Holiday revelers prepare to ring in 2018
Dec. 28, 2017 at 9:51 p.m.
Updated Dec. 29, 2017 at 6 a.m.
While most people will be out celebrating New Year's Eve on Sunday, event decorator Mercedes Hrabovsky will be working.
"I am usually off, but since my husband has to work, I decided that I will, too," Hrabovsky said.
The 27-year-old has provided decorating services for parties in Victoria for more than three years with her small business, Events Couture by Mercedes.
While she normally doesn't decorate for New Year's Eve parties, this year she agreed to decorate two private gatherings.
Vanessa Canchola usually spends a quiet New Year's Eve with family, but this year, she decided to end the year with a big celebration because the new year will bring a new chapter in her life.
"My husband got a job in Houston, so our family is moving mid-January," Canchola, 29, said.
Canchola turned to Hrabovsky for help after hiring her to decorate one of her daughter's birthday parties last year.
"Mercedes puts creative thought, time and effort into the details, and I've never seen others put things together the way she does," Canchola said.
Hrabovsky will set up and break down all decorations so clients won't have to lift a finger.
"It's nice to set up holiday parties with families because they are more intimate," Hrabovsky said.
Hrabovsky meets with clients a month in advance to discuss the theme and location.
"The main thing clients look for are what kind of drinks and atmosphere you want to have when deciding how to decorate for a themed party," Hrabovsky said.
For Canchola's party, Hrabovsky focused on a classic New Year's Eve theme.
"The centerpieces are New Year's Eve hats with streamers popping out and mini bottles of alcohol as party favors," she said.
Along with decorations, Hrabovsky also provides a variety of desserts and a candy bar for guests.
"We'll provide baked cookies, fortune cookies and Hershey kisses labeled as midnight kisses for the party," Hrabovsky said.
Canchola wanted to serve a large meal, but with the guest list growing, she decided to stick with appetizers and finger foods. The small menu includes sweet and sour meatballs, spinach and artichoke dip and garlic and cheese crazy bread.
"We didn't want to go all out on the food since people may be coming and going from other parties," Canchola said.
Hrabovsky will also set up a New Year's Eve backdrop for photos with props and a table of adult card games for guests to enjoy until midnight.
"On one of the games, you draw a card and describe or answer what's on the card," Hrabovsky said.
The cards have questions based on memories throughout the year from "the biggest lesson you learned" to "the hardest you laughed."
"The game is a way to break the ice with guests," Hrabovsky said.
Hrabovsky's favorite part is seeing a client's reaction.
"I love customizing party decor for clients because we have things they can't find in stores," Hrabovsky said.
Canchola said she is excited to see how everything turns out for what will be a bittersweet goodbye to 2017 and her life in Victoria.
"Everyone goes through something difficult in life, and New Year's Eve is about people letting go of the past and looking forward to the new year," Canchola said.