Many Jewish parents begin planning a child’s bat or bar mitzvah three years in advance. Much goes into the planning process of this traditional coming-of-age celebration.
This involves booking an event space and hiring vendors. You’re also responsible for creating the right party atmosphere. All these details must come together to ensure the event runs smoothly.
Follow this comprehensive checklist for throwing the perfect bat or bar mitzvah party.
Secure the Perfect Venue
The venue location is one of the most important aspects of bat mitzvah planning. Some celebrations are held right at the synagogue. Yet, others decide to move the party to a new location.
Popular venue options include hotel ballrooms, banquet halls, and country clubs. Outdoor parks and restaurants are other great spaces to host a bar or bat mitzvah.
Once you have your venue in mind, this will help you to determine your budget. The venue rental and catering will most likely make up the greatest costs for the event.
It’s best to book the venue well in advance to ensure you can secure the date you want. You also need to make sure you coordinate the date with your synagogue.
Check their availability with the event date you have in mind. This is most often on or right near the child’s 13th birthday.
You may also want to offer transportation from the synagogue to the event venue. This could be through a party bus, limo, or car service.
Create and Send out the Invites
It helps to create your guest list before booking a venue. This way you have an idea of how many people will be attending. Then you can work on designing the event invites as part of your bar mitzvah planning process.
You have the option of sending printed or digital invites. Digital invites are a great idea for saving money on your event budget. Plan to send out invites 6 to 8 weeks before your event date.
Most people try to tie the invite design into their event theme. You can use a website to customize your invitation template. Another option is to hire a graphic designer for something more unique.
Be sure to include all the major event details in your invite. List any pre-celebration details like dinner at the family’s house the night before. Other people choose to host a Sunday brunch the day after the event.
It helps to also offer recommendations for local accommodations. You may even want to secure a room block if you have tons of guests coming from out of town.
This provides discounted rates for traveling guests. Welcome bags or baskets are a great way to honor your out-of-town guests.
Set your RSVP date well enough in advance so you can prepare the venue and caterer with a final count. This also gives you plenty of time to work on your seating chart and place cards.
Set the Ambiance
It’s always best for the party atmosphere to reflect the personality of your child. Bar mitzvah themes can be formal or more casual, depending on the venue. You can stay traditional or plan something unique, like a Candyland or tropical theme.
Use sites like Pinterest or Instagram to help you create a vision board. These are great sources for event ideas and inspiration.
All the decor should tie into your party theme. This includes florals, balloons, centerpieces, and place settings. The gift table, welcome table, and dessert table should also fit within your theme.
Don’t forget to include party favors to thank the guests for attending. Consider any needed rentals that your venue does not offer. This could be for extras like luxury linens and specialty chairs.
You also want to make sure you have candles for the special candle lighting ceremony. This is a great way for the child to honor those who have passed.
Lighting is another key element of a bat or bar mitzvah event. Uplighting techniques will help to create the right party ambiance. A 4K TV set up is another idea to play video footage during the event.
You also want to have the right music to keep the guests entertained. Secure the best DJ services to keep guests on the dance floor.
They should also have the right playlist to appeal to both adults and teenage guests. Before the event, give them your song request list as well.
Confirm the Menu
You’ll need to work with the caterer to come up with menu options for the event. Decide ahead of time if you want a kosher or non-kosher menu.
You may want to add on a cocktail hour with passed appetizers. Then choose to have a buffet or plated-style dinner.
Consider a few kid-friendly menu options if you’re inviting children. Coordinate with a baker to have a cake delivered. A dessert station is another option for the event.
Your budget may allow for an open or cash bar. An open bar can consist of a full bar or beer and wine only.
Finalize the Details
Re-confirming all the event details is an important part of any bar mitzvah checklist. Be sure to include writing and practicing speeches. It’s also a good idea to have the child study the Torah well before the event.
Set aside time to go shopping for bat or bar mitzvah outfits. You also may need to book hair and nail appointments. It helps to create a final timeline of events to keep track of all details.
Capture the Memories
Professional photography services help to capture all the special moments of the event. This includes formal family pictures and shots of the event details.
Videography is also a great way to record the event highlights. This includes parents giving a speech to their child. You can also capture the blessing of the wine or challah.
One tip is to be sure to confirm if the synagogue allows indoor photography. You may only be able to photograph the event portion of the bar mitzvah in this case.
A photo booth is another great idea for entertainment for bar mitzvah parties. This creates fun and excitement for guests and gives them printed pictures to take home.
Planning the Perfect Bat or Bar Mitzvah Party
A bat or bar mitzvah party is the perfect way to celebrate your child coming of age in Jewish culture. This checklist will help you to plan and execute the event from start to finish.
It’s always best to start the planning process early to secure dates and ensure a smooth timeline. Learn more about how Supermix Entertainment can enhance your next event.