Cheryl Cecchetto’s Party Planning Is Oscar Worthy

Oscars 025.JPGBy Justine Frostad — 03/05/10
Cheryl Cecchetto is one name that is always on the list. When the last of the Academy Awards are given out and the red carpet is rolled up, the star-studded Governors Ball begins. The celebrities who attend the event change over time, but Cecchetto is a staple of the event.
She was born in Canada and initially moved to Hollywood to work as an actress. She was discovered by Otto Spoerri while working for a catering company at the Ball. Spoerri is the former controller of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts. The rest, as they say, is history. Cecchetto has been the go-to producer of the event for over twenty years. The celebrity event planner believes her background and degree in the theater help her party planning.
Each year the theme for the Oscars bash changes. This year the celebration will channel 1930s Hollywood. Cecchetto says researching the theme is one of her favorite parts of the preparation. “I try to hibernate in some of my favorite book stores and libraries and really draw upon several visuals before we come up with the idea. I’ll come up with all the ideas and designs but the technicians will definitely layer it.”
Cecchetto is also the founder and president of Sequoia Productions. That is where she manages and directs some of the most prestigious productions in the event world including the Emmy Awards Governors Ball.
Cecchetto has an infectious energy and enthusiasm, but she attributes her success to hard work, client communication and an organized staff. Cecchetto and her production team handle everything from décor and entertainment to food and personnel. She says it takes a party size staff to run the ball.
“When you’re on site your numbers can easily reach a thousand people between waiters, cooks, musicians and so on. It’s really staggering how many people it takes to make this happen.”
Cecchetto planned her first Governors Ball in the eighties and she says the event has come a long way. “In1989 it was tableclothes and flowers and a rented chair. It was still beautiful, we had some décor treatment but now it’s a production. It really is like a mini film, but we only have one take.”
Every year the Oscars Governors Ball is a glamorous gathering of Hollywood’s top players. Cecchetto says events are celebrations of life and the Governors Ball is no exception. The night of the party Cecchetto will be circulating the room to make sure the guests are connected to each other and the experience she and her team have created.
As the old saying goes, “always leave the party while you’re having fun.” If that’s the case, this year’s Governors Ball may never end.