Every year I throw an Oscar party, as it is one of my favorite nights on television. It isn't too lavish, it is actually rather casual, but it is always a lot of fun, and I really have fun putting it together. I am preparing for the party this weekend and thought I would share some of my ideas.
One thing we always do is have an Oscar pool. Everyone brings $5 to put in the pot, and we all fill out our ballots before the show starts. Quick note, always put your start time an hour before the show to allow for everyone to get there, say their hello's and get their food and drink. This way they also have time to fill out the ballot. Once the show starts, pass the ballots out to everyone to grade, and let the battle begin!
Another thing I am incorporating this year is I will be having prizes awarded throughout the broadcast. The way I am doing it is on their ballot, I will have a space for them to guess the time that these firsts will happen: first crying acceptance speech, first cut off acceptance speech, etc. It will keep the interest up through the three hour show even for those that aren't as into it.
When guests first arrive, they are greeted outside by my mock "search lights." It is basically a bunch of flashlights attached in different directions to the trees outside my home, and it makes me laugh, but it works. Then I have a "red carpet" for the guests to walk on as they enter. They are always greeted with champagne, and I have the bar fully stocked and loaded so I can enjoy the show while guests help themselves throughout the evening.
On the dining room table, I create a buffet. When they first arrive there will be individual boxes of popcorn, red vines and cracker jacks on the coffee table. There will also be fancy appetizers that they can make a plate of, grab their seat and get ready to enjoy the show. I am planning to mimic the design that has been approved for the Governor's Ball, I'm loving the color combination.
At one point, I take out the tri tip and all the fixings for guests to make gourmet steak sandwiches, with a few side dishes. Nothing too fancy, guests are eating on their lap, so you always need to consider that. I also have dark chocolate, Oscar trophy red velvet cupcakes and red wine for the tail end of the show when guests need a little pick me up.
As you can see, it is super easy to throw a party like this. Get your Oscar Party Kit from the Oscar website and download all you need and get some great recipe's as well. There are a few keys to remember though when planning your Oscar Party:
1) Always make sure you have enough seats. This isn't a standard party where guests can stand and mingle.
2) Make sure the food is easy to eat, you don't want to serve something that needs a knife.
3) Create a bar that is a self serve type. Have enough glassware, open wine and a carafe of water. Always serve your guests as they enter the party, and explain that they can help themselves to the bar after that.
4) Don't invite too many people. Some are very into the Oscar's and want to hear the speeches. You don't want it to be too crowded or too loud.
5) Go light with the decor. The theme at the Governor's Ball this year is "1930's Streamline Moderne." Design your table that way instead of with the tacky party store items.
6) Some go with a full sit down Oscar inspired dinner, which can also be fun. Take the movies nominated, and play with that. Or, you can always try and serve what Wolfgang Puck will be serving that night, yum!
Do you have any fun ideas to add? If so, please share!