11:59 NYE – Tips for Planning a Last Minute New Year’s Eve Party

It’s noon on December 31, and you just bit the bullet… “Sure, you can come to my place for NYE” you said to everyone you know. And the scramble begins.

These last minute New Year’s Eve party ideas take minimal effort while maximizing impact. Not only will you come across looking effortless, you’ll actually be able to enjoy the party.



Talk about setting the mood right. Lighting is essential in creating the tone for any event, and white string lights can turn your house party into an elegant affair in a matter of minutes. If you have a focal point in the room like a fireplace and mantle, drape the the lights over the it to transform it into a real wow piece. For smaller decor, repurpose items from around your home. Try filling a few empty wine bottles with string lights or wrapping a bundle of books with them. Then organize them in clusters throughout the room or even in the bathroom. Looking for maximum drama? String the lights across your entire ceiling. If you have enough, you can leave your standard lights off and just have the string lights and tv (assuming you are broadcasting the NYE specials and countdown) light the room. The dim lighting makes for a great atmosphere in finding that person to kiss at midnight, and all you had to do was undress your Christmas tree.
GKE tip: No matter what, make sure the bar area remains well-lit. We’re not talking fluorescents here, but you want to make sure people can read labels. No one expecting to sip on a vodka/OJ wants to accidentally imbibe some tequila/grapefruit.

NYE String Lights Decor Gold Key Events GKE

Photo credits (clockwise from top right): 
 Wit & Whistle, Mr. Kate, Craftionary, Lee Caroline, Hege Greenall-Scholtz



Nothing says new years like flowing champagne. Run with that and build a bubbly bar for your party. Here’s what you’ll need:

The essentials
1 bottle of cassis or Chambord
1 bottle of St. Germain
2-3 carafe of fruit purees or juices (peach, pomegranate, OJ, etc.)
Rock candy sticks (flavors are fun but may turn lips funny colors… clear is always classy)
Selection of berries and long-stemmed herbs (rosemary, lavender, etc.)
Champagne or sparkling wine

Take it from DIY to dazzling
Striped straws
Gold ribbon

The key here is making the spread look purposeful. Pour the juices and fruit purees into a glass containers–could be carafes or empty wine bottles. Place the rock candy, herbs, and straws into clear glasses. Set out glass bowls for the berries. Tie the ribbon around the neck of the champagne bottles. This bubbly bar works twofold: it creates an activity station for your guests and transforms what is usually a functional element into stylish decor.
GKE tip: If you really want to kick it up another notch, create signage for each of the ingredients on the bubbly bar.

NYE Champagne Bar Gold Key Events GKE
Photo credits (clockwise from top right): Style Me Pretty via Emmaline Bride, Hostess with the Mostess, Aaron Hartselle via Style Me Pretty, Never Serious, Burnetts Boards



Maximum effect for minimal work, balloons are one of the most high impact decor items around. You can go with the classic new years silver and gold, mix it up a little by adding white or black, or go all out with a pop of color. Long strings of ribbon finish the look, and the best part… you can order them online from your local party store and they pretty much always deliver. Balloons are basically the Seamless order for party stores.
GKE tip: Covering your entire ceiling would be the ultimate goal, but if you are on more of a budget, cluster them at focal points–by the bar, either side of your couch, behind/above the tv–or even intertwine them with some string lights.


NYE Balloons Decor Gold Key Events GKE

NYE Balloon Decor Gold Key Events GKE

Photo credits (top down): Martha Stewart, Intimate Weddings