Hosting a Hollywood Themed Party



Half the fun of a Hollywood party is in the preparation – the decorations, the food, the entertainment, and of course the costumes…which means your guests need to prepare also. Use your invitations to get them excited about the party:

  • Your guests are not just any guests, they are exclusively invited stars. Reflect this in the wording and the layout of the invitations.
  • Use Hollywood icons, film strips, flood light effects and stars to decorate.
  • Use bold colours, especially red, pink, gold, and black.
  • Make the invitations look authentic. A formal looking invitation or a ticket is a great idea.


When choosing the venue for any party, the main things to consider are that you have enough room to comfortably fit the number of guests you want to invite, and that you have a contingency for bad weather if your venue is outdoors. In saying that, a Hollywood party is about rubbing shoulders with the stars, so a venue which is too large can make the party look sparse, stifle conversation and deflate the atmosphere you are trying to achieve.

The great thing about a Hollywood party is that it doesn’t really matter how many guests you invite – it’s just as much fun with a handful of close friends as it is to invite a few hundred. Here are some ideas:

  • A small dinner party in your own lounge room.
  • An “Awards Night” style sit down dinner with a number of tables set up at home in the backyard if you have room, or hire a hall or similar venue.
  • A “Stand & Mingle” informal style of party where finger food is served throughout the event. If you have room, the best place for this style of party is at home, inside or outside.


When your guests arrive, roll out the red carpet (literally):

  • Red floor runners are surprising inexpensive and are available at many party stores;
  • or cut up and stitch together some old or inexpensive flat red sheets or other red material;
  • or use a red plastic table roll (also available in party shops).

Have the paparazzi ready to take photos. Pre-organise a handful of family or friends to have their cameras ready and let the flashes fly as each guest arrives. Remember to be intrusive and pushy and persistent.

Set up an interviewer with a big microphone along the red carpet and ask each guest a couple of questions. Prepare questions in advance if you like – make them serious or funny, and of course, capture it all on camera.

Hollywood stars are an awesome idea to make your guests feel special. Create stars out of pale pink cardboard like the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, and print the name of every guest on one of them. Scatter them around on the ground – guests will have fun trying to find their name and it’s a good way to stimulate conversation too.

Decorate your party area with red, pink, black, silver and gold. Put stars everywhere… on the floors, walls and ceilings. Hang silver, gold or red glitzy material like curtains, and put up streamers and balloons. Plain coloured party lights will add to the Hollywood sparkle. If you have any movie posters, hang them up too.

Use red, pink or black cloths to cover tables and scatter them with silver and gold stars. Place a couple of celebrity or movie magazines on each table and use balloons, flowers or candles wrapped in unwound rolls of film as the centerpiece.

(Party stores will usually carry a large range of Hollywood themed decorative items such as wall hangings, balloons, table cloths, plates, cups, cutlery, napkins, and novelty items.)


The thing about Hollywood is that it’s as much about the movies as it is about the stars who feature in them. So a Hollywood costume could be either – a movie character, or a movie star. You can specify on your invitations if you have a preference. Or you might even be more specific and choose a particular movie, or stipulate a genre or era. Here are a few more ideas:

  • Hollywood Couples, Past and Present
  • Hollywood Hunks and Screen Queens
  • Hollywood Horror
  • Aliens and Outlaws
  • My Favourite Chick Flick
  • A Night at the Oscars

For all costume parties, and as fun as they are, there are a few things to take into consideration. Preparing a costume will come easily to some of your guests. They will love to scour through the charity outlets and bargain stores searching for that perfect pre-loved outfit and accessories to match. For others, it will be a fantastic excuse to spend a few hours down at Materials Galore and delight in the colourful fabrics right before whipping up a sensational number in pale pink satin. Others will simply hire, buy or borrow something because that whole creative thing just doesn’t come easily. But in any case, the more general your theme, the more choices available, and the easier it will be for your guests to put together their costume. Another thing to consider is the cost to your guests in preparing their costume. Sometimes, if it doesn’t matter that much, you can specify on the invitation for your guests not to bring a gift, for example “Your getting dressed up is gift enough.”


If it’s at all possible, food and drinks at the Hollywood Party should be served to your guests by waiters and waitresses. These guests are Hollywood stars and who could ever think they would have to serve themselves!!… well, just kidding. They’re only pretend stars and are quite used to serving themselves. But if you can afford hired help, or you have a few family members or friends willing to act as servers, it will add to the atmosphere of the event.

For the stand and mingle party – champagne and hors d’oeuvres.

For the dinner party – champagne and at least three courses, preferably more. To keep within budget, serve smaller portions and increase the number of courses. Give each course a really long fancy name, even if it’s ordinary.


Play movie themes as the background music.

Informally playback video footage or photos captured on the red carpet on a TV for interested party goers to gather around.

Pin the name of a movie star to the back of each guest when they arrive. The challenge is then to guess the name of that movie star by asking the other guests at the party “yes” or “no” questions. Tell each guest they can only ask one question of each other guest. Then they must ask someone different.

For a small dinner party:

  • Watch a movie and eat popcorn.
  • Play charades or karaoke, or ask movie trivia questions.

For the awards night event:

  • Make your own awards! Tap into your creative self, and think cardboard boxes, polystyrene shapes, old Christmas decorations, lots and lots of craft glue, aluminum foil, and silver or gold paint. Your guests won’t care how silly they look… or, you can just purchase awards from your local party store.
  • Organise a space to be your “stage” and prepare to be the host, or organise a friend to take on the role. Make sure that your guests will be able to hear what you are saying – you may or may not need to source a microphone and speakers for the event.
  • Hand out ballot papers for everyone to complete during the dinner – give each table different categories and ask them to write down the nominees and the winners. Categories might include best dressed actor, best dressed actress, best dressed couple, most outrageous costume, biggest poser, most stylish shoes, most outstanding hat, award for accessorising, darkest sunglasses, socialite award, drama queen award and the absolute glitz and glamour award.
  • For each award, choose two guests to present. You don’t need to tell them in advance – make it fun and just surprise them at the event. The presenters read the nominees and winners from the ballot papers.
  • Encourage the winners to make a speech.

For a stand and mingle party:

  • play background music on a stereo,
  • or set up a place for dancing and hire a DJ or jukebox with optional karaoke.
  • You might also like to hand out awards for the best dressed guests.

Source by Vanessa Gallagher

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