Awards season is in full swing, and if you're a movie buff, it's a truly exciting time. You saw all the films, read every think piece, and have already engaged in lively debates about your favorites, but if you want to really honor the year's best and brightest, the best way to do it is with a full-blown bash. The Academy Awards take place on February 9th, so you've still got plenty of time to plan a stylish affair with the help of some bonafide entertainment experts' best Oscar party ideas that are sure to make it an affair to remember (Get it?).
There are so many things to look forward to during the Oscars, from the red carpet fashions to the (hopefully) clever monologues, and of course seeing if your faves will take home that little gold statuette. That said, who wouldn't want to attend an event where you can watch it all unfold while enjoying some themed decor, food, and cocktails? If all that sounds like your idea of a good time, you'll want to take down a few notes from event designer Stefanie Cove and Winston & Main's owner and lead designer, Tabitha Abercrombie. With their combined expertise, you'll gather all the hostess tips you need to throw an Oscar viewing party that's beautifully designed, entertaining, and totally memorable — much like this year's best films. Gowns optional.
Create Some Themed Cocktails
Treat your guests to a signature cocktail inspired by one of this year's nominees. In case you need some suggestions, the geniuses at Cocktail Academy have done the hard part for you. “Cowboy Birthday Party” inspired by Parasite, is made with tequila, shoju, lime, simple syrup, and muddled watermelon. “This cocktail was inspired by climax of the movie, the birthday party of the young Park son," says founder Matt Landes. "We utilized watermelon as a nod to the ‘classic’ Americana that the son is obsessed with and included Shoju to honor Korean director, Bong Joon Ho."
You can also recreate the signature drink of Brad Pitt's character in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a classic Bloody Mary. “To honor Brad Pitt’s character of Cliff Booth, I opted for a Bloody Mary similar to the one that he drinks in the opening scene at the famous Musso and Frank Grill," the mixologist says. "Nothing screams classic Hollywood more than a restaurant that boasted regulars like Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, and Greta Garbo. The drink is also perfect for the morning after if you’ll be drinking into the night like Tinseltown.”
Don't Forget The Flowers
"I think fresh flowers are a must," says Abercrombie, whose company specializes in stunning floral arrangements. "Go with small mono arrangements of red or white roses for a classic Oscar statement or go with monochrome red or white arrangements (including painted/dried/dyed blooms) for a more on trend floral statement. Send the arrangements home with your guests when the party is over!"
Create A Photo Op
Did you even have a party if there are no photos to prove it? Do what the stars do and create a photobooth moment. "I’m thinking gold tinsel or a balloon garland would both make a fun and easy statement," Abercrombie suggests. "I’d call my pals at Balloonzilla if I wasn’t feeling crafty."
Make It A Game
For an interactive and competitive element, Cove suggests having your guests make predictions for the winners. "Make chic ballot cards out of metallic paper and prior to the Oscars at your pre-cocktail reception, hand these out for guests to vote for the biggest awards of the evening," she says. "At the end of the night, whoever wins gets a beautiful gift bag that the hostess has put together."
Feed Them Well
A good charcuterie plate is perfect for those who don't want to bother with a sit-down dinner but still want to keep their guests from getting hangry. "The awards are long," says Abercrombie. "I love these grazing trays by Sorella Collective and they’re so beautiful they double as decor."
You can also take inspiration from Golden Globes' plant-based theme, as Cove recommends: Think cucumber sushi rolls or shot glasses filled with chilled beet soup. These small bites are great for party atmosphere, but also very LA, the event stylist notes.
Send Them Home With Swag
Nothing says awards show like a good swag bag. "Fill these with face masks, candles, candy, mini bottles of booze, and small treats for your guests to take home and enjoy like the stars they are," says Abercrombie
For another edible treat, Cove suggests some themed cookies, like the ones from Little Sparks, who recently shared a clever nod to Uncut Gems. She also loves the idea of creating mini awards for guests themselves. "You can make the expression on the plaque funny, too," she says "For example, best dressed, loudest cheer, etc."