Plan the Ultimate Oscar Viewing Party
“And the Oscar goes to …”
While you might never hear those words followed by your name and have the chance to stand on the stage thanking your mom and your agent (at least until the orchestra shoos you off), you can be the superstar among your friends when you throw the ultimate Oscar viewing party.
The Academy Awards, or the Oscars as they are more typically called, are the highlight of the Hollywood awards season. They can also be the highlight of your social season. Invite a few friends over, have some cocktails to toast the winners and bring a little bit of Hollywood glamour to your home.
Begin With Invitations
To start off your Oscar party off with a bang, send your friends video invitations. Using your computer’s webcam, film yourself reading off the invitation to your party and send it via email. If that’s too high-tech, send your guests invitations that resemble the envelopes used to announce the award winners, or use stars and other movie icons to decorate the invitations.
Plan for Arrivals
For many movie fans, the Oscars are not really about the movies but more about what the stars are wearing and how they arrive on the red carpet. It should go without saying, then, that the dress code for your party should be stylish. You could go all out and encourage guests to wear black tie — when else will they actually re-use those bridesmaid dresses? — or be more creative, requesting guests wear a costume inspired by a nominee or favorite nominated film.
No matter what your guests wear, though, make the arrival an event. Create a red carpet leading from the front door to the main party area. Use a roll of red paper or pick up a carpet remnant to create this effect, and enlist someone to take photos of guests as they arrive. For the full effect, drape a curtain or sheet to create a backdrop and add movie-themed props, such as director’s chairs.
Setting the Stage
Once your guests have arrived, provide a place for them to mingle, as well as a comfortable spot for watching the big show. Set up chairs and places to set a drink or snack, in addition to a separate area for those who don’t watch every second of the show to chat. Since the Oscars tend to have long stretches where nothing happens punctuated with major awards, your guests probably aren’t going to spend the duration in front of the television.
Food, Glorious Food
No party is complete without food, and an Oscar party is the time to break out your fanciest recipes. If you have the budget, hire people to pass out drinks and appetizers. Champagne is a must, but try to create a signature cocktail for the party.
Make your food and drink reflective of the films that are nominated. For tales of working class heroes, beer and hamburger sliders are appropriate. For period pieces, sherry or port in delicate glasses and finger sandwiches are suitable. Give your snacks clever names based on the nominated films and actors, or inspired by Hollywood and its residents.
And the Activities
While the awards show is the purpose of your party, unless you offer other activities, you’re essentially inviting your friends over to watch TV. Play some games: have an Academy Awards trivia tournament, a “Guess the Winner” pool or engage in a game of charades based on movies. Set up pools for the best and worst dressed at the real show (or the party) or play fashion police. Make a music playlist of movie-inspired tunes to play in the background as well, keeping your guests entertained and engaged until the bitter end of the often four-plus-hour show.
Although you might not be able to score a ticket to the Governor’s Ball or one of the other A-list, celebrity-studded affairs on Oscar night, you can still throw a glitzy party all on your own. Even if you’ve only seen a few (or none) of the nominated films, an Oscar party is a surefire way to capture a little Hollywood glamour in the comfort of your own home.
About the Author: Event planner Amy Heffernan is an expert in theme parties and over-the-top events. The time from November to February is one of her peak periods, stretching from the holidays to the Oscars.
For everyone else, how would you plan for the ultimate Oscar Party? Share your great ideas in the comments!
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