It’s almost the big day. Your heart is filled with pride but your mind is crammed with every detail of the weekend to come.You WILL sleep the night before the bar or bat mitzvah if you tackle this list of to-dos the week of your family’s simcha.
Contact all vendors: Chances are you have at least a handful of vendors – photographer, caterer, decorator – helping to make the weekend special for family and friends. You should have a document or spreadsheet with all your vendors’ contact information handy. By mid-week before the big day, make sure each of them has your venue address, arrival time and details they need such as the list of groups for photos and the event timeline. Be sure to get a cell phone number for the vendor representative who will be working on your event that day. It may differ from who you’ve been speaking with during the planning process.
Round up essentials: Grab a tote or box and put in it everything you’ll need for both the service and the celebration. If you’re not sure what goes in each, I’ve got a list here: www.atlantamitzvahconnection.com/tips-tools/final-weekend-list-what-am-i-forgetting/ You may also want an emergency kit that could include safety pins or fashion tape, hairspray, makeup, stain remover, pain reliever, tissues, toothbrush/toothpaste and backup copies of your montage DVD and music list, in case they’re needed.
Organize outfits: Pull all your family’s clothing for the weekend from closets. Make sure everyone tries on their outfits so you can be sure that you’ve got items that match and fit! This is an important step, especially for the younger members of the family who grow out of clothes and shoes rapidly. Once outfits are complete, sort them by family member and bundle each event’s ensembles together by twist-tie on hangers, including bags for jewelry and accessories such as socks and belts.
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.
Create tip envelopes: Sealed envelopes are easier to handle and are quick to distribute. Designate an amount and envelope for each vendor whom you plan to tip, and then bring along some extra cash in case someone goes above and beyond. Not sure who should be tipped? I’ve got an easy guide here: www.atlantamitzvahconnection.com/tips-tools/bar-mitzvah-tipping-guide/
Write a welcome: Make notes for a celebration welcome so that you remember everything you want to say and who you plan to thank. Acknowledge grandparents or family members who may have helped in special ways and shout out to the relatives who have traveled so far to be there with you. Remember, this should be brief, sweet and sincere, but brief! Your guests want to hit the dance floor and schmooze.
Stay in the moment: Of course, something may go amiss on the big day. When you and your child are surrounded by family and friends who came to share your joy, remember that nobody knows what was “supposed” to happen except you. So, choose to smile and enjoy every moment rather than worry about what could/should be.
Shelly Danz is the founder and chief party officer of Atlanta Party Connection, www.atlantapartyconnection.com. APC helps families create the ideal wedding or mitzvah celebration, connecting them with top vendors, securing exclusive deals and discounts on services, and providing planning tips and inspiration.
APC also produces four events annually to connect attendees with celebration vendors in a festive party atmosphere. The next Bridal Extravaganza is Jan. 26 at the Southern Exchange Ballrooms. The next Bar & Bat Mitzvah EXPO is Feb. 23 at The Hotel at Avalon.