Monthly Archives: February 2012

Hosting an Oscar worthy Academy Awards watch party!

If you’re following my posts, you know I’ve already covered the basics of hosting a watch party for the Super Bowl.  Although the basics of creating a good watch party atmosphere are the same, an Academy Awards watch party leaves much more room for elegance and creativity.

academy awards 2012 poster

Photo Courtesy of http://www.hollywood.com

Getting Started

 

First of all, who doesn’t love a good red carpet-themed party!? I’ll find any excuse to get dressed up and play movie star. Maybe you do as well. Go ahead and do invites, too. We’ve got too many cute ideas not to. A movie ticket or popcorn bucket with the date, time, and place of your get-together makes for a more formal atmosphere right off the bat, and your guests will be impressed with your preparation.

Include an Oscar ballot with the invite! This way, your guests have plenty of time to fill it out and can bring it with them to your party. An Oscar ballot will also give guests who may have little interest in the show a chance to get involved. Come up with a prize for the winner of the pool, a movie-themed basket with DVDs starring some of the nominees or old winners, a bottle of wine, popcorn, and movie-theatre candies make for a great final touch on the theme and is nice but not over-the-top for you to put together.

oscar ballot

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest

The Big Night

 

Plenty of great options will keep you and your guests busy during the show. We all know last year’s Anne Hathaway and James Franco disaster wasn’t worth watching, so some activities between awards will keep your guests involved and excited.  From drinking games to trivia, there’s something to keep everyone busy.

The red carpet opens the festivities. I know this is one of the only reasons I watch the show. Take tallies and have your guests vote on their favorite–least favorite and best-dressed stars. Even better, make a list of the big stars and grade them as they come down the carpet. My friends and I go with the flashcard scorecards like they do on “Say Yes to the Dress.”

Another great idea to fill up some of the time during commercials and boring side chatter is to play some Oscar trivia. Celebrations.com has some great questions started for you, but just getting online and looking up past winners and upsets could make for an endless list to keep your guests involved and chatting. Don’t get pushy with the party games, though. No one likes a host who shoves silly games down their throats. Make it fun and relaxed. You just want people to be involved. They’re not on a game show, and it really isn’t that big a deal.

For those of you who think you might get out of hand with other party games or if you’re just looking to get a little wild, an Oscars drinking game might be right for you. Come up with your own rules based on the performers and nominees or do something a little simpler.

Oscar Drinking Game Rules

oscar splashing beer in mug

Photo Courtesy of http://www.idrunkthat.com

  • Drink if someone thanks the Academy
  • Drink if the hurry-up music begins to play before someone finishes his or her speech
  • Drink if someone cries
  • If the trifecta (thanks the academy, cries, and hurry-up music is played) occurs then finish your drink.

As a host, you are responsible for assuring guests have designated drivers and that no one leaves your party too impaired to drive. Be responsible and allow guests to participate at their own speed and use discretion with a designated driver.

Delightful Dishes and Drinks

 

Oscar Cookies

 

The best part about an Oscar party is the ability to include a theme into every aspect of your party right down to the food and drink. This shouldn’t be your all-American food we put together for the Super Bowl. Get creative and run wild with movie titles and big screen-themed finger foods and cocktails. Here are some great ideas to take your Academy Award watch party dining to the next level, provided by Celebrations.com .

Moneyball:  Spinach & Parmesan Balls

The Help:  Minny’s Chocolate Pies

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Swedish Meatballs

Other films that might not have a food directly tied to them leave you the chance to create some fun desserts. Star cupcakes or cookies with movie titles would fit perfectly here. If not in dessert form, a cocktail will have to do. Some great big screen-themed cocktails include

My Week with Marilyn Cocktail

Midnight in Paris Cocktail

 Bridesmaids: Boozy Bridesmaid

 

The Importance of Pinterest

As event planners, amateur or professional, we are always looking to step up our game. Take our events to the next level if you will. In order to do this we constantly need to be on the lookout for inspiration, new ideas and listening to what clients are interested in seeing us do. Knowing what will impress a client or as an amateur your guests, are looking for, you will leave a lot bigger impression than if you just execute the same old things.

The new kid on the social media block, Pinterest, is making this easier than ever before. Pinterest is a visual online community designed to allow users to create pinboards or scrapbook type pages of images that interest them personally. It allows users to show the online world who thy are, what they like, what they believe and what they want via their pinboards.

A new report from comScore tells us that the average Pinterest user spends 98 minutes per month pinning and liking images. They’re also gaining users and brands at a speed only comparable to Tumblr and Facebook.

So what does this mean to event planners? It means our jobs just got a whole lot easier. Clients are no longer going into events like wedding planning blind. They’ve already created pinboards dedicated to their big day. Their inspirations and dreams are laid out for you. I can see my sorority sisters now pinning away their ideas, Everything from color schemes to dresses and centerpieces are being pinned and planned as we speak. I would not be surprised if someday soon, wedding planners kick start their first meeting with a bride by asking to see her Pinterest wedding board.

It’s not just weddings that are getting attention on Pinterest either, it’s baby showers and birthday parties, sorority recruitment and family get togethers. If you’re an amateur event planner or hostess, there is a plethora of recipes, decorations and do-it-yourself projects to make whatever you’re putting together fabulous.

Speaking of do-it-yourself, this might be my favorite part about Pinterest. Users who are constantly creating their own at home invitations, decorations, vases and more. They share their with other users not only pictures of what they’ve created, but how you can do it too.

For someone like me, who will sadly admit to lacking the crafty gene, this is a god send. Amateur event planners everywhere, rejoice! The recipe for your next hit desert at a coworker get together and your best friends bachelorette invitations can be found all in one place!

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Valentine’s Day for Singles

Let’s get real. If you’re takin’ on Valentine’s Day, you don’t even consider the option of attending a Valentine’s Day party. You want some alone time with your special someone. and no one wants to throw a party for couples. Talk about awkward! Fear not! There are alternatives for the single men and ladies out there who want to spend the lonely evening with others in the same boat. I’m talking Anti-Valentine’s Day parties or a singles get-together.  We all celebrated Valentine’s Day one way or another when we were kids in grade school so why not continue to enjoy the fun of an imaginary holiday.

singles awareness day

Photo Courtesy of Behind My Eyes

The catch with a Valentine’s Day party of any kind is that it is shockingly easy to get carried away with the matchmaking, forced love and cheesy heart designs. Take these too far and you’re in for an awkward night. My advice for throwing any kind of Valentine’s Day get-together is to keep it simple. Most of your guests probably aren’t too thrilled they’re not alone with a special someone anyway.

Valentine’s Day Party Themes

 -Anti-Valentine’s Day

– Singles Mixer

-Girls or Guys Night

Anti-Valentine’s Day

The Anti-Valentine’s Day party is a classic with some twists and turns to avoid. Your guests should all be single, so everyone can join in on their hatred for the “holiday” and have a good time despite what day it is. The problem with this theme is that it can lead to some pretty bad attitudes.

anti valentines day

Photo Courtesy of Fitsugar.com

You don’t want a party of your best girlfriends crying in one big group or your guy friends sulking around as if it’s the worst day ever. The atmosphere here should be fun, not mean. There should be no conversations about ex-boyfriends or girlfriends or even talk about exactly why you’re Anti-Valentine’s Day. It should just be a chance to get together with friends. The only way to know how a party like this would turn out is to know whom you’re inviting. You know that overly emotional friend who just can’t seem to shut up about her boyfriend who broke up with her three months ago? Yeah, don’t invite her. If you don’t know if you’re friends can handle the snarky atmosphere of an Anti-Valentine’s Day party, there are other options you can try.

Singles Mixer

A simple singles party is another option for mixing with the opposite sex but without the pressure of being set up on a blind date. Take charge of the event and use social media such as Facebook to reach out to any friends you have whose relationship status reads: Single. On the event page or invitation let your single friends know to bring a single friend or two of their own. This way it’s just a big group of people who don’t have dates and want to have a good time.

In my opinion, playing games like speed dating is a bad idea. Everyone at this party is probably interested in meeting someone but forcing it to happen will make everyone uncomfortable. By all means make it a game night though, board games that are interactive and maybe tell you a little about someone else and can make you laugh are the best.  A lot of games like this require small teams or even just partners and this can help make the mingling happen.  Some sure-fire wins for gaming include Cranium, Taboo or The Game of Things.

love bites cookies

Photo Courtesy of Baking In Heels

Ladies night in—Guys night out

The final—and sometimes the best—option for someone wanting to host a get-together without any chance of awkwardness is the single-sex party. Ladies, get together a bunch of your favorite romantic comedies and love movies. I’m saying break out your copy of The Notebook and P.S. I Love You, a couple of boxes of tissues and get your gal pals over for a night of letting it all out. It seems sad, but when you’re all in it together, it reminds you how strong your friendship is and how much you love each other.

P.S. I Love You

Photo Courtesy of MovieGoods.comPhoto Courtesy of MovieGoods.com

Men, do the exact opposite of the ladies. Grab some friends, some beer and pizza and play video games, watch sports or whatever it is you like to do together on any other day. Think of it as adding a day to your weekend. Get out and play golf if you’re lower key or find a bar with great Tuesday specials if you’re more the social type. Whatever you decide to do, you and your friends won’t even remember it’s a holiday. That’s the perk of being a single guy on Valentine’s Day—you’re allowed to forget.

guys at a bar

Photo Courtesy of New York Pudding

 Making it fun—even when it hurts

 So you’re sad. You’re planning a get-together like this and not a romantic evening out. Don’t be. These party ideas are great ways to meet new people or reconnect with the people who really deserve your love on this made-up holiday, so have fun with it!

Cocktails are great and can get fun and flirty. Who doesn’t enjoy a pink drink every once in a while? Make sure to whip up some fun treats, too. Valentine’s Day is a great time to show off your baking talents and an even better time to indulge just a little. Run wild with recipes and colors. While red hearts everywhere is tacky, some red velvet cream cheese brownies are the perfect touch.

Heart Shaped Food

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest

Explore Pinterest  to get some great cocktail and snack recipes to take whatever you do on Valentine’s Day to the next level.