” Sacks says. “And then you could make some signs that say 2016 and just have glasses of champagne. [Guests] can toast each other and get a great shot.”

5. Don’t turn on the TV until 11:50. Some guests may want to watch the ball drop, but don’t lose them to Ryan Seacrest. “I would watch it, but maybe turn it on at 10 minutes until midnight,” suggests Sacks. “You’re creating your own ball.”

6. Make an awesome playlist. “The music sets the tone,” says Sacks. “At three minutes and 41 seconds before it’s New Year’s, I would play Pharrell’s song ‘Happy’ because everybody’s excited and they’re getting in the mood.” Also on her playlist for the evening: Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Adele, the Weeknd and Justin Bieber.

7. Release balloons with wishes for the New Year. Sacks recommends writing down things you want to manifest in 2016 and tying them to the string of environmentally safe, confetti-filled balloons. “Take guests outside and at midnight you release [the balloons] and everything they wish for themselves is now gone,” says Sacks. “Then you hit it with [Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ song] ‘Uptown Funk’ and you just made your party.”

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