Change the menu every year to preserve your guests’ interest in an annual party. Adjust foods based on the time periods, characters, and settings of the Oscar®-nominated films. Of course, a staple snack – champagne cookie pops – is an annual classic!
- Pull inspiration from the musical La La Land in which Mia (Emma Stone) works at a coffee shop with one particular scene involving an embarrassing spilled coffee. Use this theme in coffee-soaked chocolate La La Lava Cakes, or a tiramisu made with Walkers vanilla shortbread drenched in coffee.
- Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a pianist in La La Land. Arrange Walkers shortbread fingers on a dessert table like piano keys, with chocolate-dipped fingers alternating as the black keys.
- The biopic Jackie starring Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy could inspire menus with confectionery reproductions of Jackie’s signature pill box hat and pearls. Arrange pearl sprinkles on shortbread rounds or cakes in a necklace design.
Print Oscar® ballots for your guests and track who correctly forecasted the most winners. Aside from the winner predictions, give out a prize for Best Dressed Guest or the guest who dresses most like a film character. Organize a who-am-I party game where each guest wears a movie character’s name on their back and other guests must give them clues to guess who it is. Tip: Don’t tell guests about prizes in advance to help build the ‘wow’ factor when the prizes are revealed:
- Find autographed pictures of Oscar® nominees and order them in advance. Autographed celebrity prints typically range from $5-40, with some special items at higher price points.
- For those with a wider budget, order film memorabilia for the Grand Prize winner.
- A movie soundtrack or a gift card to a local movie theater are prizes that stay on theme.
Decorations don’t need to be stationary, they can be interactive:
- Is a red carpet experience complete without paparazzi? Depending on budget, hire a photographer, ask a friend, or leave a few smartphones or tablets with responsible children to take photos as guests arrive. Send personalized thank you cards after the party with the guest’s picture.
- After guests walk the red carpet, invite them to leave their handprints and signatures as a homage to the famous imprinted stars at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Set up a no-mess “stamp” station with large stars printed on paper and simply have guests trace their hands and feet with metallic gold gel pens or colors of their choice. Invite them to write their favorite film from the past year, or their favorite one of all-time.
- In addition to the makeshift Hollywood Walk of Fame, create a YouTube playlist of the film trailers or special scenes from the nominated films. In rooms outside the viewing party area leave the playlist on loop on TVs, tablets, or computer screens. This helps introduce guests to films they may have missed—and may influence their ballot decisions!
Linking your party to nominated films helps foster conversations among guests and keeps them excited for each year’s celebration. If there were annual awards for Oscar® party hosting – you might get a nomination for Best Party!
The 89th Annual Academy Awards® is February 26, 2017 at 7PM EST and hosted by comedian Jimmy Kimmel. Use code OSCARS through 2/21 when ordering Walkers Shortbread products for 20 percent off your entire order.