With formal invites, top-notch eats, and a cutting-edge soundtrack, your Bar Mitzvah is shaping up to be way more than the typical coming-of-age party. But how can you be sure your Bar Mitzvah will be memorable? Take a cue from these top four Bar Mitzvah style trends guaranteed to wow your guests.
Trend 1: Personalize Your Theme
By channeling your child’s interests, you can create a theme to unify your Bar Mitzvah. Draw inspiration from his hobbies: Does he like to play baseball? Tap into sports with a baseball theme. Name each table after one of his much-loved teams, and use giant baseball hats with their logos as your Bar Mitzvah centerpieces (don’t forget to add in some balloons in each team’s colors). Into the Yankees? Ask your baker to decorate your Bar Mitzvah cake with white and navy blue stripes and the team’s logo.
Trend 2: Create a Lounge Feel
Turn your Bar Mitzvah into an uberexclusive lounge scene. With a couple couches, throw rugs, and low, colored lighting, you can make your swank space look and feel like one of New York or L.A.’s hottest nightclubs. Don’t forget the dance floor, where kids and adults alike can show off their moves. The music you play can make or break your Bar Mitzvah, so select a band or DJ who has a repertoire of your (and your child’s) favorite songs. Feel free to give them a complete list of the songs you want to hear, or, even better, a list of tunes you don’t want played.
Trend 3: Make It Interactive
Interactivity is crucial to a Bar Mitzvah. Consider hiring an artist to draw funny caricatures, set up a photo booth for pretty poses, or get a hold of one of those high-tech karaoke machines that lets you create your own music videos! Take the idea one step further, and turn your Bar Mitzvah into a specific event, like casino night. While your guests may not be high rollers, you can still use games to get everyone mingling. Make each table look like a card table, complete with a deck of cards, chips, and, of course, a green felt top. Encourage your guests to play the games throughout the night, and award a prize to the person with the most chips at the end of the party.
Trend 4: Channel the Season
If you’re still having trouble coming up with Bar Mitzvah inspiration, look to the season surrounding your child’s birthday. December through February babies lend themselves to a winter wonderland theme, while summer children can have a Bar Mitzvah beach bash. Look for blue or green pails or buckets to use as centerpieces, and fill them with beach grass, pebbles, and shells. Tap into the elements by scattering sand across the tables, or for a glitzier look, hang pieces of sea glass on fishing wire (think: beaded curtain) from the ceiling. End the night with a dessert bar, featuring beachy sweets like rock candy, saltwater taffy, and Italian ice, and send your guests home with frisbees — the quintessential summer sport — as favors.
Did you think the carpool back and forth to Hebrew school was the hard part? Planning the Bar Mitzvah can be tough, too! Luckily, here are some more tips on making the planning and the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, go smoothly.
Get a Move on! ~ The sooner you start planning, the better. You’ll be competing against other Bar Mitzvahs (not to mention weddings, Sweet Sixteens, and so on) for venues, vendors, and if there are other kids at your synagogue whose birthdays are near your child’s, you’ll want to know whether you’ll have to share your date with someone else. If you’re not comfortable sharing the service with someone else, you’ll have to work on finding a way to have the service outside of your synagogue.
Skip Saturday ~ Looking to save some cash? Have your Bar Mitzvah on a Sunday or on Saturday afternoon. Saturday night’s the busiest time for everyone in the Bar Mitzvah business, so you’ll pay premium prices to party then. Going with an “off time” may net you a better rate and give you more options when you’re figuring out who to hire.
Dancing in the Dark ~ Even if you’re having a Bar Mitzvah during the day, turn down the lights for the best Bar Mitzvah atmosphere. Everyone is often self-conscious and feel more at ease dancing in an environment with an evening ambiance.
Pick the Right People ~ Finding Bar Mitzvah professionals you’re excited to work with is key. You may want to bring your child along on some of your interviews with potential vendors such as the event planner, photographer and DJ.
Have a Warm-Up Act ~ One sure-fire way to get the 13-and-under crowd to have a good time? Hire a dancer (or two) to teach your younger guests a thing or two. Ask your band or DJ for recommendations. Chances are, they have a Bar Mitzvah crew they work with regularly.
Do Them a Favor ~ Don’t forget to thanks your guests for coming! A great Bar Mitzvah favor that fits with your theme or colors is a must-have. Guests will associate the item with you and your child, so make it special!
Your child’s Bar Mitzvah is all about family, friends, spirituality and celebration. Basically, your planning their biggest birthday party to date and quite possibly ever…so, where does one start with such an overwhelming task? Keep reading.
Working with a Pro ~ Consider hiring a professional event planner to turn ideas into reality. A great planner can offer theme ideas, design inspiration, entertainment suggestions, catering ideas, etc and most importantly negotiate with vendors. The planner takes away the stress and worries, keeping things running on time and on budget.
Balancing Act ~ Every parent wants the best for their child and wants to throw an amazing Bar Mitzvah. But your ideas of amazing aren’t always exactly the same as what your child thinks is amazing…that’s a problem. Its all about compromise and this is a perfect area of expertise where an event planner comes in handy. The planner can listen to both sides and help sort things out so everyone is happy.
Wish List vs Guest List ~ Chances are you are going to want to invite all of your family and friends and then some more friends and distant relatives…the guest list can sometimes get out of hand. First things first, make a ‘Wishlist’, anyone and everyone you could possibly invite, then start trimming the list down to fit your budget and venue size.
Strike a Pose ~ Book your photographer well in advance. Good event photographers can book up a year in advance. Meet with a few photographers to compare styles, costs and personalities. Yes, personalities…the photographer is going to be with you and your family for hours taking personal photos and you want to feel comfortable and relaxed around them.
Hey DJ, Get this Party Started! ~ One of the most important ingredients to any great party is the music. A great DJ knows how to keep the energy going, read the guests, get them engaged, keep their attention and overall, be a great entertainer. Spend some time with your DJ discussing the playlists, songs you like, those you don’t and even what games and prizes you want your guests to enjoy.
It’s a party, lets have some fun!