Watching the Academy Awards Show alone is no fun, even with a glass of champagne, so invite a few friends over and make it a party! Your guests will love the chance to dress up, sip bubbly drinks, and critique stars’ outfits and acceptance speeches. To make it easy, we’ve put together this handy step-by-step guide to throwing an award winning Oscars party and created a free 2016 Oscar Voting Ballot.
1. Invite guests
Super organized planners will have already covered this step. For the rest of us, best to go with an electronic invite like this glittery design from evite.com. If black tie is too much of a stretch for your guests (and too much pressure for you), choose a simple theme for guests to wear such as gold sparkle, black & white, or favorite movie t-shirt.
2. Set the scene with decor
Nothing says Oscar’s party more than a red carpet. Find simple red felt at a local fabric store or buy an official red carpet here. For general sparkle, go with gold and black Mylar balloons, hanging stars, metallic streamers and confetti. Party City and Windy City Novelties are good places for general Oscar theme décor.
If you want to really wow your guests, consider this 7ft tall Oscar statue wall cling or actual red velvet rope stands. Both are a little pricey, but so versatile we’re sure you’ll find lots of uses for them.
3. Create a simple but elegant menu
Since you’ll be eating around the TV, opt for fun finger foods with a hint of elegance: bruschetta, antipasti, gourmet pizza bites, mini-shish kabobs and sausages with dipping sauce, anything wrapped in filo dough. Find a selection of recipes for Mini Movie Night Foods at foodnetwork.com.
4. Choose a signature cocktail
In addition to lots of champagne, feature one or two signature cocktails with fun ingredients and a catchy name. Write up the recipe and set in a frame next to the bar so guests can make their own drinks, freeing you up for more socializing.
One we like: the Red Carpetini (best name ever). There are several versions of this drink but we like the Bailey’s version best for winter events.
Combine 2 oz Baileys Irish Cream with ½ oz vodka in a shaker with ice. Shake and serve in a chilled martini glass. Rim with red sugar.
Hint: you can make your own colored sugar with food coloring in a food processor or buy it premade at amazon.com
5. Plan activities
It’s a long show. Keep guests busy and engaged with a few fun activities, ideally that give them a chance to win money, prizes or at least bragging rights. Two we like:
Oscar Voting. Hand a list of nominees to guests and ask them to predict the winner for each category. This is especially good for getting through the less interesting categories where people tend to wander off. Download your free 2016 Oscar Voting Ballot now. Don’t forget a trophy for the winner.
Red Carpet Bingo. We all know the red carpet is the best part of the show. Now you can turn it into a competitive event. These are like traditional Bingo cards except that instead of numbers, each square has something you are likely to see on the red carpet (Celebrities, designers, body art). We love this set created by Marc Friedland, which is free to download.
There, party planned.
Now the only thing left to do is watch all 45 Oscar-nominated movies (and 15 shorts) before Feb. 22nd Just kidding, but if you’re feeling motivated, check out this complete list of all nominated films in a handy downloadable checklist format.
Don’t forget to take pictures of your party and send them to us to be featured in the Sparkler Party Gallery.