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:
- Cost savings. Venues may offer more competitive pricing for afternoon affairs vs. “prime time” when you’d be paying the same amount as wedding clients. As well, lunchtime catering may cost less than dinner offerings.
- Availability of Vendors. Because weddings and other formal affairs are typically held at night, you may find better availability of hard-to-get vendors during daylight hours.
- Eliminate Kiddush Luncheon. When you go right into the celebration, there’s no need for the traditional synagogue Kiddush luncheon. While your temple may still require a fee to cover the regular services attendees who stay for lunch, it will be a small amount.
- Less Liquor Consumption. In our unofficial, completely non-scientific surveys, it appears that guests drink less liquor at daytime events than at nighttime parties, therefore keeping the bar bill lower.
- No Extra Wardrobe Required. Going straight to the celebration means that the Mitzvah family and guests can generally stay in their synagogue attire (although the Mitzvah kid may change!), therefore eliminating the need for additional party clothes.
- Time for an After-Party. With all the formal celebrating out of the way, host families can spend more time with out-of-towners on Saturday evening apart from all the local guests. Many families opt for a casual dinner at the family home, or a laidback leisure activity to promote quality time with visiting relatives.
Also, consider these factors when planning an afternoon event:
- Young guests attending without parents may need transportation from the service to the party venue, if it is at a separate location.
- If a formal atmosphere is important to your Mitzvah kid, consider a venue with interior walls (no windows) so that the room appears just as it would at nighttime.
- The party may end earlier than an evening gathering, because guests may have other daytime obligations or need to relieve a babysitter that has been with children from the start of the service.
- Your “party portraits” timing will need to be scheduled differently since you won’t have the pre-function time to pose as you would at an evening party.
Not sure which way to go? Talk through the options with an experienced planner to point you toward the right time of day for your simcha.