Sophie’s family began working with event planner Melissa Miller of MMEvents Atlanta two years prior to her bat mitzvah date. The event was envisioned as a 200-person celebration at a lounge venue in Sandy springs. Once COVID hit, the celebration was scaled back to 60 guests at the venue’s rooftop bar. But as the date drew closer, the family became concerned that a celebration of that size may not be the right choice during this time and turned to Melissa to reimagine how Sophie and her parents could celebrate safely after her bat mitzvah. Keeping the service on her original date at The Temple, Melissa helped the family create an “on top of the world” movable adventure, with an intimate group of friends joining Sophie to visit multiple open-air spots during the afternoon. Family friends celebrated the next day, at an elegant COVID-safe brunch in their backyard.
A small group of Sophie’s friends were permitted to attend the Shabbat morning service, along with immediate family members. Following the service, the teens were gifted swag bags of logoed sweatshirts, t-shirts, and sweatpants, and invited to change into them. With the small group wearing their coordinated gear, sneakers, and masks, they boarded The Fur Bus to their first destination. The transportation company used a stringent COVID cleaning protocol, worked with Melissa on a socially distanced seating plan, and kept windows open on the vehicle to ensure good air flow during the drives. DJ Rhythm, who had planned to entertain a large party at a traditional event, instead boarded the bus and kept games, music, and fun going throughout the afternoon during travel and at each destination. Immediate family, Melissa, and the Scenesations Photography team followed in their own vehicles.
The first stop was Mellow Mushroom Buckhead, where the teens dined on the covered outdoor patio and staff served them pizza, salad, and drinks. Relatives who followed the Fur Bus in their own vehicles sat at outdoor tables to maintain social distance. The montage, created by mom Casey, was screened for all guests during lunch.
From there, the crew moved on to the rooftop helipad at Ventana’s, where they enjoyed 360 degree views of the city, danced to music by DJ Rhythm, and posed for photos with props including logoed lollipops and magnetic sign boards.
A dessert excursion came next, as the group headed to Four Fat Cows Buckhead for ice cream treats on the expansive patio. DJ Rhythm’s dancers met the party there, where they taught the teens a TikTok dance they performed as a group.
The final celebration stop was Sophie’s house, where the crew took pictures with the yard display created by Sign Greeters.
Sophie’s parents hosted a brunch in their backyard on Sunday morning, with guests invited to arrive at staggered times to ensure plenty of space for small groups of friends to visit.
Décor by Christopher Macksey of Topher Mack set an elegant tone for the adults with exquisite florals and teal table linens. Zest Catering prepared individual brunch boxes matching Sophie’s colors. Each contained a bagel and cream cheese, lox, hardboiled egg, fruit salad, and accompaniments included a Bloody Mary/Mimosa bar serving custom drinks. Individually wrapped black and white cookies served as a sweet finish.
Unusual times require creative solutions! This reimagined celebration created once-in-a-lifetime memories for the bat mitzvah family.
Event Planner: Melissa Miller, MMEvents Atlanta
Logo and Invitations: Robyn Feinberg, RSVP
Sweats and Swag: Suzanne Simkin, Imprint Theory
Photographer/Videographer: Scenesations (AMC Deal: $150 applied to services of your choice)
DJ: DJ Rhythm
Transportation: The Fur Bus
Yard Décor: Sign Greeters (AMC Deal: 10% off Greetings booked before Jan 1, 2021)
Bima and Brunch Décor: Topher Mack
Brunch Catering: Zest
Daytime or evening? While most families still opt for a nighttime soiree, many wonder about the merits of an afternoon Mitzvah celebration when planning the big weekend. There are several advantages to afternoon affairs, and things to consider, when picking your party time:
While many families are postponing celebrations for now, there are many ways to make the day of religious services special for your teen and include family and friends in inventive ways. Here, some of Atlanta’s top mitzvah planners – Tammie Wilson of The Party Girl Events, Marci Miller of The Perfect Day and Amy Ackerman of JDV Occasions share tips and ideas: