Planning your child’s bar/bat mitzvah party


Your child’s bar/bat mitzvah is a big occasion, here is our simple step by step guide to help you plan the perfect event.

More than 1 year in advance:

  • Draft your guest list to get an idea of the number of people you will be inviting (this will help you choose the right size venue).
  • Decide on the style of the event to suits your child and budget.
  • Get lots of advice and recommendations from relatives who have planned similar events.
  • Get plenty of quotes from potential caterers, photographers, entertainers, venues, and party planners.

At least 10 Months Before:

  • Book your venue, band or DJ, caterer, and photographer/videographer.
  • If you are going to have a theme or colour scheme for the event, confirm this now to help in related decisions.
  • Think about booking several rooms at a nearby hotel if necessary.
  • Send out a save-the-date card. This is especially important if your event is over a bank holiday weekend or you have people travelling from far afield.

6-8 Months Before:

  • Set up a spreadsheet of your guest list showing current addresses, this will help you to keep track of RSVPs, presents received, and when thankyou notes are sent.
  • Select and order invitations, thank you notes, and personalized kippot.
  • Choose and order centrepieces, decorations, and party favours.
  • Organize photos for a video montage or sign-in board if required.
  • Plan any other events for the bar/bat mitzvah weekend, such as a Friday evening Shabbat dinner or a Sunday brunch.

3 Months Before:

  • Finalize menu, centrepieces, and decorations.
  • Shop for clothing for all family members. (Wait until one month beforehand to have a growing boy’s suit tailored.)

2 Months Before:

  • Post invitations.
  • Create a timeline for the event that includes formalities, entertainment, and food service times. Coordinate and share these with the entertainers and caterers.
  • Make pampering appointments – hairdressers and manicurists etc.
  • Make a playlist as well as a do-not-play list for the DJ if there are songs you and your child would not want to be played.

bar mitzvah

1 Month Before:

  • Reconfirm all service providers and the time they are expected to arrive; discuss any special instructions, for example, give a list of photographs you want taken to make sure the photographer gets them.
  • Create a seating plan as RSVPs arrive. Call anyone you haven’t heard from.
  • Coordinate a rehearsal time with your synagogue.
  • Write speeches and toasts.

1 Week Before:

  • Confirm final numbers with your caterer.
  • Drop off the seating plan and place cards at the venue.
  • Take formal family pictures in the synagogue.

All that is left is to Relax and enjoy this special time with your child, family, and friends!

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