BY DAVIS S. COVELL / AJT //
Now more than ever, bat & bar mitzvahs are doing their own thing by infusing traditional themes with their personality style to make it their own.
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With a resurgence of Jewish pride and the availability of outstanding kosher caterers, we are seeing an increased demand for traditional kosher events integrated into a modern day approach.
First, get organized and formulate a budget. Remember, in order to have legitimate services rendered by your selected suppliers, you need to have a legitimate budget. Hire a planner to help you or call the office to get recommendations.
Atlanta has many highly experienced and knowledgeable event planners that are out there to help you through this process. Hire one and then go find a quality and full service caterer. Everything else will fall in thereafter.
As I have said before, the best way to keep the budget down is to reduce the guest count. Caterers are paying at, or close, to all time highs for food and labor. They work on thin margins and so do most other vendors. As a loving Jewish dad told me many years ago, when looking to hide his wallet from his wife, he can hide it under the vacuum cleaner as she will never find it there.
We all know that budget is a factor but be realistic as to how much things cost.
Trending 2014 for Mitzvah celebrations:
- Get your child involved in selecting colors and themes. Your child’s bar/bat mitzvah should reflect their personalities and interests. The menus we create often reflect the child’s taste and can support the theme.
- Some families are making the Kiddush at the Shul, the actualy party. With a host of great menu ideas and unique decor, a Kiddush is a great way to invite everyone for the celebration. You can take the out-of-towner guests out for dinner that night, but many of our clients are having elaborate Kiddush receptions for the main event. One recent client hired A capella style singers to engage her guests since amplified music is not allowed on Shabbat.
- Invest in decor that is interactive rather than stationary props. We are seeing more green screens, unique video applications and interactive characters. More DJ’s are offering dancers to join in on the fun and teach the kids (and adults) how to burn up the dance floor. This is a worthwhile addition to your entertainment budget. Digital graffiti walls are a new trend as well. Some DJ’s will also offer a live instrumental with one or two musicians.
- Small plates, small plates and more small plates. This has been a steady trend for the last several years and continues to evolve and grow as we move into 2014. Children’s menus can include family-style, passed hors d’oeuvres placed on unique platters in the children’s area along with or instead of a traditional kids buffet. Other micro station ideas trending are themed ethnic station. Think Asian noodles in to go boxes with chop sticks and a street taco bar. Both with Avenue K are Chef attended and made to order. Adults are offered elaborate adult cocktail foods along with adult beverages. This keeps the party festive and mingling.
- Cocktail style seating for the adults and a lounge area for the kids is becoming more popular. Furniture groupings for the kids instead of a long kid’s table is trending in 2014.
- Integrate colorful lighting with LED lights and gobo lights for your event. Some clients have decorated our ceiling at The Pavillion of East Cobb Event Facility with gauze fabric and use up lighting to create the effect.
- Think about a dessert reception with beautiful and colorful petit fours. Chef attended action desserts and a candy bar. This will keep the budget down and is a unique way to host a celebration. The “Oneg” is alive and well with a unique and fashion forward twist.
- Mobile food carts are becoming popular as part of food service. Serving signature drinks, sliders and a host of other items make for a fun presentation.
- Unique candle lighting is back in style. Honoring important family members is a nice touch for life’s special moments. Integrating unique candles and props for this are trending for next year. Think handmade specialty candles, ice sculptures and other creative objects to light. We even had a cupcake tower used for the candle lighting.
About the writer
David S. Covell is the CEO, Saratoga Event Group and President of Avenue K-Glatt Kosher Events. The Saratoga Event Group manages four special event facilities and operates an award winning catering company, Avenue Catering Concepts. “Avenue K” is the certified glatt kosher event division of the Saratoga Event Group. David also has a background as a Certified Public Accountant in New York State and consults to the hospitality industry on matters of food, beverage and facilities.