As your son or daughter approaches their teenage years, preparations commence for the eagerly awaited coming of age ceremony, their bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah. With many celebrations taking place within the Jewish community, it can often be tricky to know how to stand out from the crowd and throw a unique event. Luckily, we have put together a list of essential pieces of advice for parents approaching this milestone time in their child’s lives to ensure the process remains stress-free and straightforward.
9 Tips and Advice For Parents
Throwing any type of event can be incredibly stressful, and there often seems to be a neverending list of ‘to-dos’ that need to be ticked off. The pressure is often multiplied when the event is to celebrate a huge, cherished moment in your child’s life.
Minimising stress to as little as possible comes with early preparations and a strict plan to follow, so to give you a head start, we have composed a list of our top tips!
Set Your Budget
Of course, your child’s happiness is priceless; however, it can be incredibly easy to lose track of expenses and shock yourself when you are faced with the final total price. First and foremost, draw up a list of all the costs you need to pay for, splitting these into two categories. The first category is things you must have, for example, a venue, catering and entertainment, then the second category for those ideas you would love to incorporate if there is any leftover cash. Always push a small percentage of the budget to one side in case of an emergency.
We suggest purchasing a planner or personal organiser, so you can note everything down in one place and keep on track of spending.
Find The Perfect Location
The venue of your celebration should first be discussed with your son or daughter, would they like a unique location, something simple but well decorated or would they like to throw their party at your synagogue? Once you have come to a joint decision, its time to start researching.
Your ideal location will be nearby to all of your loved ones and guests you would like to invite, which also means plenty of free parking will also be required. It should also be a child-friendly venue with all ages welcome during the day and in the evening, so you have more flexibility in terms of how long the party will go on for.
Photo credit to Choco Studio Photography – San Francisco Bat Mitzvah Photography.
Decide On A Theme
Throughout the years it has become more and more popular to opt for a unique, less traditional bar or bat mitzvah theme. Theme ideas are simply limited by the imagination, and even the most extraggivant visions can be made into a reality.
Your chosen theme needs to reflect the interests, hobbies or passion of your child, and although it may seem an additional hassle initially, having a set party theme does make the rest of your planning considerably easier. All other aspects of the party including decorations, food and invitations can all be tailored to the theme, and you can waste no time in purchasing bits and bobs.
For some inspiration, head over to our previous article on 9 bar-bat mitzvah party theme ideas!
Photo credit to The View on the Hudson.
Send Out RSVP’s Early
Similarly to throwing any event, the earlier you send out bar and bat mitzvah invitations, the more likely your guests will be able to attend. If guests know in advance the date, location and time of the party, they are able to plan in advance factors such as transport, outfits and even childcare if necessary.
Not only does early RSVP’s benefit your guests, but also you as the party planner. Once you have a rough idea on the number of people you will be catering for, it will be easier to plan food, drinks and seating arrangements.
Opt For A Buffet
Throwing a party involving a large group of children and teenagers often means that you will be faced with your fair share of fussy eaters. The best approach to fussy diners is to always opt for buffet style catering, so guests can help themselves to as much or as little food as they please.
Buffet food is also a lot easier to prepare than a three-course meal and can be prepared ahead of time. For over 100 delicious kosher buffet and appetiser food recipes, head over to All Recipes.
Entertainment is vital for throwing a party that all guests will remember for years to come, and your chosen option needs to appeal to all age groups that will be attending.
Booking bar and bat mitzvah photo booth hire is an excellent entertainment choice that all guests will love. Memories can be made, and keepsakes can be taken home to remember the special celebration. There is a range of different booths to choose from, all of which can be individually tailored to your theme of choice. Your unlimited printouts can be personalised with the name of your child and the date of the occasion.
Arrange Party Favours
At most bar and bat mitzvahs, party favours are only given to the younger guests to take home and enjoy. If the celebration holds a specific theme, ensure that all favours reflect this theme and are personalised to your child. It will make them feel extra special if all of their friends and family have a gift to remember their milestone moment. Cool Party Favors and Beau Coup have a fantastic selection of bar and bat mitzvah favours, all of which can be custom-made.
Photo credit to Beau Coup.
Cater For Guests Travelling In
Making arrangements and catering for guests who are travelling to your event from out-of-town or overseas is not essential, however, would be greatly appreciated.
If you have several family members or close friends who do not live nearby, it may be worth reserving several rooms in a local hotel just in case they require accommodation, and you do not have room for them to stay at your home. Most hotels allow their guests to pay on the day meaning you can make the reservation on their behalf and they can pay when they arrive. Free cancellations are also available, so rooms can be reserved in advance and cancelled if they are no longer needed.
Prepare Your Speech
Last but not least, its time to prepare your heartfelt speech to congratulate your son or daughter on entering their teenage years. You can take a funny or emotional approach to your speech or attempt to achieve a perfect mix of both. Either way, this is the moment to show how proud you are of all they have achieved and the bright future they have ahead, so make it count!