The big day is almost here. You’re so excited — and so nervous.

Your mind is spinning with all the details of the simcha weekend to come. But you will be able to sleep the night before the bar/bat mitzvah or wedding if you tackle this seven-point list of last-minute details.

  • Touch base with your vendors. Make sure they have your venue address, arrival time and other details they need (like a list of groups for photos and an event timeline), and get each contact person’s cell number if you don’t have it already. If you have a day-of event manager, make sure he or she has a copy of everything.
  • Create tip envelopes. Handling sealed envelopes is easier than fumbling with bills. Designate an amount and envelope for each vendor you plan to tip, then bring along some extra cash in case someone goes above and beyond. For an easy tipping guide, visit
  • Box it up. You need one box for the service location and another for the party if it’s at a separate venue. What’s in them? Think through all the things you need for each step of the day. Your box may include kippot, place cards, a copy of someone’s speech and a list of songs the DJ should play. You may also want an emergency kit that includes hairspray, makeup, hemming tape, stain remover, pain reliever, tissues, toothbrush and toothpaste, and backup copies of lists or DVDs you’ll need during the celebration.
  • Organize the outfits. Pull together all your family’s clothing for the weekend, from Shabbat dinner to sendoff brunch. Sort the clothes by family member. Put each ensemble on hangers, and bundle each day’s outfits together with a twist-tie. This includes bags for jewelry and accessories like socks and belts. You don’t want to be searching for things at the last minute.
  • Review printed materials. You’ll have checked your place cards, signage, menus and programs for errors the week before the event. Double-check them the day before to make sure you have appropriate quantities.
  • Write a welcome. Make notes for your brief celebration welcome so that you remember everything you want to say and all those people you plan to thank. Remember, this should be brief. People are ready to party. (Did I mention that this should be brief?!)
  • Choose to enjoy it. Of course, something could go amiss on the big day. When you are surrounded by family and friends who came to share your joy, though, remember that nobody knows what was supposed to happen except you. Choose to smile and enjoy every moment rather than worry about what could or should have been. It’ll go by faster than you think.

Shelly Danz is the chief party officer of Atlanta Party Connection, the premier simcha resource in the metro area, helping thousands of families create their ideal weddings and b’nai mitzvah celebrations. APC connects you with top vendors, secures exclusive deals and discounts on services, and provides planning tips and inspiration. APC also produces four events annually to connect attendees with the best celebration vendors in a festive party atmosphere. The next Bridal Extravaganza is Aug. 12 at the Southern Exchange. The next Bar & Bat Mitzvah Expo is Oct. 14 at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North.