At Mitzvah List we love hearing from experienced Mitzvah Parents and Professionals with tips, ideas and suggestions of how to survive planning a Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration. This week we reached out to Mitzvah Parents through Facebook and asked them to share their tips, ideas and suggestions. We were overwhelmed with the number of responses we received! Thank you to everyone that contributed. We have so many ideas, we will have to do another similar article soon. Here are some of our favorite responses:
Brynne Magaziner of Pop Color Events had a great idea for response cards. Instead of numbering the response cards, which can sometimes get confusing, use a UV pen and write the guest's name on the back of the response card. The guest will not be able to see their name and if needed, the UV pen comes with a special light that will tell you which guest the response belongs to. Click here to order these cool UV pens (they are under $3!).
Debbie Eggleston's daughter invited some kids that were not familiar with Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. She sent a letter to the parents explaining the Bar and Bat Mitzvah service and celebration. She reminded her guests that if their plans had changed, to let her know. Because of the Debbie's communication, she had 100% attendance at her daughter's Bat Mitzvah. Click here to read the letter she sent.
Debbie Meisegeier said that you should order anything and everything early, from yarmulkes to invitations. It you don't know the exact count, guestimate on the high side. Having these items early will reduce your stress later.
Janine Stone said that if you receive a response card indicating that more guests are planning to attend than you invited, contact the guest and politely say, "I am sorry for the misunderstanding, but only ___________ was invited." Honesty is the best policy.
Paula Lynn of Michigan had a great idea so that her daughter and close friends could wear their Bat Mitzvah dresses again. She hosted a Wear Your Party Dress Party, where all the girls went to dinner and wore their Bat Mitzvah dresses. The girls had a blast and already had something to wear.
Lori Feldman chose to serve dessert outside of the main ballroom. The elderly guests enjoyed being away from the loud music and ended up staying much longer than expected.
Ericka Beletskiy and the group of moms at her school had a great idea that involved recycling bathroom baskets. When a Bar or Bat Mitzvah was done, the Mitzvah Mom would pass the gently used bathroom baskets (and the remaining contents) onto the next weekend's Mitzvah Family. That Mitzvah Mom restocked the basket, but had the benefit of using the items leftover from the previous celebration and did not have to purchase new baskets. To find out exactly what you need in your Mitzvah Bathroom Baskets, click here.
Marlene Widawer, an event professional, tells her clients to enjoy every moment. If something doesn't go exactly as planned, don't let it ruin your event.
Marji Sachs suggested that parents board their dogs for the entire weekend. There is so much going on, you will hardly be home to let your dogs out or give them the attention that they need. This will be one less thing to stress about.
Marji also suggested that you have all of your vendor tips labeled in envelopes and ready to go. She was able to calmly and elegantly tip all of her vendors without running around like a crazy person. Please check out our article on Tipping Tips.
Melissa Belkin suggested that if you have favors that are sized, make sure you order extras of each size. She also suggested getting a mailbox from a hardware store to collect all of the gifts.
Zozzie Golden of Innovative Party Planners of Maryland said that you should never assume that any of your vendors are going to do what you expect. Make sure your caterer, DJ, etc. know exactly what to do so there are no surprises. Communication is key.
David Ockman said that if you choose to wear Spanx, make sure that your dress is long enough to cover them. You don't want guests to know that you are wearing Spanx.
Heidi Hiller, party professional, said that before you book a venue, DJ or other vendor, make sure you define the scope, scale, mood and effect you want at your event. This can save you lots of time and money by booking only what you need.
These are all great and useful tips that can be applied to any celebration!
If you have any Mitzvah Tips, Ideas or Suggestions that you would like included in our next article, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.