The Emmy Party Planner

The 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, are rapidly approaching. On Sunday, Sept. 20, FOX will air the event that honors the best in prime time television. Game of Thrones once again takes home the most nominations (24) while other favorites like American Horror Story: Freak Show, Better Call Saul, Mad Men and House of Cards all merited nods as well. So how are you celebrating?

Ruth Ridgeway
Ruth Ridgeway

Party planner Ruth Ridgeway is the founder and lead creative at Ruth Ridgeway Designs in Connecticut. She recently celebrated 25 years in the business and knows a thing or two about planning a party or special event.

“The first thing to know about hosting a party or event is be prepared,” said Ridgeway of hosting your own Emmy party. “Organization and preparation will allow you to enjoy your own party. Too often we don’t enjoy our own gatherings because we are running around like crazy people doing all of the work or we haven’t prepared properly in advance.”

Ridgeway suggested that a proper host should have everything done ahead of time, if possible and to hire an assistant to take over, depending on the size of your soirée. Making lists and buying all of the décor and food necessities will save you a lot of time and energy.

Since you’re planning an Emmy themed party, you’re going to need a few things that scream Hollywood.

DippingCup_082615_TheGadgetIsland“You can be very fun and casual by setting up your foods like a movie concession, utilizing smaller foods or tapas to serve you guests. You can also mix in some more upscale or gourmet versions of actual concession foods like popcorn or nachos,” said Ridgeway, adding that displaying food in fun containers or takeaway trays adds a playful touch. “Make cookies that are decorated like little tuxedos or cut outs of stars with shimmery sprinkles. You can also build your menu or invitations around the different shows that have been nominated.

The Emmys are known for their classic red, black and gold colors, so décor at your party should reflect that. Chair covers, wall art and lighting are a little more extreme than colored tableware and balloons.

“Try to color the evening with an inexpensive red runner to put in your entranceway so your guests can have a red carpet entrance and take photos of them as they arrive,” said Ridgeway. “It would be especially fun to have them dress up for the red carpet or have them come as their favorite nominee or character.

EmmyFood_082615AThe glitz and glamour of Hollywood can be accomplished with a lot of shimmer. Sequined or shimmered curtains can be purchased at your local party store (or rented through a special linen site if you’re throwing a big bash) to be used as a backdrop. Ridgeway also suggested to hang stars from chandeliers or from the ceiling with the names of the nominees. Christmas lights and movie marquis letters from craft stores are great illuminators while designating seating areas and tables to each show is a creative way to seat guests.

“Setting up a beautiful buffet with flowers and candles really enhance the evening and atmosphere of the party,” she said. “Toss in some miniature Emmy statues and you will be all set. Just remember to be creative and have fun with it.”

EmmyFood_082615BMiniature Emmy statues can come in the form of chocolate pops (molds can be found on Ebay or Etsy), place card holders for your guests or a logo on the dinner menu for the evening.

As for fun activities to do throughout the night or in between commercials, put out a ballot box so guests can cast their votes for their favorite pick to win. Guests can also play trivia games based on the nominations to see who knows the most from the season’s picks. You can even include a small prize package for each category if they guess it right. Ridgeway suggested that champagne, a gift card to Netflix, a TV blanket or even a DVD are great ideas.

So plan your Emmy party now. The red carpet awaits.

For more tips and ideas, visit

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Jennifer Fauci
Jennifer Fauci is the former managing editor of Long Island Weekly, Anton Media Group's award-winning special sections and Anton’s local magazines. Her passion for literature, travel and the arts lend to the unique content in her publications. In her time at Anton, she has received first place in the Folio Awards, second place for the NYPA awards and is the recipient of six PCLI awards.

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