Bridesmaids and groomsmen had to cancel dream getaway weekends for their friends, leaving many weddings and associated events in limbo.
But don't throw away your champagne bottles just yet. You can still have an alternative bachelor or bachelorette party; it will just require a little extra creativity and planning on your end.
You can go on the "real" trip once it's safe to, but for now, a Zoom party, themed decor, libations, entertainment and more will have to suffice.
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First off, get everyone together via video call
An easy solution to the can't-travel problem is one people use every day for work and with friends and family: a video conference.
That's the method both Michael Del Moro, 30, of New Jersey, and Cecily Johnson, 29, of Minnesota, used for their respective parties that each lasted about two hours. Del Moro was supposed to go to Palm Springs, California, last month with friends and his sister, and Johnson was set for Scottsdale, Arizona, before the coronavirus interrupted the festivities. Both hope to make it to their destinations to celebrate eventually.
Del Moro had been planning the party via an email chain with his friends and his sister, the matron of honor. In March, they realized the event wouldn't be possible and had to cancel the trip (they even got a full Vrbo refund).
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Del Moro's sister took the situation as an opportunity to surprise him, taking him off the email chain and looping in his fiancé, Alec. She had a bottle of his favorite tequila sent to his apartment. Scheduled on a Saturday night, everyone was dressed up and making toasts.
It felt like a night out with friends and left Del Moro grateful and emotional.
"I was almost crying at some points," he told USA TODAY.
Johnson's party in Scottsdale had guests coming from everywhere: California, New York, Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. She's thankful the group could still make it happen via Zoom, considering the bride-to-be has had a rough month.
In addition to the bachelorette party issue, she had to postpone her wedding; both her and her fiancé's grandmothers died of coronavirus; and she was furloughed from her physical therapy job.
"It felt like it was just one night of normalcy," she told USA TODAY. The group is planning to rebook their Airbnb for next spring (they also got their money back).
Get the room in the mood for a vacation or night out
Just because you can't go to Miami or on a camping trip doesn't mean you can't bring elements of that to your home. Take a page from Bryant Holt, 28, and his wife Moira, 29. They've "visited" different places throughout their quarantine.
Inside their Montreal apartment, they've "gone" to Wrigley Field in Chicago, Temple Bar in Dublin Ireland (for St. Patrick's Day), Hogwarts from "Harry Potter" and more. They hung up a Chicago Cubs banner and dressed up in Hogwarts robes, for example.
Like any good party, a little planning can make a big difference. Set up time to make introductions in case people don't know each other, prepare toasts and hire entertainment to maximize timing.
In Del Moro's case, drag queen ROSÉ made an appearance, performing and cracking jokes. The group had planned to go to a drag show in Palm Springs.
He recommends bringing in entertainment, which also works as a way to provide support to struggling entertainers; the group sent tips via Venmo during the performance.
Kerry Leary, Johnson's best friend, had a bottle of champagne delivered to her house and ordered a crown online. Leary, of New York, also had Johnson's mother and aunt pop in as a surprise.
They played a game with funny questions they previously asked the groom, like what his first thought was when they met, the best day of their relationship so far and which item of clothing she'd get rid of in his closet.
"We made them into a slideshow and made it a bit of a trivia game," said Leary, 30. The group also shared their favorite memories of the bride.
Try using an app like BACH Party to plan virtual games or book entertainment if you're running out of ideas yourself.
And if you don't want to go virtual, there's the option of doing a socially distanced gathering locally with a few friends if you can. Set up chairs far away from each other, bring your own food and definitely don't drink from the same cups.
Del Moro knows that his canceled bachelor party plans doesn't compare to what people are struggling with right now.
"There are far worse things going on out there," he said. "People have lost their jobs. People are sick."
Take a page out of Del Moro's book and put your alternative party plans in perspective: This may not have been the vacation you wanted, but it's still a chance to celebrate something.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus: How to celebrate bachelor, bachelorette parties from home