It's almost Oscars night. Have you planned your viewing party yet?
When it comes to hosting a last-minute shindig, there's really only one person's advice you need: Darcy Miller, editor-at-large of Martha Stewart Weddings, author/illustrator of Celebrate Everything! and party planner for celebs like Martha Stewart, Blake Lively and Drew Barrymore.
[Your party's going to need a theme, so luckily enough] there's a ton of inspiration to pull from. Whether you get yours from this year's nominees, Old Hollywood in general, classic movie nights or the red carpet, here are just a few theme options to get you started.
Let the Stars Inspire Your Party—Literally
It's so easy to choose one shape—like a star—and tie it into your decor, food, everything. You can sprinkle gold star confetti on your tables or trays, hang garlands of cut-out stars from gold paper or use a cookie cutter to cut small-bite desserts like brownies or Rice Krispies Treats into star shapes. If you're making a garland, go ahead and mix in some other Hollywood shapes like Oscar statuettes or strings of popcorn
Theme Your Party Around This Year's Nominees
Whether that means going Boston-chic for Manchester by the Sea or Hollywood glam for La La Land, you can incorporate elements from the movies into your party. Serve a specialty drink with a name that relates to your theme! Example: Serve Manhattans but call them Manchesters, or for a Sully theme, you could create a "flight" station of beers for tasting or a bar made up entirely of mini-airplane bottles of different alcohols and mixers.
Take Your Guests to the Movies
Set up a popcorn bar complete with classic red and white striped popcorn bags or boxes. You can pop and flavor your own savory and sweet popcorn or buy it pre-made from the store. And no movie viewing is complete without chocolate! Personalize simple gold coins with an on-theme sticker like a film reel. Use accessories from party sites like Shindigz or Oriental Trading to really set the scene like film clappers or a roll of Admit One tickets. Use leftover tickets in any games your guests play—for every correct prediction, for example, guests get a ticket. The guest with the most tickets at the end of the night wins a prize!
Play Games That'll Cost You Next to Nothing
There are so many games you can play at your party that cost nothing or very little. There's a template for an easy-to-make paper Oscar Statuette on my website—all you need is some gold paper, scissors and tape or glue! Sites like Oriental Trading also have plastic versions. Hand out awards to your guests for best dressed, highest number of correct award predictions, best impersonation of a thank you speech—the list goes on! Other games to play during commercial breaks could be charades based on that year's nominees or movie trivia.
Start thinking about that guest list—you're having a party!