1. Date of Mitzvah:
Set the date and times of the weekend and reserve it with the Rabbi. Morning Shabbat ceremony or evening Havdalah service, should be around birthdays or special family occasions.
2. Budget and Event:
Budget is very important, no need to go into debt. Do not base the celebration on what others are doing. If you need help contact a planner. They can inform you of the latest prices in the area. Here on the site we are providing an honest assessment of the highs and lows. Keep the guest list down to family and close friends of your son or daughter. Friends of the kids should be most important, often friends for life...
This can make or break the party.
Bands seem lately to be taking a second seat to DJs. An experienced DJ is a perfect choice. You should book one as soon as you have the party date locked down.The good ones go fast.
Some kids at this age are not into dancing (especially boys) Girls on the other hand love to dance if possible try to even out the number of boys and girls. You may also consider bringing in a few Mitzvah dancers. These are usually older teens or college kids that stay on the floor the entire event teaching and dancing with the kids.
Prizes and contest giveaways are also a nice idea. Inexpensive lighted rings, necklaces, finger tips, glasses etc. May seem like junk but the kids love it. There is a wholesale link here on the site. Also you may ask the DJ what other ideas they may have, make sure to discuss the candle lighting (if there is one) and the hora. Unlike weddings timelines are not a priority but its nice to discuss the events you have in mind.
4. Venue and Catering:
Celebration location is entirely up to you. Hotels, restaurant, clubs, party venues, homes etc.
A morning ceremony may need a Kiddush or luncheon. Luncheons can be a bit more cost effective with no consideration of providing alcohol. If this is your choice.
Often luncheons are planned for family and friends and the kids have their own party that evening. Just another cost consideration option. If opting for an evening dinner event contrary to popular belief a seated dinner is usually more cost effective than a buffet option in most hotels.
A. Get set price per person for the menu.
B. Don't forget about gratuity, sales tax, parking, AV, linens, rentals, dance floors, security and any other hidden charges.
C. Be Responsible! Don't take chances, no child should leave the venue without a parent or guardian coming in to pick them up. You may want to have an established door person as the event comes to a conclusion.
5. Invitations and Yarmulkes:
Invitations should always be mailed not emailed. Ceremony invitations should stay on the formal side. This is the first announcement of your Simcha (affair).
The party or celebration invite can be different and fun, maybe incorporate the theme of the celebration. mailing them together is perfectly acceptable. Make sure to include a stamped self addressed envelope. The response card's only purpose is to confirm attendance and head count. Out of town guests should be mailed out six weeks prior, in town guests four weeks prior.
Check with your temple before Yarmulkes are ordered, rules may vary. Satin, suede or leather. Satin looks great and is priced sensibly.
Themed parties are still the most popular. Balloons combined with centerpieces are currently the norm. Load up with color to create a WOW! factor upon entering the room. Flowers are still used for girls at times but can really take a hunk out of the budget. Sign in Boards are still used with pictures and LED lights. A fun and affordable option. You may also consider the kiddos name strung across the top of the dance floor with balloons and blinking LEDs. There are many more ideas in the vendor area to follow.
Cakes are a great idea, they can cut down the cost of dessert.
A nice touch..
Plan a Friday night Shabbat dinner or a Sunday brunch. Take advantage of the time spent with family.