ABOUT guest writer Morgan Gray: I’m from upstate New York. I have a BA degree in film and media studies  Aside from my day job, I’m an avid writer, film, philanthropy, and fashion buff! I love sharing and connecting with online communities.

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.Guide to the Ultimate Oscar Party

Awards season is always my favorite time of year, and there’s nothing better than Oscar night. Over the past few years, I’ve thrown a variety of Oscar parties, sampling a variety of styles to make each night unforgettable. This year will be no exception, and here are some of my top tips for throwing an Oscar party of your very own.

Dress to Impress

Oscar night is all about the fashion, and there are many ways you can incorporate this into your own event. Last year, I had my guests wear their most elegant, timeless pieces in an attempt to channel the glamour of old Hollywood. My guests wore gowns, headpieces, long gloves, and tuxedos, taking the night to another level of sophistication.

This year, we’re mixing it up a bit and incorporating a little more quirkiness. I’m asking my guests to wear an outfit inspired by one of the nine Best Picture-nominated films. This year’s batch of films offer a variety of fun fashion choices, from the 70s disco-chic of American Hustle to the futuristic simplicity of Her. I can’t wait to see what my friends choose, and how they decide to best represent their favorite film.

In an attempt to keep it green, I am also asking that my guests compose their outfits out of entirely recycled or already-owned items. They can purchase clothing pieces from thrift or second-hand shops, or they can go the extra mile and create a costume made out of recycled wrappers and repurposed objects.

 Whatever you decide to do for your party, do your best to keep it fun, while also injecting something new and fresh. Your guests will likely have been to a typical dress-up party before, so why not give them a little challenge and a little variation, all combining the fabulous worlds of film and fashion.

Wine and Dine

chocolate popcorntaco poppers

Food comes right after fashion when planning the ultimate Oscar party. There are a variety of food options you can choose from, and you have the freedom to go more upscale with super sophistication, or make it more casual with comfort food and classic snacks. For my party, I like to have a little bit of both. I’m a big fan of beer and cheese (check out this handy pairing guide here) and finger food, so why not give the guests fun food they’re sure to enjoy, but with a bit of a twist. Here are a few of my favorite snacks to serve, easy enough for anyone to prepare:

Bagel Chip Bruschetta – classic Bruschetta served on bite-sized toasted bagel chips. 

Mini Taco Poppers – tortilla chips loaded with beans, cheese, and veggies of your choice.

Chocolate Popcorn Clusters – mix a small handful of popcorn with melted chocolate for a perfect bite-sized treat.

 Games Galore

It’s not a party without the games, and Oscar night is the perfect opportunity to have some competition right along with the rest of Hollywood. Have your guests arrive before the main event, and spend the red carpet coverage filling out ballots of who they think will win each award. To take this classic game to the next level, add a little twist: see if your guests can guess who will be the best dressed, or add little prizes for each guess that is correct. 

Other Oscar games that have proved successful include movie-themed charades, name-that-movie-quote during commercial breaks, and Hollywood trivia throughout the ages. Use this night as a chance to focus on film, fashion, and food, and add some games for that extra bit of fun.


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