What to Do: When You Have to Cancel or Postpone a Party, Shower or Wedding! | Do Say Give

What to Do: When You Have to Cancel or Postpone a Party, Shower or Wedding!


I’ve received so many sad messages from moms of young children who are disappointed they can’t move forward with a special birthday party they planned. And I’ve received many questions about how to handle postponing or canceling showers and other parties. I have gracious answers and fun ideas in this post!

What to Do about Children’s Birthday Parties (+ Ideas!)

To the young moms sad about canceling a fun birthday party you had planned: you are doing the right thing (thank you!). But be encouraged! Sometimes the simplest birthdays are the most special anyway (and least stressful!). So whether it’s a quiet first birthday with just your baby or one of the ideas below, you will always remember this 2020 birthday for years to come. 

First, I wanted to share photos one friend and DoSayGive reader, Libby Boeck, sent me after they canceled her son’s gymnastics birthday party. She told me, “We made our son’s birthday more special with decorations. We created a balloon avalanche for him to open his door to on his birthday morning. We made confetti by cutting up extra crepe paper and made a trail from his room to the living room where we had his presents displayed… we went on a birthday scavenger hunt that afternoon that ended with a treasure box of small goodies.” So fun!

Here are some more simple but fun ideas you can do to make this spring 2020 birthdays special and fun at home: 

  • Homemade dinner and birthday cake (it always tastes better when mom makes it anyway!)
  • Post it notes with messages of love from everyone in the family (Write Post Love has the sweetest post it notes, too!) 
  • Go on a “Bear Hunt”  (ask neighbors on your street to put bears in their window or yard and see how many you can find as a family – don’t forget your hunting clothes!)
  • Scavenger hunt to find presents (fun to involve siblings in the planning!)
  • Zoom/Group Facetime call with classmates, cousins, and family
  • Have family and friends record messages for birthday child. Marco Polo is another fun app for this, too!
  • Drive by Celebration. (If your town is not under shelter in place, have everyone drive during a period of 30-60 minutes and honk and wave!) These confetti canons make them so fun!
  • Spa birthday at home.
  • Have family/friends sing happy birthday outside their window.
  • Have a pirate treasure hunt in the backyard! Break out the costumes!
  • Easter Egg Hunt with surprise notes or candy inside. 
  • Depending on your city’s restrictions, local balloon and sign companies can decorate front yard
  • Quaran-TEEN party for children turning 13! 
  • Costume party!
  • Have friends come by and write chalk messages on sidewalk! 
  • Family Game Night – let the birthday child pick the games!
  • Movie birthday party – popcorn, candy, make it fun!
  • Backyard campout!
  • Fancy dinner party (Break out the candles, dressy clothes, tablecloths, mom or dad can be the waiters -ha!
  • Give your child a penpal kit
  • Old fashioned cards are always a good idea!
  • Plan a pool party in the summer!

Katie Corley has some darling drive birthday party invitations. 

What about canceling adult birthdays and showers? 

For adults have a virtual birthday party or happy hour instead. Delivery from a local market of some goodies or wine would be thoughtful! For a later spring birthday think about a thoughtful BoomBox Gift.  Shop our online gift guide for all your birthday needs since no one is going to the mall right now. 

Virtual and drive by wedding and baby showers are happening all over the country. Use ZOOM or group Facetime. Send a paperless post to announce with the link. Katie Corley has some ideas on her site. 

Also, have family members and friends make a Tribute video. We did this for my husband and the website make it so easy to upload videos and make a montage. 

What about postponing a party, shower or even a wedding? 

For electronic invitations update guests with a message. “In light of the current situation, and for everyone’s safety, we will be postponing the event indefinitely. We will be in touch with a new date as soon as we can.” For paper invitations, reach out to your stationer. They may be offering a digital or paper file to update guests. 

Dixie Design is also offering a digital file announcing the postponement. 

Once a new date is determined, customers who purchased their invitations through Dixie Design will receive a complimentary digital file of their original invitation with the updated date. Anyone else can receive digital file from a select set of designs to share their new event information with their guest list for $15. Email kate@dixie-design.com. 

How are you making “do” under these circumstances when it comes to parties? Share below!



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