My mother-in-law, Geraldine, wrote the best “script” for an Oscar-worthy Academy Awards night viewing party. She loved movies. As a young girl, going to the movies was a real treat, an event worthy of getting dressed up. Actually, most days were worthy of getting dressed up! She had a bit of “drama” in her soul. She could have walked the Oscars red carpet with her own sense of panache! Move over Lady Gaga and Emma Stone.
For Geraldine, Oscar night was the culmination of a year’s worth of enjoyable viewing. Gathering friends and family together at her home to watch who won on TV was an annual event where she shared her love and enthusiasm for all things “movie.”
Naturally, she treated this get-together with a bit of heightened Hollywood glamour! Candles, gold napkins, stark white flowers decorated the room, setting the tone of the production. The food was equally dramatic. She served lots of finger foods to keep us going all night, plus the requisite tubs of popcorn.
But the real event was witnessing Geraldine’s love for the movies. She would tell us all about the various actors’ performances, sing a nominated song (I kid you not, she had a lovely voice and would belt out her favorites), and gush over the cinematography of this and that movie.
Geraldine’s passion for cinema was the leading character with the food, decorations, fabulously gowned guests, and the TV show as the supporting roles. She wrote, produced, and directed a winning production every year.
Tips to write your own script for a fabulous Oscar-worthy party:
Note: Think big, not necessarily expensive. The “dollar store” is a miracle to help dress your set.
- Invitations: Create your own on the computer, and send via email, or in the mail with a sprinkle of confetti in the envelope. Check out these free Oscar Party Invitation templates.
- Entrance: Red carpet ready? If you don’t have a red carpet runner, a red piece of plastic or fabric can work well. Plus, you can cut out gold stars, write each guest’s name on them, and stick them to the “red carpet.” Shine a spotlight on the entrance to the room. If you don’t have a light, use a flashlight, and tape it in place for this special lighting effect.
- Interviews: Stage a place to interview each guest. Remember to ask someone to film each interview. The actress in my mother-in-law would have loved that! Be prepared with a few fun questions.
- Decorations: Gold, gold, gold. Depending upon your budget, you can find all sorts of fun ideas online or in party stores. Find inexpensive rolls of wide gold ribbon, and drape it across the room up high, across any tables, and anywhere else that could use some glitzing. Sprinkle glitter around the tables, use gold napkins and gold candles. Coil fairy lights around candles and down the table.
- Tableware: Movie stars are not expected to wash dishes at the end of the night, so feel free to use paper napkins and plates. My mother-in-law used old-fashioned champagne glasses (coupes). Champagne was poured for the adults, and sparkling white grape juice for the youngsters. Some years she served desserts in the champagne glasses for a little extra bit of opulence.
- Food: Movie stars like to hobnob with other stars, so not sitting at a formal table for dinner allows them to kissy-kiss everyone attending. Some years, Geraldine served food representing a movie’s location, such as Indian food to celebrate Slum Dog Millionaire. Remember to have a healthy variety of choices everyone can enjoy.
- Activities: A few activities will keep things rolling until the show airs live. Filling out an Oscar Ballot, playing Oscar Bingo, and delivering the best Mad Libs acceptance speech. Try your hand at the Official Oscar Game and win big. Keep the younger set active with these fun ideas.
- Swag bags: The Oscar presenters go home with a crazy amount of loot! A jar of homemade bath salts might be well appreciated after putting on the glitz all night. Here’s the recipe.
Receive your own golden statuette for these yummy and elegant finger foods: