Having a bar or bat mitzvah is cause for great celebration. What could be better than family coming together from in and out of town to enjoy a beautiful simcha? Of course that requires a lot of planning and preparation, because ultimately everyone, and especially the families, want to have great memories of these important milestones.
As an event planner, it’s the personal touch I bring that provides that magic spark for all of my events. I feel very passionate about each and every event and imagine what would be the choice for my own child.
So many moms and dads ask, “Fin”
Out to the Ballgame
I mean, how many times and ways can you make a baseball theme different? My answer is: pick a specific team, design a logo in the team’s font but personalize it with your name and date. Customize T-shirts for the staff to wear with your logo or a cute phrase showcasing the theme. Host it in an actual stadium or bring the stadium to your venue with décor elements that really pop, like wrapping a dance floor to look like a baseball field.
Put on a Show
One recent event had a Fire and Ice theme. Immediately I thought, how cool would it be to infuse the bat mitzvah girl’s logo into the ice sculpture, her holding a CO2 gun and spraying the crowd followed by spark fountains going off as she entered onto the stage to create that “Fire and Ice” show?
Food and Decor
If you have a theme, you have to follow through with it and it all starts with a logo which gets incorporated into the invitation design. Custom menu design and the way the food is being served is a great way of showcasing the theme. Imagine going to a sport-themed party and enjoying a fresh hot salted pretzel, or diving into piping hot funnel cake fries served in mini French fry carriers. People see with their eyes and so food and décor are my favorite parts as they tie everything together.
Under the Stars
To me it’s the little details that make the biggest impact, like in my “Epic Night” camp theme, where the venue transformed into an elegant night under the stars. Kids made their own s’mores and guests received custom pajama pants as if they were spending the night under the stars. Guests were seated at tables named after national parks that the b’nai mitzvah family had personally visited and spent their countless vacations.
Try to make the b’nai mitzvah personal and meaningful. While every aspect plays a part in each event, what’s really important is the relationship that is formed with my clients from the get-go. This, I attribute to my degree in communications from the University of South Africa along with my experience being on the front lines for businesses I’ve worked for in the past, namely Chabad Intown, before starting my unique venture.
Fly the Friendly Skies
As of yet I have not had anyone parachute in for their grand entrance, but someone did fly in. We had to get really creative when my client suggested a travel theme. What better way than to host such a party at The 57th Fighter Group Restaurant at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, and to top that, to have a showstopper, the bar mitzvah boy flying in on a biplane as his grand entrance? To complete this spectacular party, we gave neck pillows as parting gifts with a passport stamp logo. Every detail of the party was travel-related, from globe cake pops to luggage tag Rice Krispies treats with travel quotes.
There are many moving parts, and my job is to be “the thread that brings it all together.” That phrase is coined from a client-friend who gave me the compliment. From venues to menus, logos to gobos, and decors to dance floors, none of this would be possible without the incredible team of creative vendors who assist in making everything possible. These relationships are what have really helped shape and grow my business. I am so grateful to have this wonderful bunch who understand teamwork and who give all of themselves.
In an industry that has specialties, my focus is on b’nai mitzvahs, and my motto is “Do what you love and love what you do.” While I advocate for all the little nuances during any event, what really brings a priceless smile to me is when I see the expressions on the bar or bat mitzvah kid’s faces upon entering the room.
Here are some tips for families planning b‘nai mitzvahs:
• Make mental notes of those you have attended and what you loved and did not love, which will help you determine what you want.
• Talk about a theme or color scheme as you start the entire process.
• Create a realistic budget that you are comfortable with and educate yourself on the costs involved.
• Decide what type of service and party will be suitable for you and your children and estimate how many guests you envision including.
• Depending on how far out your event is, find a venue, reserve the DJ company and the photographer, as these three items book quickly.
• Send out Save the Dates if your bar or bat mitzvah falls on a holiday weekend, that way guests can start considering their future travel plans.
• If using a planner, find one that suits your personality. It is vital that you choose the right person as you will be working with them for quite some time.
Remember, this is an important milestone, one that is to be enjoyed and remembered, Relax, keep calm and live in the moment.
Mireille Naturman is an event planner with Unique Eventures.