Updated: Apr 10
A bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah is an important milestone for your son or daughter and a cause for celebration. As a proud parent, you're looking forward to hosting a wonderful event for friends and family, one that your child will remember for years to come.
The secret to a successful mitzvah: planning! It's never too early to start addressing all of the many details that ensure a successful event: venue, theme, food, music and scores of other essentials. While it's all a bit overwhelming, the team at H on the Harbor can help your create a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Choose a date. Advance planning is key to avoiding stress and last minute problems. Many synagogues assign dates two years and sometimes even four years in advance. Set your budget. Without a clear cut budget, it's far too easy to indulge in expensive extras that add up quickly. Stay in control of your finances with spending limits.
1-2 Years Prior
Estimate the number of guests and the style of event. Are you planning a Saturday afternoon mitzvah luncheon or an evening celebration? Consider whether you'll be hosting other weekend events, such as a Friday evening Shabbat or a Sunday brunch. Book the venue and consult on menu planning. Keep your guest of honor and young friends in mind when choosing menu options. At H on the Harbor, our innovative event offerings include teen friendly items like mini tacos, a fry bar, and the Crave Case with disco fries and Frito pies. Have fun with it! Creative sweets like churro nuggets and mini s'more pop tarts are always a hit. Choose a theme. While a theme isn't a necessity, it adds to the fun and definitely makes planning other details like décor, favors and invitations much easier. Consider the guest of honor's interests (sports video games, travel, movies, fashion) or use a theme like winter, princess or tropical to inspire your party planning. Hire entertainment. You'll want to book your band or DJ well in advance, especially during busy event seasons. A great DJ can make or break a party with fun games and giveaways. H on the Harbor's package options include your DJ, MC, giveaways and lit staging. Plan extras like a selfie station with props, a magician or caricature artist.
1 Year Prior
Reserve a block of rooms for out of town guests. Send out save the date cards. It's especially important to give a heads up to your friends and family if your party is scheduled for busy vacation or holiday months and for out-of-town guests who will need to make travel plans. Hire a photographer and videographer.
6 Months Prior
Order invitations, thank you cards, place cards and a guest book or sign-in card. Order party favors. Leave your guests with happy memories and a unique party favor. Popular choices include personalized water bottles, t-shirts or sweatshirts, socks and mugs. Personalized candy wrappers and water bottle labels are nice extras. Plan your décor. Decorations are always the most enjoyable part of any party planning process. Carry out your theme with centerpieces, wall décor, and tablescapes; check out Pinterest, Etsy and other online sites for inspiration. Be sure to keep your venue layout in mind. Order floral centerpieces, balloons and other decorations.
3 Months Prior
Shop for clothing for the guest of honor and his/her family members. Refine your final guest list and include current addresses. Consider setting up a spreadsheet to track RSVPs.
2 Months Prior
Mail invitations. It's helpful to mention the dress code, especially for young guests. Make appointments for hair stylists and manicures
1 Month Prior
Finalize your seating plan and call invitees who haven't yet RSVP'd. Draft a playlist and any Do Not Play list for your DJ. Write out any speeches and toasts, and plan your candle lighting ceremony.
Have fun! You've worked hard to plan the perfect event…time to bask in this proud occasion and enjoy a memorable celebration.
At H on the Harbor, our Bat and Bar Mitzvahs are one-of-a-kind.