Planning that 'Oscar party to end all Oscar parties'?
- The arrival. Doesn't the Red Carpet segment of Oscar night entertain us just as much as the awards ceremony itself? Why not have some fun with the tradition by creating your own "Red Carpet" for your arriving guests? All it takes is a strip of red construction paper, which can also keep your entryway carpet from getting dirty. People will have a hoot making an entrance on the Red Carpet, with other guests greeting them and perhaps a photographer snapping a picture or two for posterity.
Food. The Oscars are like some sporting events; there are a few exciting, unpredictable moments (big awards) peppered over a long period of mostly dead time (commercials, awards no one cares about). Don't make your guests resort to mere conversation during those lulls. Feed them like you care!
For food, there's the perennial option of small snack foods like veggies and chips with dips for each. Even if people have eaten prior to the event, most will be ready to sink their teeth into something more substantial by the time the Oscar party has come to an end, so you'll want to consider something heartier than chips and dip as well. But don't stop there. Make this Oscar party unique by choosing foods that you can link to the competing Oscar movies and stars. If Stallone were nominated for "Rocky Balboa," for example, you could offer a "Stallone Calzone," or maybe "Rocky Shrimp." Too cheesy? I'm just getting started! In honor of Jack Nicholson, you could offer "Pork Nichol-sausage" (thankfully he's not nominated, because that's just bizarre), or consider "Panini Labyrinth" or "An Inconvenient Smoothie."
Be mindful of vegetarian and vegan guests as well as those with food allergies.
Ballots. Part of the excitement of Oscar night is the chance of successfully predicting the winner. Let the fun, competitive juices flow as you provide printed-out Oscar ballots for your guests. You can get your printable ballot straight from the source - Oscar.com. These ballots may generate more interest in those obscure awards categories as well.
Drinks. Though not everybody at your party will want alcohol, an Oscar party shouldn't be without it. Provide both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, and both still and fizzy mixers. Your choice of drinks shouldn't clash nastily with the food you serve. People eating lots of creamy or cheese-filled foods may prefer a beer to some hard cocktail.
What's that? You'd like some help thinking of cheesy Oscar-themed drinks? Alright... how about rum punch in honor of "Pirates of the Caribbean," a French martini as a nod to "Marie Antoinette," or a Bloody Mary in recognition of "Blood Diamond?" What about a good single-malt scotch to celebrate "The Last King of Scotland," or maybe just water, in honor of "Water"? Or a scotch-and-water, if you liked both movies. You could even dust off "Last of the Mojitos," celebrating film history along with this year's nominees.
The little things hosts sometimes forget. Make sure you have enough utensils, plates, bowls, napkins and cups for your Oscar party.
Responsible Oscar party host. As host, you must make sure than no one leaves your party intoxicated and driving. Make sure everyone can get home safely before letting them leave. The best way to guarantee safety is to not encourage over-consumption of alcohol during the Oscar party.
Seating and space. Everyone should be able to watch the Oscars, if they so choose, as well as mill around the room socializing. But also provide some removed space for those who'd like to talk louder without disturbing the viewers.
Prize for the winning ballot? Of course the winner deserves a prize! It doesn't have to be anything extravagant, but a small, funny prize makes for a more memorable Oscar party.
You alone are familiar with the guests you'll be entertaining at your Oscar party. Maybe none of you care at all about the Oscars themselves and are just using the awards as an excuse to throw a party. Or maybe your group of friends watches every year and can't wait to hear the opening monologue. Plan everything according to what you know about your guests. Keep them comfortably full of food and drink, and you're sure to have a great time.