How To Throw A Fancy New Years Eve Party On A Budget

An ice bucket features three bottles paired with crystal flutes of varying sizes at one of many wine stations.

New Years Eve might be synonymous with caviar and champagne but it is possible to throw an incredibly fabulous affair that doesn’t break the bank. Read on for my budget friendly tips on celebrating the New Year in style:

Pick a theme: This year, make your New Year's Eve party uber-glamorous by creating a gold and black color scheme. It's reminiscent of old Hollywood and be sure to invite your guests to wear their most glamorous outfits.

Timing is everything: Most people invite their guests too early on New Year's Eve. This is not a night to start dinner at 8 p.m., because then you'll find yourself with hours to spare before the big moment, and you don't want to get tired or bored before midnight! Timing is very important, and the right way to do it is to serve dinner at 9 p.m.  

This way, you're finishing up dinner between 11-11:30 p.m. That gives you just enough time to fill your glasses, put on your New Year's Eve party hats, go around and have each person make a wish for each other and for the planet, and — voila! 

• Make it a potluck: One option is to invite your guests (six couples, for example) and make it a potluck evening. One couple brings the champagne, one the appetizer, one the dessert, one the main course, one the wine, and so on. This way, you have a delicious, grand dinner party without having to spend a fortune on it. 

• Split the bill: If you don't want to do potluck — if people don't want to actually cook or bring food — you can get everyone to split the expense of having it all ordered in. This is a way to give yourself a blowout evening without it costing a fortune.

• Pass on flowers: As for tabletop decor, do not use fresh flowers. People may be surprised to hear this, but flowers are almost at their most expensive levels around New Year's, almost as much as Valentine's Day. So, if you want to keep costs down, don't spend on flowers; instead, think outside the box. 

• Countdown in style: A terrific touch at the stroke of midnight is to turn down the lights and blow confetti.

-Colin Cowie

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