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Virtual Graduations part of the 'new normal'

How to honor your grad in 2020!

Your graduating senior may not get to walk across the stage this year, but you can still throw them a special celebration. Jane Birdwell, creator of Tablevogue Fitted Table Covers, shares tips for hosting a festive online party for your 2020 graduate.

Graduation season is going to be a little..."different" this year. Many high school and college seniors will be getting their diplomas in the mail. Commencement ceremonies are on hold. And very few will be traveling to attend post-grad parties. While graduating during a pandemic is no one's first choice, entertaining expert Jane Birdwell says you can still plan a really special celebration.

"As a mom of a graduating senior, I get the disappointment that so many families may be feeling right now," says Birdwell, founder of Tablevogue, a collection of fitted table covers. "But just because you can't get together in person doesn't mean you can't celebrate your child's years of hard work and give your family a chance to join in the celebration. You can still have a fabulous virtual celebration for your GRAD-of-Honor while practicing safe social distancing."

Is it time to embrace the "new norm?"

"We've entered the age of virtual celebrations, and it's time to embrace that," she adds. "True, your child's graduation party might look a little different from what you had imagined, but a relaxing good time is exactly what everyone needs right now. I started Tablevogue so anyone can throw a festive party that makes a big impact without a lot of stress, effort, and expense."

Read on for a few tips to pull off a fun and fuss-free virtual graduation party.

Send out an interactive virtual invite. Find fun ways to use color, theme, signage, and accessories to make the party invitations unique and eye-catching. The interactive element for the guests makes them feel involved and engaged.

Map out a virtual viewing space. Thoughtfully select an area of your home that will delight your viewers. It could be a pretty corner of your backyard or a bright and cheery portion of your living room or dining room.

The area should be no more than 10 feet by 10 feet so guests can clearly see the décor and the people on camera. And don't forget to designate a special space for the GRAD-of-Honor.

Keep the "wow" factors simple. You can make a big, dramatic impact with simple touches. Start with these three:

A fun dress code. Ask the guests who will be joining your video conference to wear the colors or logo gear from the college your child will be attending in the fall. If your graduate will be entering the workforce or a trade school, ask everyone to dress in accordance to your party theme, like Hawaiian shirts, famous book characters, etc.

Impactful décor. Visit to find a fitted table cover in a matching color or print to create an instant "wow" factor and central point of focus for the GRAD-of-Honor. Further enliven the space with a creative backdrop using printed goods, wrapping paper, colorful linens, or balloons to create visual harmony and depth.

Great gifts. Request that guests send gifts in advance so the GRAD-of-Honor can open them and celebrate in real time. "We asked our family and friends to write quick notes of advice including a contribution to Venmo or a similar account," says Birdwell. "Gift cards or cash are also welcomed by most graduates. And if you like the thought of a physical gift, think anything monogrammed, including apparel and accessories with logos for the college bound. Giving your GRAD-of-Honor and guests an interactive role in the party will make the lack of physical connection virtually disappear."

"The pandemic shouldn't overshadow everything your graduate has accomplished and the new chapter they are beginning," concludes Birdwell. "Celebrate their victory and invite everyone in their lives to join in the fun. There's no better way to show them that they are loved and supported by many."

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