Shelly Danz is no stranger to organizing simchas. She is the founder of Atlanta Party Connection, which just celebrated its own bar mitzvah Feb. 25 after hosting its 13th Bar & Bat Mitzvah Expo, and she also is the new owner of Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta.
February’s Bar & Bat Mitzvah Expo was the biggest yet, Danz said, with more than 700 attendees and 90 vendors filling a new venue, the Hotel at Avalon in Alpharetta. The occasion provides a real bar mitzvah atmosphere, she said, which allows people to make connections and plan simchas in a fun and relaxing way.
Each year the expo attracts new entertainment and food vendors, such as a barbecue caterer, food trucks, and dessert options including cotton candy, King of Pops and cookie dough. The first of this year’s two mitzvah expos also introduced different venues for people thinking outside the box, such as Main Event, Top Golf and Andretti Indoor Karting & Games.
The expo featured interactive photo booths, which enable guests to place photos directly on social media, as well as airbrush artists, caricaturists and glitter stations for people who wish to add some sparkle to their hair.
“I think there are so many things people are trying to do to make their party more interesting, which is why I think they visit the expo,” Danz said.
Danz said Atlanta Party Connection’s coverage of countless simchas helps keep families coming back and perhaps made it easy for her to acquire Bridal Extravaganza.
“It’s a great opportunity for Atlanta Party Connection to grow into the wedding market and for families to continue to plan wonderful events,” she said.
With close to 1,000 guests and over 120 vendors, the Bridal Extravaganza includes a fashion show with bridal gowns, tuxedos and bridesmaids’ dresses, as well as an assortment of florists, cake designers and honeymoon destinations.
“People come to the event because it is a big, beautiful show,” Danz said. “It’s stunning to see what these vendors put into their booths to help brides looking for something a bit more unique.”
Like the Bar & Bat Mitzvah Expo, the Bridal Extravaganza is held twice a year. The next one is Aug. 12 at the Southern Exchange.
Danz grew up going to the Marcus JCC, Camp Barney Medintz and Jewish day schools, helping her create and maintain personal connections with many people in the community. Those connections assisted the launch of her own business seven years ago.
“What’s so fun with the Bar Mitzvah Expo is that families come back time and again and feel like the event is a fun part of the planning process for them,” Danz said.
She added, “To be a business owner and to connect with so many individuals in Atlanta has been the greatest thrill for me, and I am so excited that I get to expand that and grow with my family.”