A New Year’s Eve Cocktail Dinner Party with St-Germain

Only a couple more weeks left in 2013! I always look forward to New Year’s Eve – both as an opportunity to celebrate with friends and as a chance to welcome change with open arms. Ever since I read The Night Circus earlier this year (so good!), I’ve been intrigued by the idea of formal midnight dinner parties. Invite a few close friends, give them an excuse to dress up in their best party clothes (something I don’t get to do nearly often enough), and have a wonderful evening full of great food and cocktails. And what better occasion for a midnight dinner than New Year’s Eve? So we’ve teamed up with our friends at St-Germain, Karson Butler Events, and Meant to Be Calligraphy to offer some inspiration for those of you planning some New Year’s Eve festivities: a cocktail dinner party!

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As always, let’s start with the invitations! Because we were aiming for something a bit more formal this time around, I decided to go with calligraphy from start to finish. Michele from Meant to Be Calligraphy created a stunning invitation in classic black ink on white paper and a calligraphy flourish on the back. We paired the invitations with slate gray envelopes (with a colorful DIY envelope liner) addressed in shimmery gold ink.

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We set up a side table as a makeshift bar to welcome guests with cocktails and appetizers – a little something to keep everyone happy through the countdown to midnight! We’ll be sharing the recipes a little bit later, but our menu included a cheese plate (a party requirement, yes?), a punch, a classic cocktail recipe, a champagne cocktail, and a mocktail for any designated drivers.

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Slate from Brooklyn Slate Company / Wood serving board from Target

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Vintage punch bowl set and ladle / Coasters from Linea Carta

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I’ve been obsessed with these constellation matchboxes for the longest time – they seemed like the perfect favors for a New Year’s Eve party! We paired them with gray and white striped favor bags from Shop Sweet Lulu with Michele’s calligraphy in gold ink.

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I found these heart shaped cards at Paper Source a while back (sadly no longer available in black), but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. Michele came up with the brilliant idea of giving them to guests to inspire resolutions for the new year and conversations with fellow guests. Michele wrote out phrases on each card, again in gold ink – they’re now pretty much my favorite thing ever!

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After midnight, time for dinner! Amber and Emily from Karson Butler Events created a backdrop of white streamers and a mixture of tissue paper fans and honeycombs in various sizes for a really beautiful layered texture. It’s so pretty against the white brick wall!

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I had so much fun with the floral arrangements! I created a single centerpiece for the dinner table with peonies, garden roses, black and white anemones, paperwhites, silver brunia, white hypericum berries, and seeded eucalyptus. Smaller arrangements with the same flowers were sprinkled around the bar, along with a large bunch of seeded eucalyptus and bay leaves in an antique metal pitcher.

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I also did a simple swag of greenery down the center of the dinner table using small clippings of seeded eucalyptus, bay leaves, olive leaves, hypericum berries, and gold spray painted pepper berries (for a bit of extra sparkle) – all tucked around the centerpiece floral arrangement and small mercury glass votives. No floral wire necessary! We also created a table runner using layers of burlap – a plain loose weave burlap over silver polka dot burlap from Joann Fabrics.

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Our place settings included place cards with Michele’s calligraphy in silver ink on slate gray paper, metallic rimmed plates with gray linen napkins, and gold flatware.

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Full cocktail and mocktail recipes are coming up in just a bit!

Styling: Oh So Beautiful Paper and Karson Butler Events

Invitations and Calligraphy: Meant to Be Calligraphy

Floral Design: Oh So Beautiful Paper

Location: Karson Butler Events Design Studio

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

  1. This is my kind of party! Beautiful from the color palate to the drinks and oh so stunning calligraphy and florals. We had a Jan 2 wedding, so I’m partial to the New Year/Wintery celebration. Cheers, cheers! (oh, did you link to the silver(gold)ware? Love it)

    • Thanks so much Emily! It’s hard to go wrong with a mix of classic neutrals and shimmery metallics, isn’t it? If I had to do it all over again, I would be VERY tempted to do a New Year’s Eve wedding. Instead, I’ll happily content myself with cocktail parties!

      Oh, and the gold flatware is West Elm – from Amber Karson’s personal collection!

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