In the past two months, the arrival of the coronavirus has changed so much – the way we work, the way we parent, and crucially, the way we celebrate. Across the country (and the world), weddings have gone online, anniversaries are celebrated through glass windows, and birthday parties become parades. In this crazy time, celebrations are perhaps more important than ever. We still need to feel connected to one another and mark the important milestones of our lives.
But what does joy and intimacy with others look like in the wake of social distancing measures? Chef Tim McDiarmid, owner of Tim the Girl Catering, The Good Kind, and Ivy Hall Events, has an idea. But first, she says, let’s resolve to call it physical distancing – even at six feet apart, there’s still room for social connection.
“We can still celebrate safely in the right spaces, outdoors being the best,” Tim notes. Ivy Hall covers more than an acre deep in leafy Southtown, with a landscaped lawn and garden as well as several indoor spaces, making it possible for up to 150 people to be “together apart.” But that’s not the only option. According to Tim, just as many events will be smaller and more low-key – not just because of distancing measures, but because the virus has caused us to crave a deeper, more authentic and meaningful experience with loved ones.
“People don’t want to be out drinking and partying for a long night. They want to connect on a more intimate level,” Tim says. “People are coming out to The Good Kind, which is so spacious, and feeling safe and relieved. It’s a little taste of our old lives.”
What she calls “microevents” have come to replace the typical spring and summer weddings and galas. When Tim realized a friend’s daughter was missing the chance to celebrate her high school graduation, she put together an unfussy, affordable package for grads that allows the important moment to feel marked and special, but keeps the celebration small.
Since then, she’s seen an uptick in simple weddings that can be streamed worldwide, with specially designed dance floors marked with boxes to maintain proper distancing. Splurging on a specially catered meal in the Ivy Hall garden for a birthday or anniversary has become popular as well, with restaurants still offering mostly take-out or limited seating.
Of course, all of Tim’s staff have been trained according to CDC guidelines, with constant cleaning, and she’s changed the way they serve food – touched by the server only (no more buffets or help-yourself stations). Tim has always used eco-friendly serving ware at The Good Kind, but now that all items are mandated to be single-use, she’s searching for another way to add a dash of fun to disposables.
As we slowly start to reopen Texas, keeping the health and safety of all Texans in mind, remember to keep your physical distance. But there’s no reason not to find creative ways to reconnect.
For more information on The Good Kind Hospitality Group, please visit: www.timthegirl.com, www.eatgoodkind.com, and www.ivyhallevents.com.