Y’all know I’m a Mitzvah mom, too, right?? Years of planning large-scale events, including the Bar & Bat Mitzvah EXPO, gave me plenty of experience in timelines, details and choosing great vendors.
But everything is different when the event is for your own child! Because I’ve been asked by so many parents, here are my big takeaways from planning my most recent child’s bar mitzvah.
Include Your B'Mitzvah Kid in Plans.
Some kids want to be more involved than others, but make sure to bring them in when they really care about elements of the celebration. My son really wanted to choose the green screen backgrounds, the kids’ menu and give his top song list to the DJ.
Don’t Worry about Being Different.
Do what you and your family like! Our party was at a popular Mitzvah venue with a popular theme, a popular DJ and a popular green screen vendor. But it didn’t matter! It was the party we wanted, and we were able to do little things to make it our own, make it memorable, and make it a party we will never forget!
Make it Personal.
Remember, this weekend is all about your teen! Include personal touches that remind him/her that they are the center of attention. We did this by displaying photos of our son playing his favorite sport throughout each celebration space.
Take it All In.
Everybody says it goes so fast. But really, it does! Make time to visit the kids’ area and see how they’re having fun. Dance with your spouse. Hit the photo booth with your friends. At one moment during my son’s party, I took a moment to truly look at all the family and friends surrounding us, and it took my breath away!
Appreciate Your Guests.
Even though you never get to spend as much time with them as you would like, let them know you appreciate them being there. Giving little welcome gifts and writing friends afterward to share a favorite memory of their participation shows how much they mean to you.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.
This is my motto all the time, but especially this weekend. Something will go wrong. Starting with an error I made on the RSVP card to getting my phone number wrong on the hospitality letter (I really need a proofreader!), to a last- minute issue with my favors, things went wrong. I let it go, because we only have one shot at this, people!
Let the Pros Do What They Do.
For a planner, it was especially hard not to micro-manage, but I selected partners I trusted. And you will, too! Afterward, share with them what you loved about the weekend. If you plan to use them again, that goes a long way in maintaining a great relationship in between simchas. On Sunday morning I sent this message to my vendors:
What an incredible weekend. Our guests were treated like royalty at the hotel, our kiddush was wonderful and people were talking all night about the party’s amazing décor, the incredible food, the unbelievable video entrance, the speedy green screen, the best montage, the photographer that was everywhere and the fantastic dj/mc and dancers that kept the party going all night long!! Love you guys. Still can’t feel my feet.
Relive the memories.
Of course, there’s a letdown when it’s over. But you’ve made some amazing memories and it’s fun to rehash every little detail of the weekend with your family and talk about your favorite parts. Then when you get your photos or video, you get to do it all over again!
Of course, every Mitzvah parent who has gone through the process has valuable tips to share, too! Here is some great advice from other Atlanta Mitzvah moms we’ve interviewed in the past year: