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How to throw an awesome awards-show viewing party

Nothing showcases the glamorous lives of our favorite celebrities like awards season. And nothing makes us feel further from that glamour than watching the ceremonies alone in our pajamas or nibbling stale crackers at a last-minute get-together. This year, do something different. Bring your A game by living it up like an A-lister.

1. Roll out a red carpet

What’s more important than the speeches, the awkward music that cuts off the speeches and the actual awards? The entrances, of course. The red carpet appearances give us a chance to scrutinize lavish wardrobes from top to bottom. Buy some fabric from your nearest craft store or pick up a runner from a party store and create a fabulous entryway for your guests in no time.

2. Make it a black-tie affair

New Year’s Eve may be over by the time awards ceremonies roll around, but that doesn’t mean you have to put away the sparkly dress. If you’re going to make it a red-carpet event, you might as well have your guests go for the glam and glitz of Hollywood. We all need an excuse to dress up to the nines more often. If you want to eliminate the black-tie pressure but keep the enthusiasm levels high, ask your guests to dress up like a favorite artist or character. Be sure to snap plenty of photos, just like any paparazzi-worthy event!

3. Give out your own awards

Maybe none of your friends acted in a dramatic tale of woe or sang a catchy earworm pop song. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be rewarded for their efforts. Make your party interactive by granting awards in different categories, such as “best dressed,” “best dessert” and “most dramatic.”

4. Rearrange your TV room

If you’re requesting guests dress up, make sure that no one has to sit on the floor. A formal dress and uncomfortable seating don’t mix. Use bean bags, ottomans or poufs to provide a cozy spot for all of your friends. If you want to get the vibe down pat, rearrange your furniture and bring in chairs you can line up to imitate a movie theater.

5. Create signature cocktails and desserts

Most parties feel complete with a few finger foods and some beer—but your awards party is anything but humdrum! You can spend the same amount of money, add a little creativity and turn up the glam factor a notch with some classy options — a few fresh strawberries and some chocolate become occasion-appropriate tuxedo strawberries. Create original cocktails matching the theme of nominated movies, TV shows or songs, such as a black cocktail representing Mad Max: Fury Road or a cherry red cocktail as an homage to Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.” Just make sure to have fun with it — your enthusiasm will rub off on even your most critical guest.

6. Tailor your party to the occasion

If you’re throwing a Grammy’s 2016 bash, start off the night with a music-video watching party. That way, everyone will be familiar with the songs by the time the winners are announced. Your friends can pull a Kanye and weigh in on whether or not the decisions were fair.

If you’re holding a Golden Globes soirée, make your own Golden Globes out of metallic gold muffin cups. Supply golden confetti so that your guests can celebrate in a decadent and sparkling way. You may have to vacuum later, but it will be worth the enjoyment.

When it comes to a Critic’s Choice Awards party, it wouldn’t be complete without star-shaped everything. Use cookie cutters to cut cucumber sandwiches into star shapes. Print out and laminate Hollywood stars to place on the floor with your friends’ names on them.

The defining aspect of the Screen Actors Guild Awards is that the votes are cast by the performers’ peers rather than a small board of critics. Hold a vote among your party peers and see if your winners match up with the awards given. This will make for interesting discussion, ensuring your party doesn’t die out the second the final winner walks off the stage.

7. If all else fails, go low-key

Don’t stress if you don’t have a blockbuster sized budget for your party. You do not need a professionally equipped home theater or marquee like this one to set a fun mood for the evening.

While the sparkle and prestige of the event can be the most exciting part, sometimes you just want to enjoy a low-key night with your close friends. Champagne pairs just as well with pajamas as it does with a formal gown. The most important part of holding a watch party is that you and your guests feel comfortable and have fun — and who wouldn’t want to celebrate that?

Bryn is a home decor blogger and podcaster. You can connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @brynhuntpalmer

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