NYE Engagement Party

We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.”

– Robert Burns


What quote do you use for a post about a New Year’s Eve engagement party? Well something from Auld Lang Syne of course…until you read the lyrics to that song and it makes you sad and you realize that it is a terrible idea. “Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never thought upon; the flames of love extinguished and fully past and gone: Is thy sweet heart now grown so cold that loving breast of thine.” Oh my god, why do we sing that to start off a New Year, total bummer, and so not appropriate for celebrating my favorite couple.

Wade and Jamie are nice enough to be gettin married on New Year’s Eve and provide me a theme on a platter. Knowing that Jamie loves all things glitter, and is going with a black and gold theme gave me a great jumping off point for the invitation and signs. Just as a reminder, these are the invitations we sent out:



Engagement Party Invite

Engagement Party Invite


Unfortunately, due to some private family matters, I did a horrible job documenting my favorite party to date, due to just running out of time and the intense desire to just focus on the people we were with. Good times were had, photographs were not. On that note, I wish I had documented all of the little grocery store sparklers I stuck in our front door wreath and in the lighted branches on the food table .

bad wreaath

World’s Ugliest Wreath


Why does this picture look so awful? Probably because it is a) a bad picture of the wreath itself, that I just happened to already have on my phone, b) because I made clip art sparklers in 5 minutes and then slapped them all over the wreath, or c) all of the above. Let’s say it together… “C”! So yes, it looked much cuter in person, and it made me really happy with my wreath crafting choice, because it is basic, but easy to add a little touch to incorporate it into the theme.

The Lovely Lady Party Goers

The Lovely Lady Party Goers

On to food!

Clearly, if one is hosting a New Year’s Eve themed occasion, collard greens and black-eyed peas are a necessity. In order to round out the menu  for a dinner time gathering I made pulled pork barbecue for sandwhiching (not a word, but it should be), caprese salad and a cheese and meat board.

It was a hot evening on the porch so I knew I wanted to keep as many things on the cold side of the food temperature spectrum as possible. My absolute favorite way to eat collards is the marinated collard green salad from Whole Foods. Somehow, I decided it was easier to make it myself than to go to Whole Foods and just buy it. I think I just didn’t want to go to one more store. I had already been to Target, Kroger and Trader Joe’s and it just felt excessive. I found a copycat recipe on Pinterest, and while it wasn’t a dead ringer it was pretty good! You can link to the recipe  by clicking on the picture below.

Marinated Collard Greens

Marinated Collard Greens


The black-eyed peas were also a cold preparation. I made a version, of what we call “Dank” in our house, which is basically an amalgamation of beans, corn, pepper, onions and seasonings. This recipe called for feta, which is always a good idea, and had a more complicated seasoning component. While it was tasty I would way scale back on the sugar. The recipe (again, linked in the photo) calls for a quarter cup of sugar, I think you maybe need a tablespoon or two, but no more than that. Another quick tip, canned black-eyed peas are not in the bean section of most grocery stores, they are in the canned veggie area. I was devastated thinking that I might have to scrap such a traditional NYE element and then low and behold I found them mingling with the vegetables.

Black-Eyed Pea Salsa

Black-Eyed Pea Salsa

Jamie’s lovely mom (Hi Rose!), made an awesome cake for dessert, that I can’t decide if it makes me want to get better at cake baking/decorating, or just quit forever knowing that it just isn’t in the cards for me. At one point this cake stood, but in order to make everyone feel less envious it decided to sit for the evening. Either way, it was as equally delicious as it was perfectly cute.

Cake Cutting Practice

Cake Cutting Practice


While the party didn’t quite last until midnight, everyone got a midnight kiss. Btw, I am fully aware of just how cheesy that last sentence is, and I love every bit of it. (see kisses below)


Midnight Kisses

Midnight Kisses

So as you can tell, a good time was had by all. So good in fact, that there were barely any pictures to show for it! Now we are just counting down until the real New Year’s Eve, and what is sure to be a wedding celebration for the ages! Cheers to Jamie and Wade!

2 thoughts on “NYE Engagement Party

  1. Parke, I appreciate your lovely description of the cake “sitting”. Nice way of putting it. What a wonderful evening was had and the host and hostess were awesome. Thanks for including everyone.

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