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New Year’s Eve Party Recap

I know we’ve probably all put New Year’s Eve behind us already, but are you ready for just a little more glitz and glam from the year’s most dazzling night?

The background: my sister got engaged back in April and was planning a wedding for next summer when she and her husband decided to nix all that hassle and elope instead. Luckily, she took the most amazing photographer with her to the courthouse, so we all got to see the play-by-play. But, what about celebrating with the newlyweds? What about the wedding reception?

Not one to miss out on a chance at planning a party, I dove in to help my family put together a “marriage celebration” New Year’s Eve party. In other words, a party to celebrate a newly married couple after they elope. I don’t have a better name for this, do you? I guess “elopement reception” could also work. Either way, here are some of the highlights from the fabulous celebration!

Before you dive in, see the mood board for the party here and the invitation designs here.

DIY gold glitter wreath via Bubbly Design Co.Gift table for a New Year's Eve wedding celebration Gold & black decor for a New Year's Eve wedding celebrationElopement or engagement party decorations // Bubbly Design Co.

To bring in a wedding-esque element and remind guests of the reason for the party, we mixed several of the couple’s engagement photos and photos from their elopement into a unique display using gold balloons. The best part was the display somewhat camouflaged our upright grand piano and gave a purpose to this corner of the house that otherwise would’ve gone un-used and un-decorated { if there is such a thing at a Bubbly Design Co. party! }.

Easy wedding or engagement party decor -- hang photos from balloons! via Bubbly Design Co.Elopement or engagement party decorations // Bubbly Design Co.

Although the party was held at my parent’s house, we opted to hire a local catering company to prepare the majority of the food, including this custom-designed three-tiered wedding cake. The catering company also served select passed hors d’oeuvres for the first two hours to help give the party a slight fancier feeling and make our hosting job much easier.

My new life goal is to be able to afford caterers at every party I throw. Hah!

Cake table in gold and black // New Year's Eve Wedding celebration via Bubbly Design Co.Black & gold wedding cake // New Year's Eve Wedding Party via Bubbly Design Co.DIY Photobooth props // Bubbly Design Co.

One of my favorite elements — and one of the hardest to create — was our DIY photo booth. Luckily, my little sister is a photographer who knows how to properly light any scene and her fiance is a whiz engineer. Together they built not only a light fixture { from a cardboard box and flash lights, no less! }, but also an enclosed stand and display screen for the photo booth. I really wish I had more pictures of it in action because it might just require it’s own post…

My contributions, as you might’ve guessed, included the signage, styling and props.

New Year's Eve photo booth // Bubbly Design Co.

Party decorations for NYE // New Year's Eve wedding via Bubbly Design Co.New Year's Eve wedding celebration party details from Bubbly Design Co.

A friend of my sister’s happens to be a florist and she graciously gifted these beautiful white centerpieces to the newlyweds { always tap your resources when planning a wedding or party! }. I was thrilled by this because professional flower arrangements truly make a statement and go a long way towards amping up the glamor of an event.

Bubbly Party Tip: If you’re splurging on great floral arrangements, an easy way to save a few dollars is to DIY the vessels that will hold them, as we did with these gold glitter mason jars.

Cocktail tables with flowers and confetti for New Year's Eve // NYE Wedding via Bubbly Design Co.

To keep costs down, we also supplemented the catering food with a few of our own low-key additions including chocolate-dipped pretzels, a popcorn bar, and bar snacks.

I’ve found that chocolate-dipped pretzel sticks are an easy party food that looks great while on display, are easy to make days in advance { just store in an air-tight container }, and continue to be a favorite among guests.

Bubbly Party Tip: Use white chocolate and add colored sprinkles to customize chocolate-dipped pretzels for any party!

Chocolate covered pretzels make easy, chic party food // BubblyDesign Co. Easy DIY Popcorn Bar // New Year's Eve Wedding via Bubbly Design Co. Bar menu and party styling by Bubbly Design Co.

Guests were able to help themselves to three different flavors of popcorn — garlic parmesan, cilantro lime, and my favorite, baked caramel — while perusing the bar menu. Similar to the pretzel sticks, a popcorn bar is an easy make-ahead party food that looks incredibly fun and fancy when displayed in apothecary jars.

Beyond the food, we may two other important choices when it came to the bar. First, we opted for a limited menu of beer, wine, and cider. Second, we hired a bartender from the catering company to serve and pour drinks throughout the night. Both of these decisions were made to ensure a safe and classy evening and to elevate the party being a simple house party. Isn’t there something special about someone else refilling your wine glass versus having to do it yourself?

Bubbly Party Tip: There are many ways to elevate a party, whether by hiring caterers, having a friend bartend, or creating fun displays for food.

Party decorations for NYE // New Year's Eve wedding via Bubbly Design Co.New Year's Eve wedding favors // Bubbly Design Co.

To cap off the night, we sent guests home with a small favor of caramel Hershey’s Kisses. Did you know you can customize the flag or the bottom of the kisses? So simple and quite an affordable option when tied up in a little tulle bag.

Our last wedding-esque move of the night was to create a sparkler send-off for the happy couple as they departed in their black car for their hotel. While it wasn’t their “official” wedding night, it was still fun to treat it as a special evening — and plus, it made them so happy.

Sparkler send-off for a New Year's Eve wedding celebration Sparkler send-off on New Year's Eve // NYE Wedding Celebration via Bubbly Design Co.

Can you tell we had a great time?

My only hope when throwing a party of any kind is to ensure the people being honored and their guests have a memorable, enjoyable time. It’s that simple for me. That’s why I go to such lengths with designing signs, setting up food tables, styling decorations, and the like.

And for you, my readers, I hope you enjoy seeing and re-living some of these parties with me and perhaps collect a little inspiration for the next celebration in your life!

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All photos courtesy of Amy Moore Photography { she saved me from having to show you only my iPhone snaps since my camera was used for the photo booth! }.

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