Brandon became a bar mitzvah at Gesher L’Torah and then celebrated with friends and family at Atlanta Event Center at Opera.
Brandon plays both electric guitar and saxophone and is a fan of classic rock music. His celebration theme encompassed his love of rock and roll and his initials, BIG. Guests were in for a BIG TIME! A logo, created by a family member with professional graphic design experience, set the tone for the weekend, starting with invitations ordered through the Congregation Beth Shalom gift shop (along with his tallit and kippot for guests.)
At Atlanta Event Center at Opera, the unique venue’s vibe lends itself well to a music party theme. Decorations by Eventscapes included illuminated electric guitar centerpieces and hanging vinyl records and a brick graffiti wall entrance flanked with giant guitars displayed a poster of Brandon’s logo. Instead of a sign in board or book, guests signed their messages to him on a guitar, and left cards and gifts in a guitar case.
DJ Mello of Atlanta Fever Entertainment got the kids engaged during cocktail hour with Brandon trivia, a dance contest and more interactive games. Adults enjoyed drinks and appetizers, like smoked tilapia tacos with Margarita shooters in mini Patron bottles and teriyaki sesame beef skewers. Once all the guests entered the main party space, Brandon’s grandfathers said the prayer over the challah and it was time to eat, drink and dance!
Adults enjoyed a sushi station, pasta and salad station and a main entrée buffet with steak, chicken, vegetables, potatoes and a selection of sauces. Kids chowed down on chicken tender “shots” served in glasses with ketchup, barbecue sauce or honey mustard for dipping, California rolls, tater tots, mini pizzas and sliders, and a pasta bar.
For dessert, a cookie skillet station paired fresh baked treats with toppings, alongside shot glass desserts like chocolate mousse and apple cobbler. Passed edible chocolate shot glasses for adults served Bailey’s Irish Cream.
Brandon’s unique entrance showcased his musical chops, as he played the opening guitar riff to Living Colour’s hit “Cult of Personality” behind the screen onstage. As the song moved from intro to words, he popped out for his big reveal, and was greeted by confetti cannon blasts and guest waving glow sticks!
“Atlanta Fever orchestrated it perfectly,” said mom Wendi. “Cathy (Schwartz) is terrific at getting the party details organized and Mello is amazingly talented and makes sure everyone has a blast. This is our second bar mitzvah with him and he feels like part of the family!”
Brandon’s montage, created by Blue Orchid incorporated the theme in creative ways. Each section tied in to rock music with Brandon as the star, his family as the back-up band, his friends as the entourage, and more. “Ella wowed our guests with the montage,” Wendi said. “She made it creative beyond what I imagined it could be.” The family also used Blue Orchid for videography and found them great to work with.
Scenesations captured the evening and provided the green screen photo entertainment, with special backgrounds related to the theme and Brandon’s home away from home, Camp Barney. Mello also played a song that is a favorite with “Barney kids” that got line dancing on the dance floor together.
“I was so proud of all Brandon accomplished becoming a bar mitzvah and had a great time enjoying all of our favorite people in one place,” said Wendi.
Guests went home with decorated (and delicious!) logo cookies by The Cookie & Cake Factory and personalized guitar picks.
After the weekend, Wendi said guests raved about the venue and the inventive food, the energetic DJ and the fun green screen experience.
How Atlanta Mitzvah Connection Helped
“I attended every Bar & Bat Mitzvah EXPO from when I first got our date,” Wendi said. She found most of her vendors there and reached out to Shelly with questions during planning.
Advice to Parents
“Plan early,” Wendi said, “Be prepared for a few things to go wrong, because nothing is perfect!” Once the weekend arrives, she said, enjoy the moment, be so proud of your teen and soak it all in.
Get a Deal on some of Brandon’s Vendors:
Invitations/Kippot/Tallit: Congregation Beth Shalom Gift Shop
Cookie Favors: Cookie & Cake Factory
DJ/Musical Entertainment: Mello with Atlanta Fever
Montage/Videography: Blue Orchid Productions
Photography/Green Screen: Scenesations