Twins Jess and Bella became b’not mitzvah together at Congregation B’nai Torah. Proud parents Julie and Craig, and nearly 200 guests, were in attendance.
Following the morning service, the family hosted a Kiddush luncheon at the synagogue, catered by Chef Cary’s Cuisine. In the evening, guests gathered for dinner and dancing. The sisters have attended Camp Barney Medintz for many years and consider it their second home. So, mom Julie planned an evening party that celebrated and elevated the camp experience to a “glamping” theme. Jess and Bella knew only the colors (turquoise and silver) and the general theme, but they were surprised with a big reveal when they walked in the doors to their party!
Because most family members were coming from California and New York, the family chose a hotel venue close to the synagogue so that transportation would be easy: The Westin Atlanta Perimeter North. Guests received information about the venue and the weekend’s events in the invitations, created by Paper Matters.
Atlanta Mitzvah Connection day-of event manager Amy Ackerman worked with Julie and all the weekend’s vendors to keep everyone on track and make the simcha special with thoughtful details. The goal was to create a luxurious outdoor environment, so Let’s Celebrate adorned the ballroom space with large trees covered in twinkle lights, plenty of wooden elements for a natural feel and bistro lights over the dance floor to resemble the stars.
A lighted sign of the girls’ logo, created by Mitzvah Memos, marked the kids’ lounge area. A balloon arch leading into the celebration space incorporated daisies for a touch of wildflowers. At each adult place setting, a letter from camp-style menu card was displayed, giving guests an overview of the menu in a playful way. Each girl had a signature cocktail and mocktail named for them, showing their personalities in a unique way that guests loved.
Adults feasted at stations offering roast chicken, filet mignon and sole filets, soup, salad, roasted vegetables, and an assortment of Italian-style desserts like tiramisu and cannoli. Kids enjoyed New York-style pizza, build-your-own sliders and hot dogs, both with plenty of toppings. For dessert, fresh-baked cookies, brownies and blondies were served with cold plain and chocolate milk.
DJ Neezy got the kids active during the cocktail hour, playing games and teaching dances. The girls made their entry together to the ballroom and a spirited hora included them both going up in chairs at the same time. Once the adults joined the teens on the dance floor, they never got off, according to mom Julie. The energy of the party stayed high all night.
A family friend created the video montage to be screened during the party, and Jess and Bella honored family members and friends during a candle lighting ceremony with wooden logs sectioned to hold each candle. Life on Film Photography captured the evening’s events and provided the green screen, with custom backgrounds for photo entertainment.
Late in the evening adults and teens roasted marshmallows at a s’mores station, the favorite summertime treats of both Jess and Bella. Guests went home with logoed iPhone chargers as party favors.
How did Atlanta Mitzvah Connection help?
Julie attended two AMC Bar/Bat Mitzvah EXPOs and found vendors she loved. “EXPO introduced me to several vendors I didn’t know before, and I used the AMC discounts, which definitely saved money.”
Advice to Other Parents
Get a planner, Julie advises. “They’re fantastic at helping you keep track of the details and thinking of those little things that you may not.” Also, Julie says, try not to reinvent things. “If you see great ideas on Pinterest or at another party you attend, there’s no reason not to use them. You’ll put your own spin on them but save yourself from starting from scratch.”
Get a Deal on some of Jess and Bella’s Vendors
Invitations: Paper Matters
Logo: Mitzvah Memos
Kiddush Catering: Chef Cary’s Cuisine
Day of Planner: JDV Occasions
Décor: Let’s Celebrate
DJ: DJ Neezy
Photography/Photo Booth: Life on Film
Who do you tip? How much should you give? Mitzvah parents wonder about this. A lot. So we went straight to the vendors to ask for their expectations and guidelines when it comes to gratuities.