A Bar Mitzvah (for boys) and a Bat Mitzvah (for girls) is a coming of age in the Jewish community. Traditionally boys hold their Bar Mitzvah at the age of 13. Girls have their Bat Mitzvah a year earlier at 12 for more conservative Jews. For reformed Jews this occurs at 13.

The entire journey is transitioning responsibility for one’s action from the parents to the child. Many congregations require pre–bar mitzvah children to attend a minimum number of Shabbat prayer services at the synagogue, study at a Hebrew school, take on a charity or community service project, and maintain membership in good standing with the synagogue.

The bar or bat mitzvah ceremony is usually held on the first Shabbat after their birthday. Many families crate a special event to celebrate the occasion and we want to ensure that parents have a checklist of what to consider for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

Checklist For Parents Planning A Bar or Bat Mitzvah

Start Planning by Brainstorming

Photo: William Iven

While many kids have attended similar parties, this doesn’t mean your party will be the same. I always recommend breaking up planning into phases to remove as much stress as possible.

In the first phase, parents should identify what they want to see at their kid’s party and have a good idea of the type of venue. When brainstorming I recommend setting an initial timeline. You know what is required at the party so decide when each thing needs to happen.

Once you have created your wish list with timeline, then it’s time to schedule these actions out. One thing our clients love about a timeline is that you are only allowed to focus on the action items with the shortest deadline verses focusing on everything that doesn’t need your attention.

Here’s an example of a few things to focus on when starting your planning process

  1. How many people are coming?
  2. What is your color palette?
  3. What type of food do you want and do you want food stations?
  4. How will your son or daughter arrive?
  5. Will there be any special guests or performances?

Once you have your key items, it becomes really easy for you to separate what needs your immediate attention like booking Pitbull before someone else does.

Select Your Bat or Bar Mitzvah Venue

Checklist For Parents Planning A Bar or Bat Mitzvah The Showroom DC

I do not recommend picking your perfect DC venue before you have completed the above step. You can have a incredible looking venue, but that venue may not meet the requirements of your band or something else.

Get as much details about your venue and be sure to ask them about their catering costs – if they have any. I also recommend asking for pictures to help give you an idea of ways to decorate your space. Please don’t let pictures substitute going to the venue to actually walk through the space.

Customize your Bat or Bar Mitzvah

Checklist For Parents Planning A Bar or Bat Mitzvah Andrew Roby Event Design

Once you have taken care of all of the big details (venue, food, other high priority things) you should start customizing your mitzvah. I intentionally left out customization during the brainstorming phase because I think it was too early. Customizing any event should always occur after you have booked your venue.

You can have the most incredible ideas, but that doesn’t mean your venue can support that idea. Maybe the ceilings are too short. Maybe they don’t allow fog machines. There are so many things that could go wrong with a bad DC venue and is why I save this for now.

Customizing your event is what sets your mitzvah apart from all the others you have attended. I look at customization in two key categories:

  • Experience. During the brainstorming phase you outlined actionable things that will take place during your party. Now it’s time to really explore those wants and figure out how that will reflect on guests. If you son or daughter is having a big entrance how will that happen and how will your guests be a part of that? Parties should never be a venue, food, and drink environment forcing guests to create their own experiences.

  • Design. We are all visual people and when we attend an event we want to be taken into a different world. Ask your daughter or son what they want to see in design. Maybe they want a stage with a platform in their favorite football team logo. They might have a favorite comic book that they want to design their party around. Whatever their favorite items are should help mold the event design.

TIP: When customizing your event be sure to consider your food and beverage. Your bartenders and chefs can create some of the most unique things to your liking. You do not have to settle for the standard menus.

Execute Your Hard Work

Checklist For Parents Planning A Bar or Bat Mitzvah Photo Ben Konfrst

After months of planning it is time to put all of that into action. I’m hoping you have an Event Planners (hopefully us) to help your day of management. Here are some key things to make sure you include:

  1. Have a variety of seating for all age groups
  2. Have food and drinks to accommodate all. Parents will want a bar.
  3. Make sure your guest of honor practices any speeches, says thank you, and is calm
  4. As the parent, enjoy yourself and let your team of experts handle everything.

Are you in need of a DC Event Planner to plan your upcoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah? Complete our questionnaire and let us get started today.