As we start to dip our toe into socializing with small groups of friends again, my hope is that we can begin to think of the term “social distancing” as “physical distancing” when it comes to events. Even though many pre-planned events look different this season with smaller guest lists, new venues, and added virtual options, there are still fun and meaningful ways to spend a Friday night or celebrate a special occasion. It is my hope that we can change the stigma of being socially distant while socializing by staying safe through “physical distancing.” Aren’t we all missing our social plans?!


Tip: It’s all in the Details: How to Own a Theme

I always say the guest list makes the party. However, going for so long without socializing calls for something special when getting your friends back together, especially if celebrating a birthday or other milestone. Set a fun theme or activity to design your event around. We designed this event around our client’s vintage flamingo vase collection. You could focus on a color, or even go big [simply] by having an outdoor movie night using a sheet and projector with your laptop.

Tip: Color Scheme – How to Work with a Bold Color like Hot Pink!

Don’t be afraid of color! Colored linens and fun florals brighten up what’s been a dreary past few months. Stunning color combinations have a big impact with little expense to your party budget. 


Tip: Customization 

Even in the age of COVID, every celebration deserves some customization. Simple additions like a signature drink at the bar or personalized items such as napkins, swizzle sticks, cups, and signage add a flair to the event. This special attention to detail makes an impression on guests long after they’ve left the party.


Of course, no party can be complete without food, but there are ways to serve it safely. With everyone being cautious about corralling around a bar or handling utensils at a buffet, consider serving individual boxes or baskets to your guests that you’ve packed beforehand that includes the napkin and cutlery. And, serve all drinks in bottles or cans. There are so many fun canned mixed drinks in the liquor stores these days. Wine, too!


Instead of a birthday cake or even in place of dessert, offer your guests individual cupcakes or treats that you can even customize into a personalized box. This is also a great idea for a take-home favor as well!

Tip: Party Favors / How to Make an Impression on Guests Long After They’ve Left

Speaking of lasting impressions, don’t forget to send them home with a little memento of the evening! Something as simple as a personalized cookie will bring a smile to their face when they take a bite the next morning!

Tip: How to Ensure Social Distancing this Summer 

After being cooped up for so many weeks, your guests are ready to mix and mingle – safely. Outdoor locations are the smartest place to entertain, and a great way to showcase the garden you created in the spring! This will give your guests space to social distance, plus lots of fresh air.

If seating guests, space out the tables from one another and consider placing fewer seats around each table. Or instead of setting up tables, place blankets, lawn chairs, pillows, etc. around the lawn for guests to have lots of space. You could even ask them to bring their own blankets or lawn chairs for additional precautions.

We’re all warier of washing our hands these days. Putting out hand sanitizer stations throughout the party will be appreciated. Having sanitizing wipes available is a good idea, too.

Images by Kathy Thomas.