When working with families to plan their Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations, I hear many of the same questions. As a professional event planner who has been bringing to life Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations for almost 20 years—and as a Jewish mother who has planned my own children’s Bar Mitzvahs—I am well prepared to answer these commonly asked questions:
What planning priorities should we focus on first?
I always start with identifying & securing the venue and creating the event’s timeline. Once the date has been secured, prioritize the biggest and most time-sensitive decisions. Then, work through the finer details.
How do we create a great event flow for our celebration?
A great experience is one that feels natural and is achieved through a detailed event timeline. Because I have planned and directed these events for decades, I know exactly how to create and execute a seamless event—and help others do the same.
Should we use printed or digital invitations?
The choice is yours, although I am seeing more families opting to use digital save-the-dates and invitations. I assist them in selecting the most appropriate platform to use. We work together to craft the wording and review digital proofs to ensure all the conveyed information is correct. Then, I provide support in collecting all the necessary information we need from guests.
What if we are less traditional? How should we do the service?
I can help you to determine what style of service and celebration works for you. Whether or not you are affiliated with a synagogue, I can assist with where you can hold the service, the style of service (Shabbat morning or Havdalah), and what your needs may be at the venue. I also make recommendations for religious and community leaders who can help with preparing the child and leading the service.
What should the dress code for our event be?
Let’s start with this question: How do you imagine seeing yourself dressed for the event? Work from that as a starting point. The dress code should be clearly communicated to guests in the invitation. It can be helpful to provide examples for vague dress code titles. For example, “party attire” can leave guests curious. In this case, you may want to share suggested examples of clothing options that may be appropriate.
How do we incorporate my child’s mitzvah project?
When families are unsure of what a child should do as a mitzvah project, I make suggestions according to the child’s interests and abilities. Often, I incorporate what the child has done for a mitzvah project into the details and decor for the post-service kiddush luncheon. This is a special way to highlight the project beyond just mentioning it at the service or in a program.
How do we decide what we want for entertainment and activities?
Entertainment and activities help drive the energy of the party. It should be prioritized in the planning process. I have many sources for options both locally and regionally that offer enjoyable, interactive entertainment according to interests and budgets.
Do we need to show a photo montage video?
Videos can be incorporated as a presentation and worked into the timeline of the party, along with other viewing possibilities. There are several creative ways to handle this if families are interested. I have resources to create the videos, although some families enjoy creating their own. Either way, I’ll arrange to have the appropriate audio and visual support for viewing at the event.
Do we need to give out favors or gifts to our guests?
It’s always a nice touch to provide party favors. Sometimes, the activities at the celebration can include providing a take-home item. In those cases, adding favors is not necessary. Regardless of what guests take home with them, it will be the experience and memories that last a lifetime.
These milestone events are so special and memorable. Whether it be a la carte services to help with particular areas of priority or full-service planning and directing of the event, I am here to support my clients. I find joy in alleviating the anxiety that can often be associated with families when they are planning on their own. How can I be of support to you?