Celebrate the Oscars with a night of Old Hollywood glamour. Credit: Getty Images
Ready to see who the winners of the 2011 Academy Awards
are? Throw an Old Hollywood-style costume-themed cocktail party to mark the big night.
This is a costume party, so make sure everyone comes appropriately attired. Assign each of your guests a specific character from an Oscar-winning film from yesteryear. Couples can choose from favorites such as Rhett Butler and Scarlet O'Hara from "Gone With the Wind" or Rick and Ilsa from "Casablanca." Other popular Oscar-winning movies include "On the Waterfront," "West Side Story" and "My Fair Lady."
If guests are a little intimidated by wearing a full costume, tell them to pull together a look inspired by their character, or an old school red carpet look based on former winners in the Best Actor and Actress categories. You can find a full list of winners at AMC's Filmsite. Bottom line: No jeans and t-shirts allowed at this bash.
Don't feel pressured to serve dinner; specify on the invites that guests should eat ahead of time and that you'll be serving up delicious cocktails and sweet and savory treats. Kitchen Daily has a nice selection of Oscar-themed crowd-pleasers.
As for drinks, tonight, champagne is a must. If your gang has a favorite bubbly, pick up a bottle or two then plop in a sugar cube to each glass for a classic champagne cocktail. If you're watching your budget, try Freixnet or instead, go for a bottle of Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) or Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine). Decide if you'll also be serving mixed drinks and make sure your bar is stocked with the basics: Vodka, gin and scotch and a few mix-ins as well such as soda water, tonic and fresh juice. If not, load up on your pals' favorite bottles of wine and beer.
Of course, watching the Oscars is after all, the reason you've gathered your friends together. Maybe you've even started up an Oscar Pool! However, you'll definitely need something to get everyone in the spirit before the fun starts.
Use your guests' costumes to play a few games. Split your guests into teams. Then, using a timer, have the teams take turns grilling one another about the movie character they are dressed up as. The more points each team accumulates the closer they are to winning Oscar gold-that is, a chocolate Oscar lollipops or a similar prize.
Nothing can set the scene for your Old Hollywood Oscar Party like glam, over-the-top decorations. Start with a red carpet for your guests to walk down as they enter the party; add lots of stars, white feathers, candles and a few pops of gold, of course!
Lighting is a great way to set the right mood. Be sure to dim the lights and set candles around your party space. If you prefer, battery-operated or LED candles make just as much of an impact without the flames. Beads and glittery stars make for great accents -- hang them from lampshades, from chandeliers and other lighting fixtures, or use large stars to create your own Walk of Fame on the floor.
Continue the glitter and feather theme on the tables. Fill tall glass cylinder vases with acrylic rocks and insert three large stemmed ostrich feathers or masquerade masks into each. Then, to add some shimmer, hot glue glittered stars into each feather.
Everyone strives for Oscar gold, so a few miniature faux statues can round out your decorations. Pick up a few from your local party store or order them online and place them in unexpected places -- on end tables, kitchen counters, even in the bathroom. Your guests will love it!
Spend a few moments before the Oscars ceremony begins to make sure your guests have plenty of seating, their beverages have been refreshed and snacks are at the ready. Prepare a snack of freshly popped popcorn, placing individual portions into gold paper bags. Line them up on a tray and place them in reach of your guests. Then, settle in and get ready for the awards to begin.
Check out the video for more tips on how to throw a great Oscar party.