How To Throw An Award Winning Viewing Party

Whether your’re planning an Oscars party or screening the latest episode of The Bachelor, you too can throw a viewing party with red carpet style.

For Decor: 

1. Comfort is key. The evening is perhaps four or more hours long, so make sure you have enough comfortable seating for your guests. You may need extra cushions on the floor.

2. Since the living room or TV room will serve as your setting, use your coffee table as the dining table. A sideboard or console could perhaps function as a side bar. 

3. Consider a color theme based on the award show, such as an elegant chocolate brown and gold for the Academy Awards. 

For Food:

1. Remember, as host, you'll want to be glued to the sofa with your guests, not chained to the stove, so preparation is essential. Ready-to-go foods can either be pre-prepared, store bought, or ask your favorite restaurant to fill up a serving dish of yours that you can then simply preheat before serving. 

2. Cocktails/Beverages: Preset a do-it-yourself bar for guests to refresh their own drinks throughout the evening. Include assorted liquor and mixers, ice, lemon and lime wedges, green olives, and a shaker. Choose one pre-made cocktail. Also, have champagne on ice with glasses ready for a "Best Picture" toast. 

3. Nosh Foods: On your coffee table preset something for everyone to snack on: crudite platter (with only green & white vegetables), assorted cheese and sliced baguette, spiced nuts, popcorn, and a big bowl of M&Ms. 

4. Courses: During commercial breaks, retrieve trays of ready-to-go foods from the kitchen.

For example:

  • Appetizer: Layered Cobb Salad preset in bowls on tray and refrigerated.
  • Entree: Lasagna can be prepared days in advance. Either refrigerate or freeze, then bake on the day of the party. 
  • Dessert: Chocolate Pot Au Creme served in espresso cups preset on tray and refrigerated.

For Fun:

1. As guests arrive during the Oscar pre-show, pass each a printed ballot for them to give their winning predictions. During the announcement for "Best Picture" serve champagne and toast to the celebrations, as well as the winner of the Oscar ballot. 
2. The "winner" should also receive a prize. Fill a basket with movie-themed items. Have each guest bring a movie-related gift to contribute to the Oscar Basket Prize such as movie tickets, DVD, champagne, maybe a book on Hollywood, etc. 

-Colin Cowie

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