This is such a fun theme for a party! I love the glam of old Hollywood…the colors, sparkle, the dresses, the hair and makeup, the fabrics, textures, lights, music and so much attitude! You have so much material to work with when planning a Hollywood Glam party! If you’re doing a full out Oscar party, then you can add a Hollywood sign, Oscar statues, sidewalk stars, film reels, etc. to the decor. If you’re going a less literal route for a Hollywood feel (perhaps a New Year’s Eve party or a Birthday party), you can use ostrich feathers, crystals, fabric draping, and lighting to make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Popular Colors to use:
Below is a list of the standard colors to use for a Hollywood Glam party and I’ve created a simple formula to help you pick your color scheme. Just pick one (or both if you want to do black and white) from the first group, pick one metallic from the second group, and one color from the third group and you have your color scheme! Try it out, see what you think!
Pick 1 or 2 Basics:
Pick 1 Metallic:
Pick 1 Color:
Patterns and Texture:
- I love stripes, especially black/white or black/pink, for a Hollywood party
- Checkered floor (black/white):
- Picking out a dance floor? Rent the black and white checkered floor instead of the wood.
- I love using a damask pattern for Hollywood parties. I’ve used damask in votive covers, invitations, programs, etc.
- Shimmer and soft:
- Use fabrics with different textures but make sure to include some shimmer and shine along with some softer materials for draping.
- Red Carpet going into the party with stanchions and a photo backdrop (see below)
- Room lighting:
- wall spotlights in your accent color (pink, purple, or red)
- Ostrich feathers
- Oscar statues (the ones pictured below are made from dolls and paint!)
- Film reels
- Balloons in large groupings or as an archway
- Stars (either hanging, on backdrops, “walk of fame”, etc.)
- White string lights
- Black and White photos of Hollywood stars from the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s – on easels or make a slide show with old movie quotes!
- Candelabra with crystals
- Many candles: votives, pillars, tapers, etc.
- Decorated holders with glass beads, vellum, rhinestone bands, etc.
- Ostrich feathers in tall vases
- Roses (white or red…if using a pink or purple accent color, stick with white roses)
- Make a statement and make it tall, big and bold!
- Linens in party colors
- Runners or overlays
- Mirror under centerpiece for added reflection and light
- Gold or silver chargers
- Lots of sparkle and soft light
- Hanging crystals
- Rhinestone bands around candle holders
- Menu/ Programs at each place setting in colors and pattern to go with theme
Glam it up!
Want inspiration for hair, makeup, and dress ideas? Look up all the old Hollywood types like Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Rita Hayworth (below), Ingrid Bergman, Hedy Lamarr, Myrna Loy, etc.
- Big Band music
- Old Showtunes
- Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., etc.)
Rentals vs. Hotel Supplied and Florist vs. Homemade:
This is always a big decision for me … financially. I have no problem coming up with a grand vision of draping fabrics and lights hanging from the ceiling, choosing a room with the carpet the perfect color for my theme, dance floor in the right color/pattern, elaborate centerpieces many feet high, fancy stemware, chargers at each place setting, runners and overlays, and chair covers with sashes or gold Chiavari chairs. However my “grand vision” rarely matches my budget.
Rentals vs. Hotel Supplied:
You will save some money if you go with the chairs the hotel has on hand (instead of chair covers or renting new chairs), but they could distract from your overall theme. If you’re on a budget, keep in mind that the room will be dark and the focus will be on the table, especially when people are in the chairs, so this may be a good place to save quite a bit of money.
Do take advantage of anything the hotel offers for free. Do they offer free votives for the tables? Mirror squares for under the centerpiece? They may provide white linens and napkins then you can rent overlays or runners to go with your theme instead of renting all the linens. Work with your hotel contact to find a good place to start.
Florist vs. Homemade:
Using a florist is so nice! They do all the work, they deliver, and you don’t have to do a thing other than pick out the design. However, you will pay for this convenience…quite a lot.
If you are having a small party and only need one or two arrangements, this may be an option, but if you are on a budget and need centerpieces for 16 tables, then you are better off making the centerpieces yourself. For a Hollywood party you want something large with height that makes a statement and a tall vase with ostrich feathers is a great way to go! I made my own feather centerpieces (see photo below) by sticking ostrich feathers into a foam bouquet holder. I attached a string of battery operated fairy lights to the handle then dropped it into a tall Eiffel tower vase. The fairy lights gave it a glow from the inside and the feathers were perfect centerpieces. I alternated tables with candelabras (that had crystals hanging from them) for variety.
If you’re on a budget but want to add more glam to the table, decorate some votives. The candlelight will add to the soft glow and by adding a covering, it allows you another place to either bring in some sparkle or pattern, and you can buy a lot of votives for a reasonable amount of money. In the photo below, I just printed a damask pattern on vellum, cut to size, then attached to the votive holder using double-sided tape! So easy and they looked great on the table. The vellum let the light through and I was able to add more damask pattern to the table.
Need more inspiration? Watch some old movies like “Casablanca”, “Gilda”, “To Have and Have Not”, and the “Thin Man” movies.
Happy Oscar Season and enjoy planning your Old Hollywood Glamour Party!