New Year's Eve party essentials — 9 items to add to your cart before ringing in 2024

Wave goodbye to 2023 with these New Year's Eve party essentials recommended by event planners and designers

A tipped over champagne glass with gold glitter pouring out on a pink background
(Image credit: Getty Images/Elena Noviello)

Ready to part ways with 2023? Our New Year's Eve party essentials guide will guarantee your guests make the most of the final night of the year, and see in the new one with a bang. 

Creating the right ambiance when having people over isn't always easy, what with a big hosting checklist to sort through, but we spoke to event planners and designers about the must-haves for your NYE bash. 

If you're hosting a New Year's Eve party, make sure to add these items to your shopping cart. 

9 New Year's Eve party essentials

Hosting essentials differ depending on the occasion, but one thing remains consistent, regardless of the celebration: the little touches matter. 

"Love is in the details," says designer Chantelle Hartman Malarkey. "I start by creating a list that covers the five senses to make sure I give guests the entire experience and create a festive ambiance. You want your guests to walk into the room and immediately feel excited and ready to celebrate the night."

With that in mind, let's break down the non-negotiables for this late-night celebration.

New Year's Eve dining essentials

Numerous hands holding champagne flutes with champagne celebratory toast silhouettes

(Image credit: Getty Images/wilpunt)

Whether you like your tipple shaken or stirred, a cute, well-accessorized bar cart with celebratory drink ware is a must for New Year's Eve.

"Choosing glassware that is trendy, unique or to a theme is fun to drink out of and also hele guests feel nice and festive," Chantelle adds. "Add some fun garnish to the drinks or something that makes them memorable and photo worthy."

Champagne flutes are a given, but those less-sexy items that go forgotten need to be at the top of your shopping list. They'll save you a headache later on — trust us.  

"Oftentimes people forget the 'basics' and less glamorous items like having enough ice, proper service ware, and even enough trash bags," says Virginia Frischkorn, the founder and CEO of Partytrick. "While the visual impact is minimal, the impact on the host can be great."

Chantelle Hartman Malarkey
Chantelle Hartman Malarkey

Chantelle Hartman Malarkey, a.k.a. the Lifestyle Alchemist, is an interior designer, photographer, home chef, hosting expert, and blogger who shares lifestyle and homes ideas, hacks and must-haves with her followers. 

Virginia Frischkorn
Virginia Frischkorn

Virginia (Edelson) Frischkorn is founder and CEO of Partytrick, a digital service and app that is like having a party planner in your pocket. She was previously one of the top event planners in the country, as recognized by Martha Stewart Weddings, Vogue, Over the Moon, Brides and Biz Bash.

New Year's Eve entertaining essentials

A pastel-colored Fujiflim Instax camera on a pastel pink purple and blue background

(Image credit: Getty Images/jchizhe)

Chances are you've listened to "All I Want for Christmas" more times than you can count over the past several weeks, so switch things up for New Year's. 

"Close out the year with all your favorite tunes," says Olivia Pollock, senior director of brand marketing at Evite. "Create a playlist that will keep the energy up until midnight."

How about your favorite new releases from the likes of Olivia Rodrigo, Boygenius, and Dua Lipa? Speaking of the "Vampire" singer, we're currently swooning over Olivia Rodrigo's mid-century dining room. And while you're busy dancing the night away (get it?!) make sure to snap a few photos with your favorite people. 

"Every other night of the year, an iPhone will suffice, but on NYE, capture the evening on an instant camera so your guests can bring home memories to kick off the new year," Olivia says. "And if you're willing to take it one step further, create a colorful backdrop with door streamers on a wall as a makeshift photo booth."

Olivia Pollock
Olivia Pollock

Olivia is a passionate global brand builder possessing 12+ years of experience successfully leading brand marketing, influencer, and social efforts for companies including Society6, Everything But The House (EBTH), and Christie's Auction House.

New Year's Eve decor

Golden symbols of 2024 on a pink background with Christmas balls

(Image credit: Getty Images/Olga Shumytskaya)

Remember those small details we spoke about? They all shine through with decor, and retro finds are a particular hit for the final day of the year. 

"Sequined linens and disco balls are still all the rage for New Years Eve," Virginia says. "Throw in lots of candles and you're sure to set the scene for a fabulous and celebratory event."

She also recommends catering your bar cart accessories to the evening with celebratory cocktail stirrers and quiet luxury touches like tying a bow on a candle or putting a floral arrangement on a side table. 

"Guests notice the smallest of details," Virginia insists. 

And now that you have that blue Fujifilm camera, make sure you're capturing fun moments and the great style you've assembled recommends Sarah Klingman, CEO & Founder at gthr.

"Add a photo booth corner with fun props and a backdrop will not only serve as a great decor piece but also keep guests entertained and capture memories of the night," she says. 

Sarah Klingman
Sarah Klingman

Sarah Klingman is the CEO and founder of gthr, an award-winning planning concierge team with specialization in weddings, parties, and virtual workshops. 


What do you need for new year's Eve party?

According to designer Chantelle Hartman Malarkey, it's important to think about the small details, focusing on all the five senses. Is there a pleasant fragrance in your home? Do you have an upbeat playlist lined up? From there, it's time to think about the big picture. 

"Choosing a theme, picking out color choices that match across all decor, and creating an overall vibe with other decor elements are key in creating a look and feel that is cohesive," she says. "It is always safe to go classic. Sparkly gold, silver, and white create a classy timeless look that feels festive and gets everyone in the mood to celebrate the new year."

Don't forget food and drinks, games, sparklers, and funky glasses.

What to do for New Year's Eve?

When having loved ones over for New Year's Eve, serve food and drinks, listen to music, watch fun movies and TV shows from 2023, play board games, and of course, make sure to cheers to 2024 when the ball drops at the stroke of midnight.

So, what happens after midnight? There's a lot to look forward to in 2024. Designers predict six TikTok interior trends will take over in the new year, and we're trying to decide which one to settle on.

Danielle Valente
Content Editor

Pleasure to meet you! I'm Danielle, a content editor at Real Homes who loves scoping out interior trends. I've specialized in lifestyle writing and editing for 10 years with a focus on events, food, and books, among other areas. When I'm not working, I'm usually cooking, reading, or searching for a new project for my apartment.