Everything You Need to Host an Epic Emmys Party This Weekend
Cheat Sheet: How to Host an Emmys Party
Hosting a great award show viewing party can be a tricky feat. How do you keep guests happy, entertained and well-fed during notoriously long ceremonies? And how do you make it feel like a celebration when the main event is sitting in front of the TV? We tapped Gwyneth Paltrow and goop's go-to party pro, Stef Cove of Oren Cove Event Production, to plan a completely custom Emmys fête that you won't soon forget.
Her first priority? The first impression. Cove likes to use Paperless Post for a more casual invitation. ("It's inexpensive and you can track who's attending.") To set the tone for an award-worthy evening, she suggests asking your guests to dress to the nines. Or, "people can dress more comfortably because they're going to be hanging out on couches, but wear really fancy shoes — like a PJ party with high heels."
The Night Of
What better way to greet guests and establish a glitzy vibe, than with a glass of bubbly? "Of course it looks beautiful if there's a server holding it," says Cove. For a more low-key take, create a self-serve station: place a bottle in an ice bucket alongside glasses so people can pour their own as they enter. But, Cove warns, you should never pre-pour. "Champagne goes flat super easily so you should always do it as you go."
The Red Carpet Moment
As the celebs make their way down the Emmys carpet, your guests can have a star turn of their own. Cove suggests renting a Bosco camera (available in select cities). "It's a more modern day photo booth," she explains, and allows guests to create animated gifs filled with special effects in addition to old-school print outs. If the pricey rental doesn't fit your budget (or your geographic location) consider creating your own on-demand Snapchat geofilter. Prices are determined by the location and hours you want it to be available, and anyone with an account can use it to post fun pics and videos throughout the evening.
The Shoe Check
Unlike Emmy attendees, your guests are free to kick off their black-tie heels and fancy dress shoes and get comfy to watch the show. Creating a shoe check with cubbies or simple shelves encourages getting comfy. The only other necessity? Place a bench nearby. "It's not ideal to try to take your shoes off standing on one leg," says Cove.
The Screening Room
Turning your living room into a prime viewing area is simple. "I think cozy is really important," says Cove. "Have enough throw blankets that anyone can put one over their dress if they want." Big floor pillows and small accent tables or trays scattered around make for flexible seating with plenty of places to put down a drink. If you live in a warm climate, go for a fun outdoor viewing area, like Cove did for a recent party she threw for Gwyneth Paltrow. Rig up a screen with a white sheet and projector.
The People v. OJ Margaritas
Tie your cocktails and food to the evening's illustrious nominees by creating signature bites or giving old favorites a pun-y new name. We love this goop recipe for citrus-centric margaritas, served at a recent summer party hosted by Paltrow. The instructions couldn't be easier: Shake 1½ parts tequila (goop likes Casamigos Reposado), ¾ part fresh lime juice, ¼ part fresh orange juice, ½ part agave nectar and serve over ice with an orange wedge.
"You Fancy, Huh?" Snickerdoodle Cookies
What better inspiration for a sweet bite than Taraji P. Henson's instantly iconic Empire character, Cookie. We renamed this goop classic, made with coconut flower, for one of her memorable catch phrases: "You fancy, huh?"
The Game That's Better than Ballots
Far more fun than filling out a ballot at the beginning of a party, Cove's Emmys game is an ice-breaking twist on charades with a Hollywood tie-in: "When everyone comes in have a little envelope with their name in calligraphy on it," she explains. "There's a card inside that has a quote from one of the shows that's nominated. During the commercial breaks, you go around and everyone reads theirs out loud. The other guests have to guess which show it's from and who said it." (Bonus points for acting skills, accents and enthusiasm.) May the best actor win!
The Pieces to Complete the Party
While the night's main focus will be on TV, Cove suggests putting in a little effort to create a party-ready environment in the spaces you'll be hosting guests. "Flowers in dark burgundy and warm colors create an Old Hollywood feel that works especially well with Emmys," says Cove. "Dim the lights in your house before guests arrive and scatter candles around the house in clear or mercury glass [votives]." Most importantly, Cove says, make sure you relax and enjoy the evening. "The whole idea of being a host and running around like a maniac — those days are over. It's much nicer for your guests to feel that everyone's at ease and comfortable."