Behind the Scenes at Exclusive Oscars Party

The actual awards ceremony is just the beginning of the festivities on Oscar night.

After the show, the stars head out to party, and perhaps the hottest ticket in town is the legendary Vanity Fair bash at Los Angeles' Morton's restaurant.

"This is the party," said rap mogul P. Diddy outside the 2002 Vanity Fair bash. "The taste level, the class level."

The ultra-exclusive guest list is what makes the Vanity Fair party such a hot ticket. Just because a celebrity got an invite one year is no guarantee they'll be on the guest list the following year.

Who Makes the Cut?

Elizabeth Saltzman, Vanity Fair's fashion director, said making the cut depends on who's hot at any given time.

"Money can't get you in," said Saltzman. "Advertising can't get you in. It matters who you are, but it's really about the mix and it's about what's going on that year."

Hillary Swank, Leonardo DiCaprio, Don Cheadle, Jamie Foxx -- they'll have no problem getting in this year.

But the hosts still remember the time rocker-turned-actress Courtney Love tried to sneak in a guest and caused a major scene.

"That was one of those special moments," Saltzman recalled, tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Inside Morton's

Inside Morton's well before the party started, the preparations were already under way.

The elegant tables were filled with souvenirs -- essentially, stuff the hosts expect to be taken home.

The "VF" cigarette lighters are especially popular, but it seems the stars aren't too picky when it comes to free stuff.

At past parties, Saltzman said, "People were walking away with their pockets stuffed with anything that said VF on it."

This year, there are lollipops with the stars' faces on them, real apples with the party logo stenciled on the skin and cookies emblazoned with Vanity Fair's Hollywood issue cover photo.

No Journalists Allowed

About 170 people are expected at Morton's on Sunday night to watch the Oscar ceremony over dinner -- their choice of steak, roast chicken or wild mushroom risotto, all prepared by chef Lorenzo Roman, who has been cooking for the party all 12 years.

The rest of the guests will arrive in waves all night long, about 1,000 guests in total.

And while the dress is supposed to be black tie, Saltzman said the celebrities often follow their own rules.

"You see everything from the most glamorous to Pam Anderson in jeans -- the most mini-mini-jeans skirt," she said.

Movie stars, musicians, artists and the occasional politician or business tycoon will mingle until around 2 a.m., when the party ends. And with no journalists allowed inside, they'll be able to relax.

Well, at least one journalist will be there.

"It is an extraordinary feeling to be surrounded by such well-known people as this," said Vanity Fair writer Dominick Dunne. "And they all get a kick out of seeing each other."

"Good Morning America" weekend anchor Kate Snow originally reported this story for "GMA."