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The Plans

Twins Emerson and Kenzie worked for months to prepare for their bat mitzvah service. Proud parents Jordana and Kevin saw the girls’ efforts pay off as they led services at The Temple for nearly 200 family and friends.

To celebrate their accomplishment, an evening party was designed to highlight each of the girls’ personalities and shared love of whimsy and glam. What started with a winning ticket at the Bar & Bat Mitzvah Expo for a consult with JDV Occasions resulted in an atmospheric crystal candy forest celebration that was as unique as the guests of honor.

Celebration Details

While attending the Mitzvah Expo as a family, Emerson and Kenzie were drawn to the candy display at the JDV Occasions booth. It seemed like a sign when mom Jordana won a door prize of a complimentary consultation with JDV’s owner, Amy Ackerman. “I hired her before the end of the meeting!” Jordana said. “Although I’ve had lots of experience planning events,I wanted to focus on a fresh vision for my girls and Amy had so many terrific ideas.” Amy and Jordana brainstormed not a theme, but instead a vibe. Combining the girls’ love of pink, sparkle, and everything sweet with their vibrant attitudes and appreciation of whimsy, they arrived at the intersection of sophisticated confections and glamour.


Once they toured Southern Exchange, they knew that was the right venue. The white ballroom was a clean slate, with gorgeous “bones” and shimmering chandeliers. Two stories allowed for multiple areas to give adults and kids their own spaces, but ample room to be together as well. To set the décor tone,Mitzvah Memos created a pink and gold monogram logo. Variations of the logo were used on everything from invitations by Paper Matters to photo backdrops, lounge area pillows, dance floor decals, the DJ booth, and favor tumblers.

JDV Occasions managed all the weekend’s events, from décor vision to themed menus to vendor coordination.

Weighted confetti-filled balloons by Balloonacy  served double duty, livening up the Kiddush luncheon at The Temple, and then, once transferred, lining the pink-carpeted entrance to the evening celebration space.

Your Event Solution (YES) provided an upscale, glamorous take on a candy theme. Guests were dazzled by tree branches dripping with rock candy and glittering crystals, pink sequin-wrapped columns, atmospheric candelabras nestled in cotton candy and beautiful seating and lounge areas in pink, gold and glowing white. LED dining tables were covered by custom pink rock candy graphic wraps, and photographs of the girls were part of centerpieces that embodied the enchanted candy forest theme.

YES custom-built the photo booth with pink mylar backdrop and crystal and rock candy draped trees. Guests posed for pics with the creative team at Button It Up , who printed logoed pictures for guests behind gold pipe and drape.

Corryn Lytle

Corryn Lytle

“Fever always brings it!” said Jordana. Mello with Atlanta Fever Entertainment kept the dance floor full for the entire party. The combination of the MC and DJ getting everyone involved, the friendly dancers, and the component of saxophone and bongos playing live along with the music made for a dynamic vibe. The Fever crew even wore shirts with Emerson and Kenzie’s logo on them. “So many of our guests raved about our entertainers,” she said. During the cocktail hour, adult guest enjoying beverages and bites upstairs could look down on the fun below, with kids engaged in a snowball dance and other party games. Each bat mitzvah girl danced with both her father and older brother, switching partners during the song. Then, all dads and daughters were invited to join them on the dance floor.  “Our hora was just awesome, with so many people participating.” Jordana notes that close friends made sure the girls’ relatives got into the center of the hora, so that they could form the inner circle.

Note from Shelly: If you have a pal who knows the grandparents, aunts and uncles, have them escort close relatives into the hora center so they don’t miss out on the fun!

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Guests dined on food prepared by Proof of the Pudding, including fried chicken and waffles, mac and cheese with toppings, tacos and fajitas, and beet salads. All menu items had fun names, like Southern Belles and Twin it to Win it. The cocktail menu included signature drinks for adults and mocktails for the kids named Double Trouble (sparkling cider and cotton candy garnish) and The Perfect Pair (Sprite, rock candy and edible gold flakes.)

Late in the evening, gold curtains parted to reveal a lavish dessert station. Featuring Proof of the Pudding’s donut bar and a color-coordinated sweets buffet by Ash Sweet Creations, selections included logoed lollipops, Rice Krispie treats, and other goodies, all displayed on an illuminated table with gold candelabra accents.

SEAV provided extensive lighting for the party and Katherine Anne Photographs captured images from synagogue rehearsal to the celebration. (Additional photos provided by Corryn Lytle for JDV Occasions.)

“I wouldn’t have changed anything,” said Jordana. “These vendors all brought their A game, all the way.”

How did Atlanta Mitzvah Connection Help?

Jordana and the girls attended the Mitzvah Expo, getting inspiration, doing research, and finding vendors they could meet with and do a chemistry check with on the spot. Getting to see vendors in action helps a great deal. “We were wowed by what Your Event Solution (YES) did at the Expo with the themed lounge spaces, so we knew they could deliver for us. And they did!” And of course, winning an Expo door prize helped the family find their planner in JDV Occasions!

Advice to other Parents

“The celebration is for your kids, but honor the things that are important to you, too” advised Jordana. “Make sure you find vendors that work with your personality. If you don’t vibe with them, it’s likely not the right fit!” And, she adds, hiring a planner makes a huge difference in enjoyment of the weekend, keeping the focus on what the milestone is all about.

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Get a Deal on some of Emerson’s and Kenzie’s Vendors

Event Planner: JDV Occasions Get complimentary Shabbat dinner coordination with a full service Mitzvah package ($500 value.)

Décor: Your Event Solution Get $500 in complimentary linens; minimums apply.

DJ: Atlanta Fever Entertainment Get an extra crate of assorted giveaways or a Neon City package ($250 value.)

Invitations and Printed Goods: Paper Matters Get 20% off invitations and 50 free personalized napkins with an invitation and napkin order.

Balloons: Balloonacy Get complimentary upgrades on 15 or more Kiddush Centerpieces AND 10% off Orders of $400 or more!

Photo Booth: Button It Up Get a complimentary social media package ($100 value), a custom step and repeat Mitzvah logo green screen background ($50 value) and your choice of custom green screen backgrounds from Adobe Stock ($50 value.)

Logo: Mitzvah Memos Get 10% off your logo/website package.

Venue: Southern Exchange Get 25% off room rental, blackout dates may apply.

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