All you need is snacks for three hours, good seating and a touch of Hollywood glamour to put everyone in the mood. Cynthia Rowley and Ilene Rosenzweig, co-creators of the Swell collection at Target®, have a few tips for adding a touch of sparkle to a star-studded night.
- Take a piece of Mylar mirrored paper and address it, "And the winner is..."
- Using a gold metallic pen, inscribe invitations with lines from Oscar®-winning films. For example, "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
- For a black-tie invite, punch two holes in a piece of cardstock, thread a piece of thick black ribbon through the holes and tie it into a bow tie.
- Repurpose a star-studded shower curtain as a shining overlay for a bar.
- Switch the family photos in the living room with shots of your true loved ones—this year's nominees.
- You can also frame "signed" celebrity photos. The photos are, of course, autographed to you (or by you): "Wish I could be there! Luv, Charlize."
- Put out a red-carpet welcome mat to lead your guests to the door.
- Deputize a best friend to snap your guests with a Polaroid as they make their entrance.
- Dress up the powder room with props from the makeup trailer: rhinestone jewelry, tiaras, sunglasses, red lipsticks, fake mustaches, beauty marks and a wig or two that'll inspire guests to start hamming and vamping.
- During the pre-show show, turn off the sound and play some feel-good Oscar®-winning soundtracks: Chicago, Titanic, The Godfather, Casablanca, etc.
- Set up a concession-stand buffet loaded with cinematic snacks: popcorn and toppings, served in paper top hats; Milk Duds and Twizzlers, all neatly stacked; an ice chest full of soda and ice cream bonbons.
- Throw in a few things you wish they served at the multiplex, like frozen mini burgers to nuke 'n' serve.
- For dinner, if needed, serve TV dinners! Let guests order from a menu of Salisbury steak, chicken nuggets or fish sticks.
- Serve up some icebreakers—trivia questions!
- Instead of using identifying wine glass charms, tie small trivia cards to glass stems. Write out questions with multiple choice answers and tie on with a black satin ribbon.
- Write the answers on cocktail napkins in gold metallic pen. Sample question: "What movie did James Bond author Ian Fleming write?" (A: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.)
- Guests have to mingle to find the answers!
Do your own downsized version of the amazing gift baskets Oscar® presenters and winners get just for showing up! Buy goodies like sunglasses, disposable cameras, jewelry and photo albums. Then, package up all the goods in gift bags and hand out to friends as they leave to catch a "limo" to their after party.