How To Throw the Perfect At-Home New Year’s Eve Party

It is no secret that most of us are eager to bid a swift farewell to 2020. Because New Year’s Eve parties will look a bit different this year, we went directly to the party-planning source and enlisted the help of David Tutera, America’s premier party and event planner, to help us create the best NYE party right at home. A celebrity in his own right, Tutera is a leading event, wedding, and design expert whose innovative vision has made him a household name in America for more than a decade. Tutera has planned and attended countless celebrity weddings, parties, and events, and is well-known for his host role on the popular WE television series “My Fair Wedding with David Tutera.” Additionally, Tutera is the author of seven books on design and planning. 

Due to the unique circumstances of the past year, people are looking to escape from the stressors of everyday life and partake in some long-awaited fun this holiday season. “This New Year’s Eve, more than ever, people are going to want to find a way to safely be with one another and bring in a new year that makes the current one disappear,” Tutera asserts. Having planned and attended countless NYE parties himself, Tutera wants us to take extra care this year to focus on what is important. We must emphasize the stepping forward in time that a new year represents and be playful with life even in these unsettling times. Tutera sheds some light on how to make this vision a reality at our parties this year.A new year is a blank slate–a chance to start over. With this in mind, one party theme Tutera suggests is a Blank Canvas Party. The decor might include blank canvases on which guests can get creative, or beautiful canvas paintings to inspire change. “People want to be playful even though they are not a children’s party,” Tutera reminds us. Adults need a creative release just as much as kids do, and a Blank Canvas Party theme will inspire guests to let their inner artists forge new beginnings for 2021.

Having a Color Party this NYE is another of Tutera’s suggestions for creating a vibrant yet playful at-home party. Within this theme, Tutera reminds us that even when life isn’t perfect, the colors that you choose can make your world a little brighter. To bring the Color Party to life, Tutera suggests building the decor around paint palettes. Buy a bunch of wooden paint palettes and splatter paint on them decoratively, almost as if they were used. Then incorporate these palettes into the party decor or use them as serving pieces at the bar. The palettes can also be used for drinks when guests arrive, or for party food and desserts. Add some bright, festive cocktails to the menu and guests will soon catch on to a rejuvenating theme incorporating all the colors of a new year.

Regardless of the theme of the NYE party or whether it will be a dinner party, a cocktail party, or a dessert’s only affair (Tutera is a big fan of sweets parties!), Tutera urges us to make this NYE a huge deal. It has been so long since people have had a chance to dress up and socialize with friends, and Tutera wants us to be mindful of this in our planning: “I love to do things that are super elegant and sparkly and over-the-top, and there’s no better moment than this NYE to create an environment that is a big deal.” Tutera suggests setting a tone of elegance right from the start by sending out paper invitations instead of electronic ones. He also suggests playing up the numbers on printed invitations and using a countdown theme (10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) for all printed party materials. How fun is this!


Whatever party idea strikes your fancy, keep in mind these must-have party tips from Tutera to create the perfect at-home NYE party this year:

1) Curate background music. Hosts should always have music playing in the background. “Often, I’ve been to people’s homes where everything looks great and everyone is having a great time, but the music is either too soft, too loud or just doesn’t exist,” Tutera exclaims. Guests don’t want to listen to just oldies, or just hip-hop, or any one type of music all night. The music should have a consistent flow that complements the mood and pace of the party. The music simply must elevate the energy of the group. 

2) Create a special ambience. To Tutera, there is absolutely nothing worse than when he enters a home to attend a party and he feels like the hosts have not changed anything. Party ambience should feel festive and special and it should appeal to the senses. Candles are a great way to add scent appeal, and good old fashioned helium balloons and streamers never fail to create a festive vibe. Just remember to space the balloons out and scatter them along the ceiling; balloons in bunches can signal a children’s party.

3) Design a perfect bar. Because of the unique safety precautions hosts and guests will have to take, Tutera suggests a self-serve bar for this NYE. Pick three specialty cocktails and have them premade in pitchers with backups for each in the fridge. Set the cocktails out on the bar with festive signs displaying the cocktail name and ingredients list. Have guests self-pour their drinks so that each person handles only his/her glass, straw, ice, etc. Don’t forget to have some hand sanitizer handy as well!

With Tutera’s creative ideas and tried-and-true party planning advice, this NYE at home might just be the best one yet. For more information on Tutera and his services, visit