The Academy Awards airs on Sunday, Feb. 26. For many people this celebration of film offers a great excuse to throw a party. But while watching the Oscars with friends and family can be a lot of fun, it can also be pricey if you don’t plan for it properly. Here are some suggestions for hosting an Oscars party at the end of the month.
Invite People Electronically
Forget paper invites. Go green with your invitations and send them electronically. You’ll save money on the invite cards, envelopes and stamps, and your guests will appreciate the easy access from their laptops or cellphones. Electronic invitations can be centered on a theme and can include the images and text you want. They are also completely free. You can also create an event page on Facebook and invite people that way.
Decorate on a Budget
Decorating your party space with a Hollywood-inspired theme is a fun idea that you can do on a budget. Visit your local dollar store and pick up cheap materials like star cutouts, streamers, balloons and tinsel. You can get creative with the way you lay out your decorations. Try hanging gold stars from your ceiling with the names of each guest on them. You can also make mini-posters of movies that have won Best Picture or other Oscars. Simply do a Google image search and print the posters you find on standard 8×12 paper. To officially celebrate the Oscars, you may want to decorate your place with free images available at The Academy Awards’ website, www.oscars.org. Simply download and print. If you want to get really fancy, consider rolling out a red carpet on your porch made out of inexpensive felt that’s available at any craft store.
Focus on Simple Food and Drinks
A great party should have a great spread. Unfortunately, providing food and beverage options for many guests can get expensive very quickly. You can keep costs low by sticking to appetizers like bruschetta, chicken fingers, pot stickers, cheese and charcuterie and other crowd pleasers that are easy to make. Popcorn is an appropriate treat for watching a movies award show and it’s inexpensive. Buy a bag of kernels in bulk and pop them at your party. Pick up some cheap paper bags and offer a variety of seasonings to make it festive. When it comes to drinks make the event “BYOB” or stick to serving one special cocktail for the night.
Potluck Your Party
Try making your Oscars party a potluck. Allowing your guests the opportunity to contribute is an excellent way to host on a budget and make the evening stress-free. Create a checklist for what you need and assign friends and family something from it – drinks, hors d’oeuvres, etc. Your guests will be happy to bring something to share.
Make Your Party Interactive
Get your guests involved by having them to cast votes for winners before the show begins. The Academy Awards’ website features a printable Oscars ballot (PDF) and a variety of Oscars bingo cards (PDF). If you have room in your budget, give themed prizes to your guests who guess the winners. You don’t have to spend a lot on prizes. Cheap dollar store trophies or medals, candy or discount DVDs that you can find in a Target discount bin will do the trick.