When COVID-19 hit, the future of upcoming graduations, proms, birthdays, baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, and more milestones were uncertain — that is, until people’s creativity and urge to gather for special events paved the way for countless safe celebration solutions.
There are many ways to minimize risks at events on top of implementing social-distancing. The experts from YSD Events recommend “bringing in a concierge medical team to test guests as they arrive…Set up a testing ‘arrival lounge’ where guests are greeted by medical professionals and they are given a cocktail and a rapid test.” Regardless of what you’re able to bring to your event in terms of safety precautions, Brad and Justin from YSD believe “everyone should do what makes them most comfortable.”
Coming together while staying apart isn’t as difficult as you may think. These 34 social distancing parties, for birthdays, weddings, showers, and more prove nothing is impossible — and that following the CDC guidelines can result in the most creative, meaningful moments.
Social Distancing Baby Showers
Drive-By & Say Hi
When this mom-to-be’s traditional baby shower was halted by COVID-19, she found a way to safely celebrate without cutting down her guest list. This is the most classy drive-by party we’ve seen included live music — and live animals — plus, a gorgeous pastel balloon arch to top it all off. This celebration proves that social distancing baby showers can be safe and chic.
photographer: Harlow & May Studios | event planner: Little Coterie | music & entertainment: Gulf Coast Entertainment | balloons: Pop of Joy Balloons | caterer: Picnic to the Green | tent: Aztec Events & Tents
An Event to Tie-Dye For
Harrison, New York
The year 2020 has been full of both the re-emergence of tie-dye and the brand-new practice of social distancing — and that’s exactly what inspired this backyard gender reveal. We’re loving every detail from the provided tie-dye masks to the gorgeous blue and pink cake with a special surprise inside.
photos courtesy of, event planner & design: Victoria Dubin Events
Park to Party
Friends and family of this mom-to-be briefly parked, posed for photos, then drove off to leave room for the next group of guests at her safety-first social distancing baby shower. The fiesta-inspired occasion incorporated vibrant colors and on-theme décor to add to the front yard fun — plus, we can’t help but highlight the adorable avocado balloon enhancing the festive photo op.
photographer: Nastasia Mora Photography | balloons: Meagan Maldonado
Social Distancing Parties for Birthdays
Guests of this birthday boy had the chance to pose with him while maintaining social distance, thanks to his paper cutout doppelganger. Attendees also loved the party’s bar on wheels, personalized cookies, and comfy boho-inspired lounge area.
photographer: The Big Affair | event planner: Harper Sloane Productions | graphic design: Laura Mendoza | caterer: John And Vinny’s | drink truck: The Bubble Tap Trailer | furniture: Moroccan Decor Store Los Angeles | ice cream trailer: King Kone | masks: Qstomize
Transform the Garage into a Gorgeous Backdrop
An ordinary garage door got an upgrade with a crescent-moon balloon installation, glittering gold banner, and greenery-lined dessert table. Individually-wrapped party favors were the perfect addition to this 50th social distancing birthday party — as was the sunny, Southern California climate.
photographer: Duke Images | design: Ellas Design Studio
Keep Your Cake Clean
Small in size, grand in detail — this garden-inspired social distancing birthday party put a pastel spin on an organic theme. Intricate butterfly table details and textured sky blue linens added to the calming, yet festive, atmosphere. Birthday candles lined the center table — rather than the cake itself — to ensure no germs were spread onto the dessert in the making of the birthday girl’s wish.
Happy (Birthday) At Home
This birthday’s small guest list — and we’re not referring to the adorable tiny attendees — offered the perfect way to celebrate at home during quarantine. A chalk art-covered driveway, funky balloon installations, and rainbow paper flower wall ensured the birthday girl felt special as she entered double digits.
photographer: Cheryl Sealy Guttveg | event planner: Jackie Bressler Events | flower wall: Bella Fiori | balloons: GOFar Balloons | tent: GrimesPartyTents
Cater With Caution
Passed appetizers have never looked so elegant — or perfect for social distancing. Guests enjoyed gourmet cuisine with the most gorgeous, germ-free presentations at this intimate backyard birthday party — while also admiring a picture-perfect, sunflower-lined tablescape.
Forty & Fabulous
Guests were greeted by a brightly-hued balloon installation and clever, colorful insulated cups at this backyard birthday. Guests were delighted by live music, individually-boxed sushi, personal cakes, and incredible social distancing party seating and details.
A Safety-First Setup
This boho summer party has us ready to celebrate. With spaced-out seating, an oversized outdoor tent, and a breezy waterfront location, the soirée took CDC gathering recommendations — and made them look chic.
The Freshest 54th
This cheeky poolside party transformed the birthday girl’s backyard into an outdoor — and socially distanced — club. Perfectly groomed turf allowed lots of room for distanced dancing — and a place to admire the event’s floating balloon installation among other décor. A hot pink LED-lit DJ booth pumped up the party, while individually-portioned indulgences from popcorn cups to plated fries and ketchup kept guests overly satisfied at this social distancing birthday party.
Sanitize in Style
This guest of honor brought the Amalfi Coast to Chicago’s Gold Coast when COVID-19 prevented a planned 50th birthday trip to Italy. Gorgeous Sahara, orange, and blush rose bouquets were complimented by corresponding floral-patterned linens and rustic-chic sanitation stations.
Plenty of Space to Celebrate
This birthday girl’s love for the Hamptons was brought to the Midwest with a bright pink and green palette, boxwood mocktail bars, and of course, an East Coast-chic photo op. While the backyard offered plated food and pool floats, the front yard’s garage was transformed into a spacious dance floor with glistening globe lights and swoon-worthy ceiling décor.
photo courtesy of, event planner, design & floral: Bliss Events Chicago | balloons: Balloons by Tommy, LLC | entertainment: Fig Media- DJ | lighting: Frost Chicago | furniture: Northern Décor, Inc. | caterer: Truffleberry Market | cake & desserts: Toni Patisserie & Cafe
Come One, Celebrate All
When quarantine ended, this intimate party celebrated each family member’s missed milestone — including a teenage birthday, Mother’s Day, Easter, and more. Oversized board games such as Connect Four and Jenga offered al fresco lawn fun for the small guest list.
photographer: Joanna Monger Photography | event planner & design: Pink Blossom Events | floral: Fena Flowers | venue: Twin Willow Gardens | rentals: CORT Party Rental | stationary: Paper Fling | lawn games: Off The Block Games | custom favors, cake topper, & hand sanitizer: Pomp & Revel | cookies & cake: Honey Crumb Cake Studio
Social Distancing Bridal Shower
Showered With Love — and Boho Balloons
This at-home event is inspiring all of our future pandemic parties to come. Individual charcuterie boards replaced grazing tables, salad bars were swapped for veggie-filled mason jars, and only three seats to every table allowed this bridal bash to offer safe solutions for fun festivities. The chic — and spacious — outdoor lounge area was designed with the bride’s favorite retail store in mind, Anthropologie, adding an even more personal touch to such a special celebration. This is one of our favorite social distancing parties of all time.
Social Distancing Bat Mitzvah Party
There’s No Place Like Home — For an Epic Bat Mitzvah
Sophia’s Bat Mitzvah plans were turned upside down when COVID-19 rocked the world — but that didn’t stop her from finally celebrating her coming of age. A Bat Mitzvah service Zoom was followed by a family-only dinner in their gorgeously decorated Los Angeles backyard. After dining, Sophia’s friends and relatives joined the fun with a professionally DJed dance party in the blocked off neighborhood street.
photographer: Next Exit Photography | event planner: The Planning Society | floral: Love Struck Blooms | balloons: Michelle Rodgers | furniture: Premiere Party Rents | pillows & poofs: Teak and Lace | tablescape: Soiree8 | lawn signs: Love this way LA | invitations & program: Signature Imprints; Invite Amy | calligraphy: sign of our lives | caterer: fundamental LA | lighting: Padano Productions | entertainment: D and G Entertainment | cake & desserts: Sweet E’s Bakeshop | cotton candy: twisted for sugar
Social Distancing Parties for Graduation
Hats Off to This At-Home Celebration
This event would have been one of our favorite graduation celebrations, with or without CDC requirements. An epic front yard balloon installation, a one-of-a-kind photo op — we’re talking blown up headshots of the guest of honor — and completely-custom desserts made this party one for the yearbooks.
photographer: Jenny Quicksall Photography | event planner: Bluebell Events | floral & balloons: Shawna Yamamoto Event Design | videographer: custom made productions | t-shirts & photo op: M Studios in New York | confetti cannon: Times Square Confetti | entertainment: Malibu Mariachi | cake: The Butter End Cakery | cookies: Bella Donna Special Events
Space Out Your Seats & Enjoy Treats
Guests dined al fresco under chic bistro lights at this intimate graduation party. Vibrant floral arrangements, balloon installations, and rainbow lantern-lined walkways made this the fiesta of the year — not to mention the live mariachi band performance. The backyard celebration was made safe with spread out dining chairs so attendees could safely enjoy their meal when the masks came off.
Add a Degree of Surprise
This high school graduate was surprised by her family and friends with a drive-by parade to celebrate her accomplishments. Distanced yearbook signings and favor grabbings were followed by a family-only dinner on sparkling black table linens, complemented by chic black and white balloon installations and of course, 2020 tassel-adorned menus. Playful signage and confetti cannons left plenty of opportunities for fun photos at this intimate event.
photographer: Jennifer Tai Photo Artistry | event planner, design & welcome gifts: Pink Blossom Events | floral: Fena Flowers | venue: Chateau Lill | balloons: Confetë Party | rentals: CORT Party Rental | stationary: Sablewood Paper Company | caterer: A Platinum Event | cake & macaroon favors: Honey Crumb Cake Studio | vintage vehicles: British Motor Coach | custom favors & hand sanitizer: Pomp & Revel | signage: AR Workshop Mill Creek
Oh, The Places Your Front Yard Can Go
One of the first social-distanced event ideas to hit PartySlate after COVID-19 was this graduation’s total driveway transformation. The Los Angeles event took guests to the circus with a sophisticated-chic, black and white party palette. Live music, gorgeous matte balloon installations, baby’s breath-adorned photo ops, clever signage, and 2020 marquee lights were just a few of the elements that made us want to throw our own driveway celebration.
photographer: Maya Myers Photography | design, production & gifting: Sterling Engagements | floral, fabrication & design: Shawna Yamamoto Event Design | entertainment: KRIEGER | rentals: EDGE Design and Decor | videographer: Nick Gonzalez | entertainment: Artists Creating Entertainment, LLC | carpet: NFP Events | candy: Full of Grace Bakes
Four Years Worth of Festivities
This Chicago graduation celebration doubled as a watch party for the first Cubs game of the season. Safety protocols from mask wearing to sanitizing allowed for the guest of honor and her friends to gather at an elegant indoor-outdoor venue. A leather bracelet-making station added to the fun as guests enjoyed each other’s company.
Social Distancing Parties for Prom
Find the Silver (Balloon) Lining
Roslyn, New York
COVID-19 cancelled many milestones, but this family wasn’t going to let their daughter’s senior prom be one of them. Intimate, translucent tents allowed couples to dine safely and separately, while still enjoying “A Night Under the Stars.” We can’t help but wish our prom was this thoughtful and romantic.
Not Your Typical Prom Picture
Strike a pose — this balloon-backed marquee signage would serve as an epic photo op under any circumstance. We love how the driveway party allowed one couple to enjoy their prom night despite nationwide cancellations. Live music, an adorable slow dance, and the support of socially-distanced neighbors helped keep the tradition alive for these highschool sweethearts — in the safest possible way.
Social Distancing Weddings
100 Ft. Up & 6 Ft. Apart
Sweeping hilltop views, spaced out ceremony seating, and a warm fall day made this Southern California wedding pure magic. Social-distancing precautions were maintained throughout the night, with dome-covered cocktail bites (one of our favorite party catering trends for 2021), spacious al fresco dining, and a small — but very special — guest list.
photographer: Samuel Lippke Studios | planner & design: Percy Sales Events | floral: Hogue and Co Floral | caterer: Good Gracious! Events | rentals: The Tent Merchant; My Lovely Events | lighting: Bella Vista Designs Inc | paper goods, calligraphy & acrylics: Brown and Co. | cake: Jeannine’s Restaurant & Bakery | dj: Gavin Roy Presents | videographer: Luxury Lifestyle Studios LLC
Here Comes 2021
This couple said goodbye to 2020 and hello to married life with a tropical-glam wedding. The event’s safety precautions included on-site COVID-19 testing, a breezy backyard setting, and a scaled-down guest list. The edgy celebration introduced us to the chicest use of tropical palms, vibrant greenery, and dazzling al fresco lighting.
photographer: Jonathan Connolly Photography | planner & production: YSD Events | floral & décor: Renny & Reed | caterer: Creative Edge Parties | tent: Sperry Tents | music & entertainment: Aragon Artists | lighting design: JM Event Group | on site COVID-19 testing: The Event Doc | videographer: Miami Wedding Cinema
Say “I Do” With Distance Too
This glam indoor wedding followed the rules with intimate dining tables spaced 6+ feet apart, as well as custom masks and an incredibly spacious venue. The bride and groom achieved their dream wedding with the help of bold pink uplighting, vibrant floral arrangements, and energizing music.
photographer: Fig Media- Photography | event planner: Events By Tess | floral & décor: Ashland Addison Floral and Event Decor | venue: Loft 21 | entertainment: Fig Media- DJ | caterer: Poochies | cake: Sweet Mandy B’s
A Very Special Drive-In
Like so many couples, these brides had their summer wedding postponed due to the pandemic. With the help of their event team, they hosted a drive-in ceremony, where loved ones could witness an exchange of vows from their respective vehicles. The summer soirée was made better by hand-dipped ice cream, which guests could hop out of their cars to retrieve.
photographer: Sarah Mack Photo | event planner & caterer: Above All Catering & Events | design & floral: Shawna Yamamoto Event Design | venue: Fete the Venue | furniture: Signature Party Rentals | signage: Nopalito Graphics | ice cream: The Ice Cream Peddler
Greet Guests Near & Far
These grooms decided to have an intimate, in-person wedding day, while allowing their grander guest list to witness virtually. With a screen projecting the faces of those tuned in, and an absolutely stunning floral-filled backdrop, they said “I Do” in the most special love-filled setting.
photographer: Bob & Dawn Davis Photography & Design | floral & design: Kehoe Designs | technical production: BlackOak Technical Productions | venue: The Geraghty | caterer: Brix Catering & Events | plantscapes: Floral Exhibits
Sanitize & Smile for This Frontline Worker
New Haven, Connecticut
This bride was a frontline worker battling COVID-19 daily. When the pandemic first struck, she thought she would have to call off her 200-person wedding, which was nearly two years in the making. Enter celebrity event planner David Tutera and the team at PartySlate, who stepped in to bring a backyard ceremony to life with her nearest and dearest. Read more about this deserving duo’s day here.
photographer: With Love & Embers | event planner: David Tutera Planning and Design | floral: Butterfly Floral & Event Design | inspiration & media partner: PartySlate | videographer: Impressive Creations | invitations & graphics: Dogwood Blossom Stationery | custom chocolate favors: SoBelle Favors
A Wedding Party That Goes the Distance
Nothing was going to stop this bride and groom’s loved ones from attending their summer nuptials. The picturesque, residential wedding allowed guests to keep their distance on a grand, manicured lawn — all while enjoying unobstructed, sparkling lake views.
Hybrid at Home
We could toast to all aspects of this New Year’s Eve wedding (and not just because it helped ring in 2021). The Beverly Hills-based couple celebrated with their closest friends and family in a secret garden-inspired setting. Guests sat at social-distanced tables as the bride walked down the aisle, and remained in their spaced-out spots for a post-ceremony boxed meal, virtual toasts, and more.
photographer: Epic Imagery | planner: Sharp Occasions | floral: Ezai Floral Design | rentals: Bright Event Rentals | cake: Hansen’s Cakes | calligraphy: She’s Cloudy Calligraphy | makeup: Emily Harper | hair: Meagan Renee
Summer Lovin’ — 6 Feet Apart
Some of our favorite wedding trends — eclectic wedding aisle rugs and luxe outdoor lounges, to be exact — were brought to life at this small, rooftop wedding. Guests stayed 6-feet apart from the comfort of their sleek velvet coaches as the bride and groom exchanged their vows.
photographer: Sarah Mack Photo | design & floral: Shawna Yamamoto Event Design | venue: Fete the Venue | caterer & coordinator: Above All Catering & Events | rentals: Signature Party Rentals | stationary: Paper Mint Press | signage: Nopalito Graphics
No Sunday Scaries at This Celebration
Rancho Cucamonga, California
This bride and groom romantically exchanged vows in private, “and desperately wanted to find a way to safely celebrate with their closest friends and family.” They decided on a Sunday-chic BBQ, for which the team at For Your Party were able to “integrate our customized disposable face masks into the equation to ensure that instead of germs, only love and smiles were spread.”
photo courtesy of, décor & accessories: For Your Party
Vows Viewed Around the World
This couple managed to make their small-scale wedding over-the-top. With a stunning suspended floral installation, dramatic lighting, and professional streaming, they said “I Do” in front of both an in-person and virtual guest list. Their ceremony was followed by a reception at which guests near and far could toast the bride and groom through Zoom.
Bring These Social Distancing Party Ideas to Life
Use PartySlate to find a team of event vendors who can plan, design, and produce your upcoming social distancing wedding, birthday party, graduation party, or whatever type of celebration you’re considering. A skilled planner can ensure that you host a safe and seamless celebration that your guests will remember for all of the right reasons.
Head to our curated directory to discover the best event planners, florists, entertainment, and more. Make sure to filter by location and pro category to narrow down your search.
You can also find the perfect venue using PartySlate. Click here to browse every kind of venue near you and use filters to narrow by location, amenities, and types. Click on a venue to learn more about its event spaces, including exploring images from real events in the space you’re interested in to give you configuration and décor ideas.
Lastly, use PartySlate to find even more party inspiration. Browse through our “Ideas” section to explore centerpieces, entrances, food and drink, and more. Search by event type to see real celebrations to inspire your own planning. Save your favorites by clicking the “heart” icon on an event or image.