Bar and Bat Mitzvah Guide for the Hosts
Should you hire a professional event planner?
A carefully chosen event/party planner can assist you in ways you cannot even begin to imagine. (And save you money in the process) It is very important to interview 3 experienced planners with experience in Bar and Bat Mitzvah planning before you make your selection.
Services they may provide
1. Help you set and allocate a budget
2. Design the colors and theme of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah
3. Guide you to the appropriate vendors
4. Negotiate contracts
5. Create a time line
6. Schedule appointments
7. Arrange transportation and hotels
8. Oversee the grand event
9. Return rentals such as tuxedos, chair and table linens,
centerpieces, decor and more.
How do you find the perfect event planner?
Party/Event Planners can emerge onto the marketplace via one of the following ways.
1. Studying the subject in a 2 or 4 year college program which will include some internships.
2. Private study through several certification programs which may include some internships.
3. On-line certification programs that take a weekend.
4. Declare yourself an event planner and print up some business cards to prove it.
Whether or not your potential Bar/Bat Mitzvah planner is certified or has a college degree in planning, you are looking for an experienced professional. This person will be responsible for how you spend a large chunk of money. Her experience should not include her own wedding or her own daughters Bat Mitzvah and that of three of her best friends. She should have years of being a PAID professional with hands-on experience and the portfolio to prove it. This is a business and you don't want a hobbyist!
The Pre - Interview (by phone)
Please don't be tempted to do this via email. Oh sure, you can make your very first contact that way, but emails can camouflage a lot of problems. You want to listen for the enthusiasm, general attitude, personality and the general ability to listen as well as engage.
Question 1: Are you available on the weekend of_____________________?
Question 2: Do you have different levels of service and what are the price ranges?
Question 3: Do you have an assistant? (You definitely want at least a 2 person operation)
Question 4: Can you give me the names of 3-5 previous clients who I may contact?
Bear in mind that your candidates are only going to give you referrals of previous clients she/her thinks will give glowing reports. However, if you ask enough of the right questions, you should get a fairly good reading.
Question 1: On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied were you with the job performance of Miss Jones?
Question 2: How did you hear about Miss Jones initially?
Question 3: Did Miss Jones return phone calls and emails promptly?
Question 4: Did she offer you multiple vendors in each category?
Question 5: Did she help you stay on budget?
Question 6: Did she offer you good ideas and make suggestions?
Question 7: What was unique about your event? Follow up with, whose idea was it?
Question 8: Did your Bar Mitzvah go smoothly?
Question 9: On a scale of 1-10, how stressful was your Bar Mitzvah?
Question 10: Would you use her again?
Question 11: What did your guests compliment you about the most?
Question 12: What would you change about your Bat Mitzvah if you could do it over?
The Short List
Now that you have narrowed down your search to three contenders, meet with them each in person, hopefully in their office. I would prefer that the party planner at least have a home office. I would not disregard someone who wants to meet you at Starbucks but it would raise a little red flag. Having an office, in home or otherwise, demonstrates to me a commitment to their business.
* Did she arrive on time?
* Was she dressed professionally?
* Did she show you a portfolio of her work that included at least 5 events?
* Will her personality work well with the major participants?
* Did she listen well or just like to hear herself talk?
* Did she ask good questions?
* Do you believe she can take your vision and turn it into a reality?
* Do you want her to be your new best friend for the next 6 months?
Party planners charge fees in one of three ways:
2. Different Package Options
3. A percentage of the total budget
Any one of those options is fine as long as you know exactly what services are being provided. However, what they fail to disclose, is that they sometimes get a rebate or referral fee from the baker, florist, venue, caterer, entertainers, etc. I call this double dipping.
You are paying them a fee to select a vendor based on MERIT alone. If they lead you to a certain florist who is giving them a kickback under the table, their judgment is 'for sale'.
I would ask them right up front if their vendor list is based on merit or do they accept referral fees from vendors. You might as well cut to the chase here.
Many venues hand out vendor lists. ABC Country Club or The XYZ Hotel may be charging those photographers or bakeries to be on that list. Ask the hotel or country club if the list is based on merit or is fee based. They'll probably be so shocked they will fall all over themselves. You should be able to tell if they are lying.
Now that you have selected your event planner, you can relax. The diligent process is over. Do not micro-manage. You hired her so she could take the reins.
Let her do her job.
Attending a Bar or Bat Mitzvah?
Have you been invited to a Bar or Bat Mitzvah? A little out of your comfort zone?
Here's a quick and easy guide that everyone should read before attending a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Don't worry. This is not rocket science.
What is a Bar Mitzvah?
When a young Jewish male turns 13 years old, he becomes obligated to observe the commandments of Judaism. Bar Mitzvah translated means "son of the commandments".
What is a Bat Mitzvah?
When a young Jewish female turns 13 years old, she also becomes obligated to observe the commandments of Judaism. Literally translated, Bat Mitzvah means "daughter of the commandments".
What do you wear to a Bar or Bat Mitzvah?
Guests dress the same way to Synagogue as they would to a Church. Men would wear a suit or dress slacks, tie and jacket. Women would wear a nice dress or formal pantsuit.
If the celebration continues with an after-party in the evening, dress appropriately for the venue. It could range from glamorous to casual. Take your cue from the invitations.
Behavior in the Sanctuary Dos and Don'ts
No smoking in or around the synagogue
No cell phone use
No picture taking
No talking during the service
No writing during the service
Do follow the instructions of the rabbi to stand. This is just a sign of respect regardless of your own religion.
You are not required to bow during the service. Bowing does have a religious significance. You can remain standing or you can sit down at that point if you wish.
Gifts for the Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah
Gifts are generally brought to the after-party which will feature a gift table. Make certain your card to taped to the box and not merely tucked.
Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah Theme Ideas
From the Save The Dates to the party favors, it's generally expected to have a party theme. The theme should be relevant to the child's interests.
Here are some great party themes ideas to help you get started:
* Bat Mitzvah Theme: Classic Art
* Bat Mitzvah Theme: CandyLand
* Bat Mitzvah Theme: Fashion Week
* Bat Mitzvah Theme: Beach Lounge
* Bat Mitzvah Themes: Beach; Rainbow; Neon; Glow in the Dark
* Bat Mitzvah Themes: Rainbow; Beach; Neon; Summer; Primary Colors; Candy; Carnival
* Bat Mitzvah Themes; Rainbows; CandyLand: Carnival; Modern Art
* Bar Mitzvah Theme: Skateboarding
* Bar Mitzvah Theme: Super Heroes, Pop Culture; Cartoon Charcters; Pez Collectors
* Bar and Bat Mitzvah Themes: Sports
* Bar and Bat Mitzvah Themes: Basketball; Lakers; Celtics
* Bar and Bat Mitzvah Theme: Rock 'n' Roll; Elvis; Guitar; Music; Band
* Bar and Bat Mitzvah Themes: Techie; Future; Science
* Bar and Bat Mitzvah Themes: Sports; Soccer; Navy and Lime Green
* Bar and Bat Mitzvah Themes: Neon; Glow in the Dark
* Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah Theme: Apps; Snapchat
* Bat Mitzvah Themes: Shopping: Glam: Crystals; Pink; Chandeliers
* Bar Bat Mitzvah Theme: Disco; Night Club; Saturday Night Fever; The 70's
* Bat Mitzvah Party Theme: Fire and Ice; Winter; Blue
* Bat Mitzvah Party Theme: Pink
* Bat Mitzvah Party Theme: Fashion; Design
* Bar and Bat Mitzvah Party Theme: Broadway; Theater; Acting;
* Bar and Bat Mitzvah Party Theme: Carnival; Circus
* Bar and Bat Mitzvah Party Themes: Broadway; Times Square; New York; Theater Arts
* Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah Party Theme: Apps; Social Media
* Bat Mitzvah Party Themes: Shopping; Glamour; Madison Avenue; Rodeo Drive; Fashion; Million Dollar Mile
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