Every time I get bummed about not being able to see my loved ones in person, I have to remind myself that this is only temporary. But while it might seem like EVERYTHING is getting cancelled or postponed right now, the world keeps on spinning around and fun things are still happening. Birthdays, engagements, anniversaries, and holidays are still being celebrated, and I think there’s something incredible about seeing people come together in a truly unique way. I'm noticing friends, families and significant others put more thought into making monumental events feel special. I even had a friend tell me that her quarantine 30th Birthday was the best one she’s ever had.
Over the past month and over the next few weeks, two of my friends got engaged, five of my friends are celebrating their 30th birthdays, I’m celebrating my one year wedding anniversary, and it’s Mother’s Day. Seeing as though I’m now an expert in the virtual celebration space, I’ve rounded up creative ways to make special occasions feel truly special right now.
“Restaurant Week”: One of my friends is an insane foodie. For her 30th birthday, her husband created a “Chez Turri Restaurant Week” menu for the week, with all of her favorite cuisines. He set up their kitchen as a little bistro to deliver this surprise and get her excited for her week-long culinary adventure.
Trivia powerpoint: One of my friends is totally bonkers in the best way possible. We call her antics, Ashley-isms. We created a trivia game out of this, and presented it on Zoom for her virtual birthday party. Would you rather… listen to Ashley sing or watch Ashley dance? Group drink: Drink if you’ve ever been with Ashley when she.... (I’ll leave that up to the imagination). The powerpoint deck was full of amazing pictures from college that brought everyone down memory lane.
Bring the destination to you! My friend was supposed to go to Miami in April for her 30th birthday. That clearly did not happen. Instead, her husband brought Miami to her. He told her to dress up in beach attire and decorated their living room with a beach backdrop, beach balls, and blow up palm trees. She consumed Miami Vices and Pain Killers throughout the evening. You know what they say - find your beach.
Virtual backgrounds: One of my friends got engaged last week and since we all couldn’t be there to give her the biggest hug, we had her husband set up a surprise Zoom shortly after he popped the question. We created a virtual background that congratulated the new Mrs. and we were all holding a glass of champagne (well, ginger ale for me #pregnantinapandemic), to toast them and hear every single detail of the proposal.
Flower + champagne delivery: There’s nothing better than getting fresh blooms delivered to your door, and it’s a great time to support local florists. For this specific engagement, we all pitched in to deliver a beautiful bouquet + a bottle of bubbly to her door the day after she said yes!
For Mother’s Day
Virtual Activities: If I’m being honest, I’m majorly bumming about not being able to spend the day with my mom this year. Instead of making her a big brunch or taking a long walk together, I’m trying to find ways to virtually connect with her. Our Quarantine Kit/Collection is a great long-distance activity to do with your mom, as are needlepoint kits from the Stranded Stitch! My mom and MIL are also getting a Book of the Month Club subscription so we can all have a virtual Book Club!
Re-create the day: Since going out to a big lavish dinner is out of the question, try to recreate the best day of your life thus far! My anniversary is not until next week, but I recently saw on Instagram someone’s husband had a florist recreate her wedding bouquet (hint, hint Dave - that would be AMAZING). We’re also planning to have a very sappy slideshow of all the pictures and videos from our big day and honeymoon, dance to our first song, and recreate our fave apps and the meal that was served. Although not how envisioned my first wedding anniversary, it will definitely be memorable!
For Staying Sane and Having Fun
Virtual work-out classes: If you have a Peloton, do a group ride with some of your friends. First, make sure you’re “following” all the people who are joining. Then pick a class and start it at the same time. On the leaderboard click “here now” and you’ll see all your friends taking the class with you. High fives for everyone! Or - if you have a friend who doubles as a badass fitness instructor, have her lead a private Zoom class. She likely won’t go easy on your glutes, but it’s fun to be in group misery the next day when you all can barely walk!
Dinner parties: Pick a cuisine, have all your friends buy the same ingredients, and cook together over Zoom while dressing in the proper attire. This is perfect for a virtual Cinco De Mayo fiesta!
Brewery Tour: Are you Quarantining with a beer connoisseur? Set up each space in your house as a separate “brewery.” Create beer flights for each, and share the brewery + beer list with your friends so they can create their own experience.
So there you have it - a few ways to make special occasions feel special right now. Whether you’re celebrating a big day or trying to spoil a deserving someone - remember that it’s all about the thought that goes into this! Nothing’s going to be perfect right now, but the effort (and laughs along the way) will always be appreciated!
Did we miss anything? Let us know! Always looking for inspo.