For a lot of Americans, the budget is tight around the holidays. And just when you thought all the celebrating and money-spending traditions were over, it's time for one of the most anticipated nights of the year: New Year's Eve! Unfortunately, the one-night bash can get pretty pricey. Whether you're having a party or going to a party, it can be tough to justify spending tons of money on one night.
So, don't! These days everyone is looking for ways to save a buck, and the good thing is, scaling back the expenses doesn't mean you have to miss out.
Samantha Goldberg is a celebrity wedding and event planner, and has been featured on Style Network's Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? as a "famous party planner to the stars." Since launching her event planning company more than 20 years ago, Sam has become quite the expert at throwing a party. With the nickname "Sassi Sammi," it's no surprise she can design a bash to remember, but there's one skill set this party planner has that we could all use: How to plan a New Year's Eve party (or any party) on a budget!
Sam stopped by Making it in America to give us her best party-planning advice. Here are her top three tips for planning a NYE party without causing yourself a holiday hangover.
1. Change It Up
If you have a party at the same location each year (your house or someone else's), move the celebration to a new area (not in the same room). Sam says it can be as simple as moving the dinning room table to the living room in front of the fireplace, as long as it feels like something new. If you host a New Year's Eve party ever year, changing up the location (even within your house) and changing the menu can make this years' party feel unique.
Another way to make this year's party unique is to move the family room furniture to the garage (or just out of the room) and make the family room a dance floor! You can then hire an inexpensive DJ, maybe one who's younger or just starting out, and have a dance party! If you can't find a DJ, or don't have the budget for one, just pop the iPod in a speaker system and dance away. If you don't have a speaker system, shoot your friends an e-mail and you'll likely be able to find one before the big night.
2. Have a theme
Sam says think about New Year's Eve in Italy, Paris or Spain. Then have all the party food and decorations go with the theme. Decade themes can also be fun, since the matching outfits usually aren't too hard to peice together! Something like "Back to the 70s" would make the party special, without spending a lot of money.
3. Everyone chips in
Sam says another great way to save is by having the host make the party entree, and then the guests bring side dishes or desserts (or whatever the party needs). The bottom line is, have everyone chip in, then it isn't too expensive for any one person! In today's economy, people understand that not everyone can spend like they used to, so having everyone at the party pitch in is very common these days.
4. Use color lights
Color lights will instantly take any party to a new level! Simply using color light strands and an LED spotlight (which changes colors with a remote!), you can turn your living room into a dance club. And the good thing is, it's a dance club that plays all the music you like! You can get lights pretty cheap at a lighting store, hardware store or even on Craigslist. And you know what that means, you can always resell what you buy on Craigslist if you don't think you'll have another party for a while.