Planning the Perfect Bat/Bar Mitzvah

ByHOPP Team
Feature Image: Banana Split

All those years of anticipation, the months of dedicated practice and study, and a new, mature role within the community call for an unforgettable celebration.  

Chances are that vague plans and ideas for the bat or bar mitzvah party have been in place for over a decade, but now, with the date fast approaching, it is time to call upon your powers of creativity and begin reaching out to your party suppliers.

As with any big milestone, a bat or bar mitzvah party requires a great deal of forward planning, imagination, and resourcefulness. Luckily, organisation is key, and we’re here to go through each step with our guide to planning an unforgettable celebration. 

Bar and Bat Mitzvah Themes

One of the most important elements in party planning — and perhaps a job best left to the celebrant. 

Moreover, a theme will give you and your party suppliers a framework with which to work, making the process much more manageable. 

But bar and bat mitzvah themes are about more than pragmatism. This is a chance to celebrate the Guest of Honour’s newfound identity, and to formally recognise their first opportunity to make their unique mark on the world.

A little responsibility will reflect the spirit of the event, and give the celebrant a taste of maturity as you form a collaborative effort to settle upon a realisable theme.

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Booking the Venue

In all likelihood, the exact date will be decided with your synagogue long in-advance of the day itself, which gives you plenty of time to arrange viewings with potential party venues, and to find a location that captures the spirit of the day.

If you are following a theme, then consider creative ways of reflecting the event within the venue itself. Attend viewings with the celebrant, and remember to consider the practicalities:

  • Is the Venue Far from the Synagogue? 
    If it is not within walking distance, then you may want to consider hiring a means of
    transport for your guests. A bus or coach will allow everyone to arrive at the same time, without worrying over the costs and time-limitations of parking. A limousine for the celebrant will add a well-deserved touch of luxury, and ensure that their grand entrance does not disappoint. 
  • Do They Provide Their Own Caterers?
    Some venues will require you to use their own team of caterers for your event. If you need Kosher or Kosher-style catering, then you should check to ensure that their chefs are up to the task before paying your deposit. If this is not the case, find a venue that will allow you to use your own
    party caterers.
  • What is Their Capacity?
    A bar mitzvah party is a time for the celebrant’s family and friends to commemorate their transformation into a full-fledged member of the community. Make finding a venue that can house every one of your guests a top priority. 
  • When Will the Venue be Available for Set Up?
    Ensuring that the space will be available for your party suppliers to bring in your decorations, lighting, sound equipment, furnishings, and place settings before any guests arrive is vital
    — not only to your peace of mind, but to pulling-off a seamless and enjoyable day. Make sure that the space will be available to your party suppliers before you commit to a booking. 
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Bar and Bat Mitzvah Invitations & Stationery

Foiling, letter press, thermography, laser cutting and embossing — a professional artist will have the right eye to capture the essence of your party, and transform the anticipation and excitement into something tangible. 

This is another wonderful job for you and the celebrant to share in together. Work with the celebrant to choose the design and wording, and ensure that your bar or bat mitzvah invitations are issued to your guests in a timely manner.

Order your invitations, place cards and ‘Thank You’ notes in the same design, and ensure that you include an RSVP (with a stamped envelope) to help you keep up to date with your final guestlist. If you are opting to receive no bah mitzvah gifts, or would rather your guests make a donation in the celebrants name, then a brief note on the invitations will put everyone on the same page. 

Planning the Grand Entrance

The grand entrance into the party is yet another right of passage for the celebrant to look forward to. Provided it fits with your theme, how about a circus ringmaster or theatrical magician? If you are stepping into Hollywood for an evening, a formal compère will give the Guest of Honour celebrity status. 

Alternatively, arrange with your live musician or DJ to line up a favourite song to play as the celebrant returns from the bar mitzvah ceremony and the doors are drawn open. Not only will it usher in a spectacular start to the bar mitzvah party, it will become a memory that will last a lifetime for all who are present. 

Finding Bat/Bar Mitzvah Party Suppliers

Furniture

Hire furniture for a comfortable seating area for parents, grandparents, and younger children to enjoy while the celebrant and his guests make use of the dancefloor. Creating distinct sections around the room for eating, resting, and entertaining will ensure that everyone feels welcome and involved. You can rent your soft furnishings from your party suppliers, along with the rest of the decor. 

Decorations and Props

Although it can be tempting to jump headfirst into gathering decor, don’t approach your party suppliers before you are confident with your theme. Renting your bat and bar mitzvah decorations will give you much more freedom of choice, and ensure that you don’t have any towering props to bring home the next day. 

Tableware

Renting your place settings along with the rest of your decor will cut costs, and enable you to create a cohesive design for each table. Overorder on the glassware, cutlery and crockery to make certain that you will not run out of the necessities halfway through the evening. 

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Entertainment

Live bands and singers, magic, impersonators and fireworks choreographed to music will help you to sustain the momentum of the day. Work around your theme, and consider ways of ensuring that everyone is involved; younger guests can be looked after by a professional creche service, who will keep them busy with games, stories, and activities.

Photography and Videography

Don’t lose a single memory. A professional photographer and videographer have the expertise to capture special moments without intruding on the celebrations, and leave you with a collection of stunning shots to remind you of all those overwhelming moments throughout the day.

Robert Shack Photography

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HOPP Team
Written by our Team of HOPP Experts.