Planning an unforgettable Bar Mitzvah won’t be a difficult task if you’re an experienced party planner. But most of don’t arrange celebrations at a professional level, so it’s a good idea to get plenty of advice before you start..
Luckily, we haveall the tips you need to make your son’s Bar Mitzvah a fabulous occasion. So, get your planner out, and let’s get down to it:
How many people will be at the event? Have the honoree make a list ofeveryone they want to be there. Get him involved with the planning because as a young man who’s coming of age, this is also an excellent way for him to feel responsible, too.
You’ll also need to consider any plus-ones, so adjusting for extra attendees who might come is an essential way to avoid social blunders.
Now that you’ve settled on the names, you know who to send modern Bar Mitzvah invitations to. Going old-school by sending them out through post might work for grandparents and traditionalists, but it isn’t exactly quick or eco-friendly.
You can make everything easier by using online invitations. RSVP tracking is the best way to manage attendees. Of course, it is possible to use Facebook to arrange an event, but the problem is that not everyone might be active on social media. Using an electronic invitation service is a better alternative, as you’ll have access tobeautifully-designed invites and the ability to track attendees efficiently.
However, we can’t finish the invitations until we get settled on the venue and other details. So, let’s move on to the next step.
- Choosing a theme
The theme should depend on the preferences of honoree. Being thirteen, they’re probably excited about it and have already imagined the event in their head. So, talk to them about it, and pay attention!
Based on what they want, you can probably come up with a color theme for decorations. Color themes are essential to keep the decorations tied together. It’s also going to look amazing when things are all set.
Gifts are essential in a Bar Mitzvah. Here’s an idea, you can ask the honoree to come up with a list of things he would like to receive. Talk it out with some of the attendees through a group e-mail or chat box to see who wants to gift the specific item. This way, there will be no duplicate gifts. Attendees planning to bring a sweet gift can find plenty of kosher candy choices. And if anyone plans to give money, the traditional amount should be in increments of 18 or Chai in Hebrew, which means life.
The most important thing you need for an event is a venue. There are countless great places for holding parties, and it all depends on how many people are going to the Bar Mitzvah. If you’re set on holding it in the synagogue, be sure to plan ahead and book in plenty of time. The same goes with other sites you have in mind.
Another factor you need to consider is distance. Somewhere accessible to most attendees would be a good idea. Also, extra parking spaces is very helpful for those who will be driving.
Planning transportation would also be a good idea in case some of the guests need to be driven. We wouldn’t want any attendees left behind!
Some guests might not be familiar with the area. If you haven’t planned it out correctly, they could bombard you with text messages and calls on the actual day of the Bar Mitzvah. Avoid this mishap and use an RSVP tracker that is integrated with Google Maps.
- Dress code
A dress code is essential for any occasion, so make sure to indicate this in the invitation. At a Bar Mitzvah, everyone is expected to dress modestly. Suits or slacks and ties for men, and a pantsuit or smart dress for women.
For the honoree, a well-fitting suit will be great. But the most important thing to remember is his first tallit. You can opt to use the parent’s first tallit, but it all depends on your son and what he would prefer. After all, making decisions is a key part of growing up.
Of course, we can’t forget his yarmulke. It would be nice to get a custom yarmulke for such a special occasion.
- Practicing Torah Trope
This is important for any Bar Mitzvah. The Torah can be challenging to read if a young man does not already speak Hebrew; add the length and melody, and you’ve got yourself a very stressed-out teenager. Help him prepare early and get a tutor to assist until he’s completely confident.
- Writing a D’var Torah
This part of the ceremony is crucial because it’s the honoree’s speech. There’s a lot of pressure to deliver a memorable address, so helping him through the process is a great way to show your support.
Here are additional tips to help him out:
- Choose a subject
- Research it thoroughly
- Brainstorm ideas around it
- Deliver it as a narrative or a story
- Conclude with action
- Type and edit it according to the time allocated
- Write it down on cue cards
- Practice, practice, practice!
- Go into the speech with confidence
- Getting a Rabbi for the ceremony
A rabbi is integral to the whole occasion! If you plan to have the Bar Mitzvah at a synagogue, the rabbi and cantor will already be part of it. But for other venues, you’ll need to hire a rabbi. Meet with the rabbi and discuss the ceremony with them, and ask for advice – they’re the experts! You can also ask them to check and make sure that the honoree’s outfit and accessories are just right. If you’re worried if anything else is amiss, it won’t hurt to ask.
- Food and beverages
If you plan to have many guests, enlisting the help of food or catering services might be the best approach. Make sure to have adjustments for the number of guests, so that everyone can grab a plate! The type of food will depend on what the honoree prefers and the food that the family likes.
Of course, for every Jewish family, you would expect some family members to bring their specialties, so you might want to ask any aunts, uncles, grandmas, and grandpas if they’ll be preparing their best recipes.
If you plan to serve alcoholic beverages, you’ll need to make sure that the venue has a liquor license. It’s best to consider this when you’re deciding which platform to choose.
After the ceremony comes the party, and you’ll need to liven it up with entertainment! Music is the perfect accompaniment to your celebration, and you can choose to have a band or a DJ. Be sure to book them as early as possible to make sure that they’re available.
We’ll let you in on a secret; early planning is the most important aspect of planning a Bar Mitzvah. Preparing each detail like decorations and meals, you will be under a lot of pressure, so rushing isn’t an option. Besides, it’s best if you’re prepared for any mishap that could happen. For example, if the catering services unexpectedly cancel, you’ll need to have ample time to find a back-up plan.
It might seem intimidating now, but it’ll be worth it on your son’s Bar Mitzvah day. Good luck!