I love a good party and am always willing to entertain, so the glitz and glamour of the Oscars offers me plenty of inspiration to create a fun and festive event. What follows is my guide to creating an event that your guests will not only remember, but will make them fight hard to secure their place on next year’s guest list.
Speaking of the guest list, this is really one of the most important features of your party. An incredible theme and amazing food can’t make up for poor atmosphere. I find that my best Oscar parties occur when I invite people who truly enjoy the pageantry of the Oscars and have seen at least half of the movies that are on the list for Best Picture. It’s really tempting to offer an open invitation to everyone you know, but people who really don’t care about film or hate celebrities and pop culture can make other guest feel self-conscious about gushing over an actress’ dress or ranting when one of their favorite actors gets skipped over for the Oscar yet again (I’m looking at you, Leonardo DiCaprio).
Once you have the guest list down, it’s time to consider theme. You can go for a timeless theme, using the comedy and drama masks, film reels, or the red and gold colors of the Oscars for inspiration, or you can use each year’s nominees to create a unique theme that changes each annually. One of my most memorable Oscar parties was my 2012 ‘Midnight in Paris’ theme where I used Eiffel Tower statues and prints as decoration, offered French wine and served snacks like brie on toasted baguette and Nutella crepes. This year I am going for a timeless theme, using movie theater tickets as my inspiration.
Since movie tickets are my theme, I used movies as a focal point for the menu and decoration. I started with personalized invitations like these modeled after cinema tickets. I think that personalized invitations make a statement that is so much stronger than a simple Facebook event invite. Personal invitations really let your guests know they are valued and that this isn’t just a haphazard get together.
Now that the guest list and invites are sorted, it’s time to consider the menu. Keeping on my movie ticket theme, I want to work with the elements you would expect in a movie theater, but I want a unique experience for my guests. I decided to start with beverages. I found a number of movie-inspired cocktails here and decided to do the traditional twist on the ‘Casablanca’ inspired French 75, using gin, simple syrup, lemon juice and sparkling wine to create a tasty and tempting beverage for my guests. I’ve also had success creating an “open bar” in the past using my bar cart. RedEnvelope has a bar cart infographic here that’s actually a pretty useful guide to help put something like this together.
As for food, I opted against the traditional popcorn and overly sweet sugary treats we see in theaters and instead asked each of my guests to bring a dish inspired by their favorite film. What I love about doing a themed potluck, especially one where you give your guests an idea to work with, is that it is an easy point of conversation for guests that don’t know each other well.
With a fun theme, great guests, a creative cocktail, and some delicious food, your guests will have a great time and have plenty of conversation topics while enjoying the Oscars.
This article was written by Morgan Gray.