By Samantha Bernstein
Late spring and early summer are times usually filled with tons of events. From graduations to weddings, birthdays to anniversaries, engagements to retirements, there are a lot of reasons to celebrate! And although parties as we know them are on a bit of a hiatus due to COVID, these milestones do not just cease to exist. So, the question remains: how can we continue to support our friends and family who have had to cancel, reschedule, or rethink how they hold their festivities? Here are 5 ways to let your loved ones know that your thoughts, commiserations, congratulations, and well wishes are with them.
1. Reach out!
Don’t hesitate to shoot them a text or email, pick up the phone, or even send them some snail mail. While always appreciated, these gestures are all the more important as the event hosts and guests of honor cope with the fact that you cannot be together in the way that they originally intended. This is an opportunity to be there for your friends in whatever ways they need; however, it is not the time to offer opinions or advice regarding their event decisions (unless you are specifically asked!!).
2. Send a gift.
3. Plan a Zoom Surprise Party.
Plan a surprise party via Zoom or Google Hangouts. Thanks to classic TV shows like Friends and Full House, surprise parties hold a very special place in my heart. And what better time to plan one than right now? It’s fairly easy to mobilize friends and family thanks to the advent of social media. Plan a call with the guest of honor for a specific time, but inform everyone else of an arrival time approximately 15 minutes earlier. Imagine your friend’s look of surprise when they log on and see 30 of their nearest and dearest from various parts of their life together on one screen!
4. Make a video (or collage or sign) for them.
Reach out to the honoree’s loved ones and ask that they record and email you short clips of them sending love and well wishes. Using editing software (such as iMovie), compile these clips into a single video.
5. Decorate their driveway.
Channel your inner child and leave a chalk message on their driveway or sidewalk. Consider using this opportunity to wish them a happy birthday or a congratulations. Feel free to include inside jokes, draw little illustrations (even just a smiley-face or flower), write them a poem, or anything else. Get creative and have fun with it! And it’s totally up to you whether you want to sign your work or leave it anonymous.
And here's an additional thought: all of these ideas can be adapted as ways to thank first responders and essential workers for all that they are doing right now!
By Samantha Bernstein
Why not make the most of any downtime during this #stayhome period? Here are some suggestions for keeping busy and staying proactive, all wedding/event related of course!
1. Create an event mood board.
Mood boards are a great way to get a sense of how your favorite wedding ideas can work together in a cohesive manner. There are so many wonderful websites and apps that make creating mood boards a breeze. In particular, I recommend Pinterest and Canva (note: Canva is free to use with the option to upgrade to a pro version. I have always found the free version to work for my needs. If you're feeling extra crafty, consider digging out that old glue gun and some glitter and making an IRL mood board.
2. Give that trendy makeup look a try.
Y'know that wedding makeup look you've been eyeing for months on Instagram? The one you've been worried to try for fear of how it will turn out? Now is your chance, any flops will stay between you and your mirror! Why not try a retro cat-eye, or fake eyelashes, or the perfect ombré lip? With time to kill, you might as well watch a fun YouTube tutorial and give it your best shot. An at-home makeup attempt can be the perfect way to figure out what you like and how it looks on you so that you're ready to make informed decisions when sitting in the makeup chair on the big day.
3. Learn some new moves for your first dance.
I know we're all looking for ways to sneak in a little romance and stay active while our date night spots and go-to gyms may be closed. Learning a new dance with your partner is the best way to do both, while also allowing you to prepare for your big day! YouTube has an endless number of tutorials in every dance genre, ranging from the basics to more advanced choreography, which makes it the ideal resource for couples of every ability to up their first-dance game while they boogie down.
4. Start your wedding registry.
In my opinion, there's no better way to pass the extra time than with a little online retail therapy. When you create your registry, you get all the joys of shopping while also knowing you are investing the time in a productive manner. Thanks to websites like Zola, the Knot, and Blueprint, all it takes to register for gifts is a couple of clicks of the mouse (or the trackpad or the touchscreen). The Knot allows you to easily sync up your registries from individual stores. With Zola and Blueprint, you create a registry and add items directly through their platforms, with the option to add items from other stores.
5. Create a wedding website.
Even if you don't yet have all the details of your day planned to a T, you can still begin working on your site. While the same platforms (Zola, the Knot, and Blueprint) can also be used to create your wedding website, I am personally a fan of sites like Squarespace, Wix, and Wordpress, which allow you to imbue your site with personality and attitude. I believe that your website should be just as unique as the two of you are. Additionally, this is the ideal time to think about the elements you want to include on your site that go beyond the logistics. For instance, a site can be a perfect place for the two of you to tell your story, show off your favorite photos, and recommend some local attractions to your out-of-town guests.
6. Experiment with signature cocktail recipe ideas.
Play bartender for the night. Whatever liqour, mixers, and garnishes you have in the house are a great place to start, as your cocktails should be something you actually want to drink. Other things to consider are the season, the venue, flavor trends, and your theme. Don't be afraid to experiment! Most great cocktails require a little trial and error, but if you're feeling a little less adventurous, you can always put a twist on your favorite classic. Once you have the perfect concoction, its time to showcase your creativity and sense of humor by naming your drink.
7. Draft your wedding vows.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Use this downtime to give your vows the attention they deserve. Reflect on what you love most about your fiance(e) and your hopes for the future. Be yourself. Whether you're sappy, punny, musical, nostalgic, or a wordsmith, your fiance(e) loves you for it.
8. Compile lists of music-musts and do-not-plays.
Start by considering what songs you want to have playing for some of the pivotal parts of your day. Some musical moments to think about are your processional, recessional, wedding party entrance, first dance, parent dance, and final exit (or a list tailored to your non-wedding event). This is a great opportunity to share some more of your favorite songs with the person you love and reminisce on (and make new) musical memories.
You may also want to make a list of songs you do not want played at your wedding. Some helpful starting points are songs you feel are overplayed, songs that you dislike, and songs that bring up emotions that you don't want to feel on your special day.
9. Research honeymoon locales.
Take a virtual getaway as you think about where you may want to honeymoon when all of this is over. Talk about those bucket-list worthy locations and how you want to spend your time away. Consider whether you're looking to relax, adventure, check out historical sites, eat well, or dive into the local culture, and let this guide you. Also, many world-renowned cultural sites and attractions are offering e-tours, a feature worth sampling to make sure all activities fit your interests.
10. Binge watch some wedding themed TV shows and movies.
There are so many great TV shows and movies about weddings and events. Below are some of my favorites and where you can find them streaming.
Happy planning :)
By Samantha Bernstein
Hi all! My name is Sam and I’m Dream Day Events’ new intern. I was born and raised in Westchester County, New York (yes, I am a Giants fan. . .) and am now a junior at Haverford College. I am majoring in anthropology and double minoring in psychology and health studies.
My interest in event planning is relatively new. While I was home for Thanksgiving break, my oldest brother proposed to his girlfriend of 10+ years. Given that both of them are so busy, I offered my help with some of the wedding basics. After spending hours researching venues on Wedding Wire, I realized how much I loved the process. I figured that joining the Dream Day team would allow me to combine my interest in people, my love for all things creative, and my attention to detail to help make big days all the more special.
In my free time I enjoy drawing, hiking, photography, reading, and spending time with my family. Every Wednesday night I volunteer with an organization that works to battle food insecurity by making and distributing meals to the Philadelphia homeless community.
I’m still at the very beginning of my internship with Dream Day Events, but I have already begun updating our Wedding Wire page (check it out here and let me know what you think!) and writing for the blog. In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to sitting in on vendor meetings, helping Rachael create new content for her Instagram account, and helping with whatever else I can. Maybe I’ll even get to meet some of you at future events!