Summer 2020 To-Dos: Logos, Montage and Invitation Planning

You may be still deciding when your family will hold a bar mitzvah party, based on ever-changing health reports and governmental guidance. But there are still several things you can do right now so that you’re better prepared when it’s time to celebrate your teen’s big day.

Planning Tools & Tips

Logo Creation

Working on your logo in advance of all other elements helps you start with a look, feel and color palette for décor later. Jen Leitman of Mitzvah Memos shared some recent logos she’s designed for mitzvah kids (images on this page), ranging from composed and classic to bright and free form. She notes that she has worked with several families who have had to change their bar mitzvah date, and she updates the design free of charge. She expects more may postpone their dates and it should not be a barrier to starting your design project. As long as the logo design stays the same, she’s happy to send new files with a revised date.

Montage Photo Selection

Pam Vexler of Spotlight Productions notes that whether the party is for 50 guests or 250 guests, most Mitzvah families will still want to show a montage at their party. The montage shows the love, family and friendships that have made a huge impact on the bar or bat mitzvah. Pam notes that this is a great time to book a montage partner and start going through the photo selection process. She offers these tips for collecting montage photos:The best timing for a montage is between 9-13 minutes, so you’ll want to end up with the amount of photos that can be shown in that timeframe, about 90-120.

  • The best way to begin gathering/organizing your montage photos is to create a file on your computer called “Montage pictures.” Then, start dragging (copying) your very favorite photos into the folder.  Even if you only copy your very favorite photos, you will most likely still need to reduce the number of photos that make your final list.  
  • Chronological vs. Categories:  Both options are a great way to show your montage.  The biggest “pro” for a chronological montage is that the guests do not know which type of picture will show next, keeping their attention (even more!) during the viewing.  The biggest “pro” for a category montage is that when you are deciding which pictures to include, it is easier to determine if you are being equal/fair to different sets of relatives, friends, etc.
  • Look for photos that show the personality of your child and show the love of your family. Omit the photos that are not good quality even though they may have a great memory attached to them.
  • Look for horizontal photos because they take up the whole montage screen and they’re more rare because smart phone pictures are usually vertical. It’s good to have both to mix up formats.  
  • Make sure all of your “important people” are represented in your pictures (grandparents, cousins, step-relatives, friends, etc.) and that both sides of the family are equally/fairly represented.
  • Try to locate high-quality photos. But if your only shots of a very important person aren’t great resolution, that’s okay. Your montage professional can work with them.
  • It’s always a good idea to use a few “green screen” photos of your child with their friends from prior bar/bat mitzvahs. (You’ll get a great reaction from the kids!)

Spotlight Productions has also recently added a TikTok effect for video clips to appear as they would in the app. Actual TikTok videos can also be included in a montage.

Ella Szczupak of Blue Orchid Productions agrees with using some summer downtime to sort and select photos. Her company is introducing a new element to projects that seems especially fitting in this new time of social distancing. “We’ve found that there are always a few really close family members or friends that just won’t be able to attend the actual event, even though they’d really like to celebrate the bar mitzvah,” Ella noted. Blue Orchid works with those guests to record brief messages or stories, and then weaves those cameos into the montage. When possible, they edit the stories from different people together to build a montage that doesn’t just show the evolution of the bar or bat mitzvah through the years, but also tells a story that draws guests in emotionally.

“These cameo additions have been such a huge hit with wedding couples and their families that we knew they would make our bar and bat mitzvah montages even more meaningful.”

Invitation Designing

This is a great time to look at invitation samples and determine what your invitation package will look like. If you haven’t selected invitations yet, but you have your date, plan for your suite to include a “coronavirus card.” Robin Zusmann of Paper Matters has worked with many families to incorporate an inclusion card that requests best contact information for reaching guests in case of changes.

If your invitations have gone out, but you determine that you’ll need to postpone the celebration, send out a supplemental card that coordinates with your original design and colors. Robin offers suggested wording for this situation below:

We are writing to inform you

that John’s Bar Mitzvah

has been moved due to recent events

to Saturday, the eighth of October

so we can celebrate without current restrictions

we wish you good health

in the coming months!

She also notes that as of last week, you can no longer get custom postage for invitation mailings. Envelope color, logo or imprinted name are all options for branding the outside of the envelope rather than by stamp.

If you’ve got more questions about what’s next for planning check out the recap of our Zoom panel discussion with multiple Mitzvah vendors, all ready to help your family!