Please help us make our Oscars/Housewarming Party a success!
January 2, 2009 11:45 AM   Subscribe

Need help planning a themed Oscars/Housewarming Party!

Here are a couple areas we're having trouble with:

The theme: Currently thinking about doing a "Make Yourselves at Home & Roll Your Own Theme!" party, where people can dress up in whatever theme they want, based on whatever they feel like. I would like to incorporate prizes (but what kind?), both relating to theme and to the Oscars. Does anybody have a better idea? What details can we incorporate to make this kickass?

Mixed company: We have a lot of friends, all ages, all ilks. I'm not that good with interacting with people in groups. How can I help ease the awkwardness I have and make sure everybody is having a good time?

Housewarming Ettiquette: My boyfriend and I have never had or been to a housewarming party. Do we fill out a gift registry for this (ex. Target)? Do we even expect gifts? How long to people generally stay? What are housewarming parties all about? What are we expected to provide?

Neighbors: Do we invite them? I'd feel awful not doing so, especially since I'll likely warn them about a long day/night of noise. If they come, do I introduce them to everyone, or just let them come in and fend for themselves and leave when alienated? This is a social minefield that makes me want to call the whole thing off.

Other stuff...our place is small, parking is limited, we have 2 hypoallergenic indoor pets, no shoes allowed on carpet, cats are toilet trained and so toilet seats must stay up...how do we tell people all this without seeming neurotic as all getout?
posted by iamkimiam to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
 
Oh, I should add, we're renters.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:01 PM on January 2, 2009


Dress in costumes from movies that weren't nominated this year.

Don't register.

Invite the neighbors.

Tell them about the restrictions when they get there.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:16 PM on January 2, 2009


cats are toilet trained and so toilet seats must stay up

I think this has to be your theme. Step right up! Come see the amazing Toilet-Trained Kitties! Cost of admission, one housewarming gift! Put a sign near the door, on the inside, that says "See the Egress!" for good measure.

Seriously, I'd come to that party. And it's lighthearted enough that it does all of the ice-breaking for you, including with your neighbors.
posted by jbickers at 12:50 PM on January 2, 2009


In my experience, moving to a new place is just an excuse to throw a party that happens to be labeled a "housewarming party," and that's all there is to it (especially if you're renting). Sometimes people will bring gifts of their own accord, but you certainly shouldn't register or imply in any way that people should bring gifts. Just throw a party. Yes, invite the neighbors.

And tell the first few people to arrive to take off their shoes and leave them at the door. Everyone who comes in after that will see a pile of shoes and get the message. It's worth warning people about the parking situation when you invite them, but everything else can wait until they get there.
posted by adiabat at 1:29 PM on January 2, 2009


If you have photos of your guests, or can take and make photos on the spot when they arrive, you could attach those pics inside of pre-prepared paper stars on the wall with their names, Hollywood style. As a sometimes-awkward guest I could see myself consulting such a star before walking over to compliment someone I haven't met on his/her costume. For less awkward guests it can just be another fun activity at your party.
posted by PY at 1:29 PM on January 2, 2009


Your guests could just dress up as famous Oscar winners. Very broad, leaves lots of room for all types of costumes and interests and effort. They could be people, or movies, or songs, or costumes...

Have a few prizes for best/worst/most creative costume or whatever. If you appoint yourself as judge, then you have a built-in reason for speaking to everybody, and a starting point for conversations.

One key to a good party - don't provide enough seating for every single guest to sit down at one time - everybody tends to just sit in one spot and not mingle.

If you want to have some games, there are editions of Trivial Pursuit that would fit into your theme, especially if you restrict questions to entertainment. You could even make up your own questions.

Have several TVs positioned around your place if possible.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 1:30 PM on January 2, 2009


(hmm, more realistically, I should say "consulting such a star after already having been told someone's name a couple times" :)
posted by PY at 1:31 PM on January 2, 2009


Just my two cents, but I wouldn't call it a housewarming if you're renting. In fact the only housewarmings I've been two have been for brand new houses, not to say that's a hard and fast rule of course....just saying my experience. So if it was me I would just call it a themed party.

No, you don't register for housewarmings. Some people will bring gifts, like a bottle of wine, cheese, etc. What you provide: hors d'oeuvres and drinks (We had a couple of iced coolers with beer, bottled water, soda. Then we had wine set up in one location, food in a couple different places to keep people mingling.) Keep a couple of trash cans around with bags lined on top of each other so they easily be switched out as needed. Don't forget the plates, napkins, disposable cups, etc.

Invite the neighbors but don't introduce them to everybody unless it's a really small party. They should already know the other neighbors, and if not it will be a great chance to meet. I tend to stay near the door so when people enter I can welcome them and direct them to the food and drinks. And for a true housewarming there's usually somebody giving tours, or you can invite them to look around themselves.

One final note, realize that *some* of your guests will roll their eyes and be a little miffed at having to take their shoes off. I'm not saying one way or the other, but I've seen these debate come up countless times.
posted by texas_blissful at 2:10 PM on January 2, 2009


Whoops...."these debate" is supposed to be "this debate come up countless times before".....if this is going to be an ongoing rule you have, it might be a good idea to invest in a bunch of slipper socks that you keep in a basket by the front door.
posted by texas_blissful at 2:13 PM on January 2, 2009


Last year, Gourmet magazine had recipes that were inspired by the Oscar nominated movies. I don't know if they're doing that again this year, but the epicurious web site has some Oscar party hints and recipe tips that might be useful.
posted by jasper411 at 8:17 PM on January 2, 2009


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