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How to host an awards-worthy Oscar party

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Oscar party guide

From SheKnows Canada
With the 85th annual Academy Awards around the corner, why not recreate some of the Hollywood glitz and glamour at home? After all, why should host Seth MacFarlane get to have all the fun? We've put together a party-planning package for anyone interested in hosting a silver screen-themed soiree in honour of the big night.
film reel

oscar 2013 party guide

With the 85th annual Academy Awards around the corner, why not recreate some of the Hollywood glitz and glamour at home? After all, why should host Seth MacFarlane get to have all the fun? We've put together a party-planning package for anyone interested in hosting a silver screen-themed soiree in honour of the big night.

From snacks to ballots to decor, we've got everything you need to host the ultimate Academy Awards party this year.

Setting the scene

Since Hollywood's biggest night is all about the hottest stars and the year's biggest movies, give your Oscar party a dose of dazzling style. Scour dollar stores for gold and silver candles and streamers to create some kitschy ambiance, and create your very own walk of fame by cutting out stars from cardboard and painting a guest's name on each. Line your entryway with them so guests see their names as they make their grand entrance. If you really want to Oscar-fy your party, print photos of all the nominees, and turn them into masks. Give them to guests to wear, and take photos throughout the night of all your famous party crashers. Who wouldn't want a photo op with Denzel Washington or Daniel Day Lewis? Post all your "celeb" photos on Facebook, or create a photo album for friends.

Check out this year's nominations >>

Food

popcorn

Let's face it: The focus of this party is going to be less on the food and more on what's inside all of those envelopes being opened onstage. So rather than slave over a hot stove to create a multi-course meal, provide small bites for guests to nosh on throughout the evening, including movie favourites like popcorn and candy. If you do want to go all out — à la the annual Governors' Ball — Epicurious offers menus based on all the Best Picture nominees. Once you decide on a menu (of either appetizers or a full meal), print menu cards to post beside your Oscar-inspired offerings.

Drinks

isolated cocktail

When it comes to best bets for party beverages, having one signature cocktail (something sparkly is an Oscar-worthy option) is a good idea so you don't have to worry about keeping too many ingredients on hand. We love the simplicity of LCBO's Countdown Cocktail — featuring sparkling wine, strawberries and Alizé Rosé — even though it's meant for a New Year's celebration. Provide the ingredients and a small card listing the instructions so guests can serve themselves. And be sure to provide non-alcoholic options for anyone who doesn't want to imbibe.

Ballots and games

No Oscar party is complete without ballots. After all, guessing who's going to win what (along with analyzing the over-the-top outfits on the red carpet) is the best part of watching the show. Print out the downloadable ballot from Oscars.org, and hand it to guests as they arrive. Les Misérables vs. Life of Pi, Jennifer Lawrence vs. Jessica Chastain — make your choices carefully. Along with filling out ballots, here are a few other awards-themed activities you can incorporate.

Oscar bingo is a fun way to ensure everyone is paying attention during the less interesting awards like Best Lighting. Download a premade bingo card (just enter "Oscar Bingo + 2013" into your search bar to net several options), or create your own in Word, and fill it with items like "speech gets cut off," "joke falls flat," "two celebs wear the same dress" or "Anne Hathaway grins."
A speech contest makes for a hilarious between-commercials activity. Every break, have someone stand up and recreate the speech of whomever just won. Do you think you can do better than potential winners Naomi Watts or Bradley Cooper? Have prizes on hand for the game winners, like miniature statuettes, available at some party supply stores, or soundtracks from the nominated films.

Now fill in your Oscar ballot, get comfortable, and enjoy the show!

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