How to Host the Ultimate Oscars Viewing Party

Whether you’re watching to see if your favorite movie of the year wins Best Picture or you’re looking for fashion inspiration from your favorite actresses, there’s no denying the appeal of watching the Academy Awards. You can get involved and fill out your own predictions, judge who wore it best on the red carpet and stuff your face with Oscar-worthy appetizers as you cheer on the winners. But it’s not as fun to watch the show alone. This year, make it an event by hosting your own Oscars viewing party with a close group of family and friends. Here’s how to make it a success.

Nail the decor
You don’t have to go crazy, but it might be fun to add a few special touches to your living room where everyone’s going to gather. First, make sure there’s a comfortable seat for everyone invited. Throw pillows and blankets could come in handy, since the event can run late. If you’re feeling fancy, pick up a red carpet or even a roll of fabric to unroll in your entryway that will lead your guests to their seats and make them feel like Hollywood royalty. Gold and silver decorations like metallic streamers, banners or balloons can add a classy twist, and red, black and white are fitting too. For a flattering glow throughout your viewing space, light a few luxe candles.

Dress your best
You may want to encourage your guests to dress up a bit to get into the red carpet spirit. Cocktail attire, maybe? A metallic gold theme? If it’s more of a low-key night with your girlfriends, make it a pajama party. When everyone arrives, get a few people to act like the paparazzi and take photos of everyone doing their best celebrity poses. A Polaroid camera would be a fun idea, and you could use the pictures to help decorate the space. You could even record mock interviews on your smartphone, asking people about their predictions or what they’re wearing.

Provide food and drinks
The menu is up to you, but the easiest way to satisfy each guest is to set up a buffet where they can serve themselves. Choose dishes that can be customized, like tacos, ice cream sundaes and even popcorn, and let your family and friends choose their own toppings. This takes a lot of the pressure off of you as a hostess, since you’ll have more time to join in the fun without worrying about putting together a bunch of different plates. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you could make a couple of drinks or dishes that correspond with some of the year’s biggest movies. Make it a potluck to get your friends and family in on the creativity.

Print out some ballots
No Oscars party is complete without filling out ballots of who’s going to win the award in each category. Print out this year’s ballot for each of your guests. You may want to pick out a prize for the winner or make it into a pool where each participant throws down some cash that the winner can take home afterward.

Play a game
If the ballot competition isn’t enough to satisfy everyone’s competitiveness, a game of Oscars Bingo might be in order. You can print out premade sheets or make your own. Just think of things that are likely to happen at the ceremony, whether it’s a wardrobe malfunction, a trip on the red carpet or a signature pose that one celebrity is bound to flaunt, and write them in the squares. Whoever gets Bingo first wins a prize! You could also play a game of movie or celebrity trivia to get people thinking.