Woman celebrates her birthday via video call

Life is full of reasons to celebrate, but it’s also full of the unexpected. Sometimes when you plan for pivotal moments, you have to, well, pivot due to circumstances you may not have seen coming. And while switching up your wedding plans, anniversary event, graduation festivities, or whatever milestone you’re gearing up for can be tricky, a little flexibility and an extra dose of positivity can lead to something new and great that’s worth celebrating.

1. Opt for a virtual party.

Whether you’re tying the knot or ringing in another big moment, going with a virtual celebration is one way to commemorate the special day. Instead of turning to a boring old video conference, think about punching up your live stream with some personalized touches.

This goes beyond virtual toasts. Adding extra special details to your digital party can make the event more memorable and create a more intimate vibe for your guests. Start by sending invitations with all the instructions to make sure everyone’s tech works smoothly. You can also send little goodies to guests ahead of time, like signature cocktail mixes, décor, and party favors. Some virtual hosts have even deployed fly-by drones to snap photos of attendees from afar. It’s all about making them feel like they’re right there with you.

2. Delay a little, get even more.

Rescheduling an event you’ve been looking forward to might not be your first choice, but you might find pressing pause on the big day could turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Sticking to a strict budget or tight timeline can mean you may have to make compromises on your original plans. But by putting your celebration off, you have more time to save for all the things you really want — and added room to get every detail perfect.

And don’t get discouraged if your milestone is something more timebound, like a 30th birthday or college graduation. Rather than celebrating now, hold on to your savings, so you can do something even grander than you originally had in mind. For example, a skipped birthday party could turn into a vacation later down the road with your best friends. Having an extra few weeks or months will give you time to boost your budget by saving (or investing) and get even more excited.

3. Turn a parking lot into a party.

Depending on the event, throwing a socially distanced “car party” may be your best bet. It’s an alternative, versatile get-together trend that’s been picking up a lot of steam. Have your guests back into parking spaces that are at least six feet apart, then pop open the trunk, take a seat, and enjoy each other’s company from a distance.

You can decorate the outdoor space to match the theme of your party and provide guests with matching car decorations beforehand. Designate a DJ or pass the aux cord around for music. From there, the possibilities are endless — from DIY drive-in movies to tailgate-style barbecuing to hosting your own version of carpool karaoke.

4. Celebrate a financial win instead.

From sweet-16 parties to retirement celebrations, throwing a big event doesn’t always come cheap. In fact, the national average cost of a wedding, for example, is upwards of $33,000. Deciding to downsize or forgoing the festivities altogether could be the game-changer that allows you to make real movement on your financial goals, whether it’s saving a down payment for a home, paying off debt, or padding your emergency fund. While it may be a different kind of celebration, making a major financial stride is something worth cheering for — and can be the gateway to many more good times and memories to come.

5. Treat yourself to something special.

Just because you aren’t hosting a party or other event doesn’t mean you can’t personally commemorate life’s big moments. Sometimes, gifting yourself something significant can be a wonderful way to celebrate — especially if you have some party savings to reallocate. That may look like a piece of jewelry you’ve had your eye on for your birthday or an extra-long honeymoon vacation in lieu of a wedding reception. You deserve to treat yourself and find joy in milestones even if traditional festivities aren’t an option.

Meaningful memories are around the corner.

Celebrating the important things in life doesn’t always have to look like a typical party. There’s no shortage of ways to make these big occasions feel special and exciting, whether it’s now or in the future. In fact, a creative pivot could set the stage for the creation of one-of-a-kind memories that last a lifetime.

Save for all of life’s celebrations, big and small, with Ally.

Check out our Online Savings Account.