Holiday Party Menu and Money Saving Tips

For the 3rd year, we opened our doors last night to 45 of our friends and loved ones in New York City for a fun night of merry making, delicious food, mingling, and dancing in our holiday tackiest. Oh, the Diamond Tacky Holiday Party never disappoints, that’s for sure.

Last night people donned their tackiest and raised the bar for next year. Holiday Party 2IMG_6473IMG_6475IMG_6485IMG_6503

Holiday Party 3HOLIDAY PARTY 8IMG_6504

Yes, once Frank, Melissa’s fiance arrived in his holiday best, I may or may not have screamed, “Santa, I know him!” a few times!

The costumes and great turnout weren’t the only wonderful things about last night. Our food and alcohol selections this year really worked out perfectly! We made some key changes which allowed us to spend less money this year but still have a great presentation and party overall.

Holiday Party 5

Tonight’s post will share our actual menu that we finalized on and the links to recipes.

Perfect Hors Dourves Menu for A Crowd


Money Saving Party Tips

  • Don’t spend too much money on alcohol. This year we relied on Trader Joes and friends for our alcohol. Instead of purchasing $15-$20 bottles of wine like we did last year, this year we bought 6 bottles of Trestle Chardonnay from Trader Joe’s wine after many Twitter folks recommended it to us. For liquor we used what we had in our cabinet already versus buying new, in addition to the egg nog. In addition, when friends asked what they could bring we gave them specific requests such as red wine, champagne, or Pinot Grigio since we weren’t offering that! Bo also altered this year’s egg nog recipe after hearing that last year’s was too strong. The new recipe called for half the liquor, which made it cheaper too!
  • Get a bar tender! We have never had a bar tender before and therefore many parties, find ourselves near the wine rack serving drinks most of the night instead of socializing with guests. Last night we were able to chat and enjoy everyone while one of our friend’s younger brother tended the bar for us. He made some extra weekend cash and we enjoyed our party more which made it a win win!
  • Don’t cook too much food! Last year we had enough food to pack our fridge even after the party was over! This year we asked our guests for a final RSVP the week of to ensure the number of people attending. Once we knew that our number was around 45 people we assesed the guest list and calculated that in reality only 3/4 of the people would eat heavily. Normally 1/4 of the people are either party hopping, going to another dinner, or focus more on drinking than eating. Today we have only a few pieces of cheese and some sugar cookies left from last night’s event.

Hope you guys have a great week! This week is going to be a busy one because I have PADI Scuba lessons Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8-11pm each night. Someone bring be a glass of wine when it’s done because I’m super nervous!

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  1. NYC FIt Girl December 10, 2012 / 1:44 am

    Looks like an amazing night and the food looks so good!

  2. Laura December 10, 2012 / 1:53 am

    Really great post, and fabulous party – I would never have known that you were trying to save money! Those are great tips.

  3. Meghann December 10, 2012 / 1:53 am

    Looks like a successful evening! Can you believe I’ve never been to a tacky Christmas sweater party? I think Derek and I need to throw our own next year! 🙂

  4. Kristine December 10, 2012 / 1:57 am

    Ashley, it was such an amazing party!!!! You are such a great hostess, I am sad I didn’t get to say goodbye!

  5. Kristin Miller December 10, 2012 / 3:10 am

    It was a well attended fabulous party!!! Thank you for the invite! I WANT THE MUSHROOM GALETTE RECIPE!!! ;-D

    • Laura December 11, 2012 / 9:08 pm

      Oooh yes that was amazing!

  6. eliz@ourcrazysweetlife December 10, 2012 / 1:34 pm

    You two seem to be so good about gathering friends. That is a special skill and something I’m sure helps you to cement your friendships. Love the sweaters!

  7. Charlie (The Runner Beans) December 10, 2012 / 4:42 pm

    You could ask a friends younger borther/sister/ cousins to bar tend/waitress to earn extra cash while at college (over drinking age obvs) much easier here in the UK where you only have to be 18 to drink!

  8. Gwen December 10, 2012 / 6:23 pm

    Great tips, Ashley! It sounds like it was a blast too! This year we’ve been going to a lot of pot lucks and one trick I’ve been doing, leaving my leftovers behind. If I have a few meatballs or cookies, I wrap them for the host so I don’t have to take them home and feel guilty for continuing to indulge. Easier on my personal food intake budget! And no host has complained yet!

    • ashleyd December 11, 2012 / 3:08 am

      That’s a great idea! I always ask my friends to take leftovers but they rarely want to. Therefore, I’ve been taking leftovers to the office!

  9. Amanda @ The Unfamiliar Kitchen December 10, 2012 / 10:40 pm

    I didn’t know you could get the Meatball Shop’s recipes – that’s amazing! And such a good idea for a party. Looks like a blast 🙂

    • ashleyd December 11, 2012 / 3:06 am

      Yup! I have their cookbook and LOVE it but they also share a few recipes online!

  10. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More December 11, 2012 / 2:54 am

    Glad it was a great party but I’m focused on the fact you fit 45 people into a NYC apartment… 😉

    • ashleyd December 11, 2012 / 3:05 am

      Having the bar in the bedroom was key Katie because it forced people to circulate!

  11. Becky @ Olives n Wine December 11, 2012 / 7:18 pm

    I always end up purchasing and making too much food for my parties! It turns into such a waste. I also love your idea of hiring a bartender. I might have to do that for my holiday party next year!

  12. Traci December 11, 2012 / 7:45 pm

    I just got back from scuba diving in key largo. WHAT FUN! Enjoy!

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