Throw a Sparkling NYE Bash
- Next1 of 10Courtesy of David Stark
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Midnight Magic1 of 10
By Amy Elisa Keith
From twinkling lights to an overflow of bubbly, party planner to the stars David Stark shares his tips for throwing a memorable New Year’s Eve bash. In addition to creating the to-die-for décor and rocking playlist, Stark says, “Organization is a host’s best friend.” Here’s your cheat sheet for the perfect “hello” to 2011.
Set the Tone2 of 10
Create your theme starting with your invitation. “I think sexy and chic,” says Stark. Whip up online invites with Stark’s designer collection on Cocodot, and encourage guests to dress the part. “I love the Brazilian tradition of wearing all white to ring in the New Year— super chic and festive.”
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Charted Territory3 of 10
In order for the evening to feel magical and carefree for your guests, you have to do some forward planning. Stark recommends a simple timetable: “Leave the first hour to introductions, a cocktail hour. Then open [the] buffet and invite grazing for 45 minutes to an hour, which leads up to the countdown to the new year, followed by an hour or so of well wishes, tunes and sweets.”
Dazzle With Decor4 of 10
“I never think to have lots of stuff to decorate, just the right stuff,” says Stark. Candles everywhere are your best investment, so place them on tables, mirrored trays, mantles, in the bathroom and on the terrace to “create instant magic.” Add whimsy with a bowl of noisemakers on the coffeetable.
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Holiday Spirit5 of 10
“Since New Year’s is after Christmas, all decorations will be steeply on sale. Stock up on metallic silver candles, balls and other décor that feels sparkly but doesn't shout Christmas,” says Stark. Use them to fill bowls, surround platters or hang from a chandelier. “Now your home is ready to receive New Year's revelers."
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Bubbly Bar6 of 10
A fun alternative to the traditional bar-in-the-corner, is to create a “make-your-own-champagne-cocktail” station. “From fresh herbs to fruits and nectars, the bar will provide interaction and tastes for your guests,” he says of including cocktail recipes. Truly wow them by freezing fresh berries in ice trays to garnish the drinks.
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New Year's Nosh7 of 10
Create a well-selected buffet and refresh it throughout the night. Remember that guests will be drinking so it’s necessary to provide enough food. For a Mediterranean spread, pick up frozen hors d’oeuvres like quiche tartlets and spinach pies, and throw in white bean or artichoke pesto and mini toast points.
That's My Jam8 of 10
The music is perhaps one of the most essential components of a killer bash. Put together a playlist in advance and listen before the party to see how it makes you feel. You want the right blend of sophistication and dance music for each part of the night. “You can never fail with Michael Jackson, the Jackson 5, and Prince. Old school often remains new school,” says Stark.
Forget Me Not9 of 10
A few logistical elements that hosts often overlook, says Stark, are often the most important. For instance, don’t start your party prior to 9 p.m. “New Year's Eve is a late-night fete, and thus celebrate into the wee hours.” Also, a great host makes a huge effort to introduce guests to one another. Lastly, don’t serve red wine; it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Bid Adieu10 of 10
Wrapping up a party and signaling the guests to leave does not have to be as abrupt as turning on the lights or yelling “You don’t have to go home, but you’ve got to get the *%$@ out of here!” Instead, “wrapping up to-go containers of extra food for your guests is a surefire way to politely hint and be very gracious at the same time.”
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