Awards show season is right around the corner and what better way to celebrate your entertainment obsession than by gathering your friends to ogle the fashion and toast the winners? Whether it’s the Golden Globes, Oscars or the SAG Awards you’re celebrating, here are a few ideas for a fabulous party that might just earn you a golden statue at the end of the evening. And as always, there are pros on Thumbtack to help you with the food, the décor, and definitely the next day clean up.
Encourage Guests to Dress to Impress
These awards shows are all about fashion, so your party should be as well. Add automatic elegance with a black tie or cocktail dress code. Tell your guests to have fun with it though: this is a chance to break out that ugly bridesmaid dress or recreate memorable red carpet looks. When your guests show up, ask them who they’re wearing and record it with your smartphone. It will make a cute little video to send to everyone later that week.
Photo: Neil Patrick Harris, Anna Kendrick, 2015 Academy Awards, Show via eonline
Set the Mood
Think: red, gold, black, silver. In fact, you can probably repurpose a lot of your holiday décor. Make a garland of large gold stars, bring in helium balloons, and roll out a red carpet at the entrance because why not? You’ll also want to place lots of candles in votives and fresh flowers around the room. A professional can always help procure the decorations and set everything up as a way to save you time and money.
Photo: 2015 Oscar nominees and their plus ones via RCFA
Bring in a Photo Booth
You can rent a photo booth or create a DIY Hollywood-themed backdrop (shimmering gold ribbon always looks great) and set up your own. Either way, be sure to have lots of props including awards statues, oversized bow ties, tiaras, etc.
Photo: Taylor Swift, Calvin Harris and friends at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards After Party via Hollywoodtake
Serve Elegant Hors d’Oeuvres
These award shows can last for a long time (the 2002 Academy Awards was the longest one ever at 4 hours, 23 minutes), so you’ll want to offer a few heavy appetizers and make sure that there’s food for the duration. Consider hiring a caterer so you don’t have to stress. He or she can even drop everything off ahead of time so your guests will never even know. Think crostini, not chips; mini quiche, not mini burgers; and potato pancakes, not potato skins.
Photo: Jennifer Lawrence eats inelegant hor d’oeuvres at the Academy Awards 2014 via Los Angeles Times
Pop Open the Bubbly
An award show party is not complete without lots of champagne. Make sure you have plenty of glasses and lots of bubbles on ice. Consider making a signature cocktail based on one of the nominated films as well. And, of course, have options for guests who may not want to imbibe.
Photo: Naomi Watts signs huge champagne at 2015 SAG Awards via Cultjer
Don’t Forget Dessert
Swanky parties deserve swanky desserts. Think little bites, like bourbon balls, mini cupcakes, star-shaped cookies, and cinnamon popcorn. You can also set the dessert out ahead of time and have them act as part of the décor.
Photo: Oscar desserts via HMH Designs
Give Out Awards
During the commercials or perhaps during some of the more, ahem, boring awards, give awards to your guests. You could do “Best Dressed,” “Most Entertaining,” “Most Dramatic,” etc. Just be sure everyone walks away with a statue.
Photo: Awards winners J.K. Simmons, Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne at the 2015 Oscars via Telegraph UK
It’s not an award show party without printable ballots for guests to fill out while watching the red carpet pre-show on E! Make sure everyone fills his or her ballot out predicting the winners and then have a little prize set aside for whomever gets the most right.
Photo: 2015 Oscar Ballot via Twinkle Twinkle Little Party
Send Guests Off with a Swag Bag
Oscar gift bags are often worth over $150,000. You, however, don’t need to spend more than a few dollars on yours. Fill a cute little bag with boxes of movie candy, a split of champagne, a chocolate gold-foil wrapped Oscar, or any other treats you think your friends will enjoy.
Photo: Golden Globes 2015 swag bags via Dallas News
Top photo: Vanity Fair Golden Globes After Party 2015 via Popsugar