We all have a friend or family member that is celebrating a birthday during this time in quarantine.
But how can you recognize their special day while still exercising social distancing to help stop the spread of coronavirus?
Acclaimed event designer and author of ‘A Great Party,’ Bryan Rafanelli, reveals how to throw a memorable virtual fete while adhering to the shelter in place order.
Birthday in quarantine: Acclaimed event designer and author of ‘A Great Party,’ Bryan Rafanelli, reveals how to throw a memorable virtual fete while remaining safely at home
Celebrate: ‘A birthday is a milestone event that naturally makes people want to come together and lift the spirits of their friend or loved one,’ says Bryan. Rose Gold Happy Birthday Balloon Bunting by Super Sweet Party, $9.60; etsy.com
Send an e-vite: ‘Create your own personal e-vite with a theme, dress code, and proposed recipes and cocktails,’ shares the planner. Pictured: Greenvelope.com
SEND AN E-VITE:
‘A birthday is a milestone event that naturally makes people want to come together and lift the spirits of their friend or loved one,’ says Bryan.
‘A virtual birthday party is the perfect way to express that and genuinely make a difference in the recipient’s life.’
While you may think an online celebration couldn’t possibly compare to the real thing, Bryan believes that there are many creative ways to make an online party special.
‘Create your own personal e-vite with a theme, dress code, and proposed recipes and cocktails,’ shares the premiere planner.
‘Send it to your guests a few weeks before your party, giving everyone enough time to prep.
TROPICAL THEME ATTIRE SUGGESTIONS:
CREATE A THEME AND DRESS CODE:
‘Recently, we had a client who was going to be celebrating a special milestone birthday in the Bahamas.
‘Since we could not physically go to the Bahamas, we brought the Bahamas (as best we could) to her with her closest friends and family.
‘The e-vite said to dress tropical and included a link to a curated “island” playlist, everyone came dressed with their cocktails in hand.
‘The guests all had a blast, dancing well into the night, even though their toes were in their living rooms and not in the sand!’
Bryan suggests downloading Snap Camera.
Snap Camera is a free desktop application where you can choose from thousands of fun lenses to bring the fun of Snapchat filters to your live streams and video chats.
DO YOUR HAIR AND MAKEUP:
‘You likely won’t have any trouble getting your guests to “attend” since we are all at home and looking for any excuse to gather and celebrate.’
So limit the number of people invited if you want to keep the gathering intimate. Even though you’re not physically in the same space, too many faces and voices logged on to one “house party” can get overwhelming.
While the WFH uniform has become comfy loungewear for most Americans, ‘we encourage you and your guests to dress up for your virtual party,’ said Bryan.
‘We all have been in quarantine for a while now so ditch the sweatpants, do the hair and put a little makeup on for your big day. You actually will love the process and the results!’
MAKE A TOAST:
Like any celebratory event, a toast is in order, whether it’s given by a guest or the person of the hour.
‘Although there are many things that we can’t accomplish at a virtual party, one thing we have learned for certain is that a toast can be just as impactful virtually as if it were done in person.’
Cheers: Like any celebratory event, a toast is in order. ‘Whether the toast be given by you, thanking your guests for joining your party, or by various guests we love the idea of pausing during the party for a speaking moment’
The good old days: ‘Create a scavenger hunt with past memorabilia (high school varsity jacket!) and craft a playlist of favorite songs from the past decades and have an epic dance party in your living room,’ says Bryan
AT HOME PARTY FOR SOMEONE IN YOUR QUARANTINE CREW
A themed party that will be especially nostalgic for the birthday recipient can bring out the big kid in every “adult” you know.
‘One thing that I have been doing a lot lately is taking trips down memory lane,’ shares Bryan.
‘While it is important to remain optimistic about the future, recalling good times both recent and distant past with friends and family has been an uplifting moment in an isolating time.
‘For a loved one’s birthday at home why not honor them by celebrating everything they are, through their fondest memories of times gone by?’
Bryan recommends creating banners out of old Polaroids and hanging them around the house.
Party planning bible: A Great Party by Bryan Rafanelli, now $36; amazon.com
Start the day with a breakfast-in-bed that he/she is sure to love. Bryan suggests a childhood favorite.
‘Create a scavenger hunt with past memorabilia (high school varsity jacket!) and craft a playlist of favorite songs from the past decades and have an epic dance party in your living room,’ says the expert.
Don’t bother cooking, if your loved one has a favorite local restaurant that is delivering, order in and support local businesses.
Since the quarantine has provided us with unexpected downtime, use it to personalize every inch of the birthday festivities.
Bryan suggests designing the tabletop, making custom menu and place cards and picking fresh flowers from your garden for the tabletop.
‘Close the night with a homemade birthday cake with lots of candles and a game of “what was your high school superlative” to really bring them back to the ages!’
Blooms: ‘Have fun designing the tabletop, make custom menu and place cards and pick fresh flowers from your garden for the tabletop’