Welcome a new decade in style with these affordable tips from a celebrity party pro!

By Mackenzie Schmidt
December 30, 2019 12:10 PM
courtesy Darcy Miller Designs

The year 2020 is just hours away — and it’s about to be the roaring ’20s all over again!

What better way to celebrate the dawn of a new decade than with a shindig worthy of snazziest one of the last 100 years? PEOPLE chatted with celebrity celebrations expert Darcy Miller (think Meghan Markle’s baby shower invites!) to share some last-minute party ideas that will make your NYE snazzy and jazzy.

“inspiration is everywhere—even in the date on the calendar!” says Miller. “With a new decade, get ready to roar with a party inspired by the year.” Here Miller shares her tips for everything from a flapper-inspired dress code to prohibition-era cocktails hidden in paper bags:

Bring the Bling

“Invites guests to come dressed for the era or have accessories on hand for them when they arrive,” says Miller, who’s also worked with celebs including Serena Williams and Martha Stewart.

She suggests a dress code including Porkpie hats, bow ties, flasks, fringed dresses, long strings of pearls, feather boas, elbow-length gloves and round glasses. You knew you kept that Halloween costume for a reason!

Pour Prohibition-Era Drinks

“Turn the party into a speakeasy by giving guests a password to get in and serve signature cocktails,” suggests Miller. The designer even came up with some punny names for your sippers based on fashion, art and literary icons of the time.

Try a “Hot Coco Chanel (spiked or virgin) or an F. Scott Spritzgerald” aka a mix-your-own Spritz O’Clock bar). More ideas: a Picasso Sour Bathtub Gin & Tonic; The Bee’s Knees (“a real cocktail invented during Prohibition”); a Tequila Sun Also Rises (“in honor of Earnest Hemingway’s 1926 novel”); or a Death in the Afternoon, “an absinthe and champagne cocktail invented by Hemingway.”

Want to keep it simple? “It wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without champagne,” says Miller. “Set out a station that lets guests bedazzle their bubbly with a custom sugared rim.”

Serve Of-the-Age Party Bites

Rather than having a sit-down dinner, Miller suggests whipping up (or picking up) some snacks that were popular in the 1920s. “No one wants to stop doing the Charleston for dinner. Instead, set up stations of hors d’oeuvres,” she says.

Two items that would have been on the menu a century ago and are still a hit today: Deviled eggs and oysters Rockefeller. “Mix the classics with updated versions of small but swanky bites. (For a super-luxurious take, Miller recommends caviar bowties, “which are featured in my book Celebrate Everything!, and made by my friend caterer Peter Callahan.”)

Dazzle Them with Decor

Most people associate disco balls with the 1970s, but Miller notes they “were first widely used in nightclubs in the 1920s.” Hang one up in your living room or dress up everyone’s drinks with the events pro’s free downloadable disco ball wine charms. “You can even write names in silver sharpie so everyone knows their glass.”

Have Fun and Games

One of Millers most clever party features is also one of the cheapest: an “in-the-bag bar.”

“Prohibition speakeasies would hide bottles in paper bags. Get in the spirit and set up a station of mini champagne, wine, or beer bottles, some brown paper bags, and Sharpies, and invite guests to write anything from their names to resolutions, or the first line of their own great American novel on theirs.”

Pass out copies of “The New Year’s Times(another free download!) with a disco ball design on the cover. “The handout invites guests to write down their resolutions for the new year,” she says.

Some New Year’s staples are classics for a reason. “Keep spirits high with customized party blowers that let guests shout out what they’re toasting to in the year to come,” says Miller.

And finally, look ahead to the future — with your inner eye! “Tell some fortunes,” Miller suggests. “Let guests find out what the new year has in store with these downloadable
fortune tellers.”