We lived in Los Angeles for four years, and during that time I had the incredible opportunity to work for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences during Oscars week as a press guide. I’ve always been a red carpet fan, but being able to physically be there in the time leading up to the big event, as well as during arrivals, coupled with backstage access during the show really sealed the deal on my love for all things award shows.
Now that we are back in the Midwest, finding a fun way to celebrate was hard, but as my birthday usually falls during Oscars week, throwing a red carpet themed party was obviously the only way to go.
If you are planning your own red carpet worthy event, here are some things to keep in mind:
Theme, Theme, Theme
We asked everyone to dress up and bought a short red carpet that we laid down in our entry way. As people came in, we took their coats and bags, then had them pose for the “paparazzi”(aka me with my camera).
Bonus points for a pretend statue or background to pose with. The Oscar statuettes are quite heavy, about 8 1/2 pounds, which is bigger than any of the three babies I’ve had!
Party games can still be fun!
We had everyone fill out a sheet guessing who would win in each category, and had prizes for whoever guessed the most and fewest correct. We also played a celebrity/movie themed guessing game during commercial breaks.
Food and Drinks
If you’ve never had a champagne tower at a party, here is your chance! Everyone knows Wolfgang Puck always makes special Oscar shaped food creations; we made a signature drink for the party called “Hollywood Nights.” I’m somewhat embarrassed to say I found the recipe in my Playboy Bartender’s Guide, and the drink included: 1.5 oz vodka, 1.5 oz Chambord, 1 oz triple sec and 1 oz Rose’s Lime Juice.
Whatever you choose to do, as with all things Hollywood, make it sound as fancy as possible.
The Main Event
When someone wins an Oscar, they are called on stage and given the award, make their speech, and are escorted backstage. That’s where the real fun begins. The Dolby Theatre connects to the Renaissance Hotel, and several floors of the hotel are dedicated to the backstage operation. First, the winner is escorted to a step and repeat with a bleacher stand full of photographers (all the photos of winners taken in front of a white Oscar/ABC background are from this room), then another room where the winner is interviewed for various news outlets. These interviews are available to watch on oscar.go.com. We set up a computer to watch the interviews, as well as had the show itself playing on the television.
The most important thing to keep in mind when hosting an Oscar watch party is to have fun, and enjoy one more occasion to wear your highest, sparkliest heels!