Trend Alert: Casino-Style Bar Mitzvah

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Are you looking to make your Bar or Bat Mitzvah extra fun? How about incorporating a Casino-style Bar Mitzvah theme into your party? We love this idea because it’s a sure-fire way to get all of your guests involved in the action.

Start by setting the tone for your event by selecting the right invitation. We think this invitation is just perfect!

You’ll want to decorate your venue appropriately. Rent archways, pillars and other large props. You can even rent casino equipment in most large cities and before you know it, you’ll have a plain room looking like a casino. If you can, light up a marquee outside the venue with your name on it. Set up gaming tables, slot machines and don’t forget the entertainment. Hire an Elvis impersonator if possible. Your guests will love it!

Dress the wait staff in true Vegas-style attire. Don’t forget to hire professional dealers. You can use chocolate poker chips with your name on them for currency, or create your own funny money. Pictures of your family members may be placed on the different denominations of paper money.

Casino Images

Casino Images

You can even order armbands, visors, boas, hi-hats and roulette-wheel sunglasses for your guests. Add to the party atmosphere by having everyone wear beads with poker chip medallions attached.

For dinner, consider having a buffet. Every casino has one. Have place cards in front of each item on the buffet to let your guests know what they are having. Be creative and give each item a gambling-related name such as “Seeing Green Sea Bass” or “Lucky 7 Salad”. You get the idea.
For dessert, have a giant cake decorated as a slot machine.

A casino-themed party for your Mitzvah is a perfect way to celebrate. With a little pre-planning, you’ll be a high-roller in the eyes of your guests!

Trend Alert: Gourmet Food on Wheels | Gourmet Food Trucks

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Gourmet Food Trucks are the latest fad to hit the Bar and Bat Mitzvah scene. Your guests will realize that you’ve thought of everything when they see one of these trucks arrive outside your venue.

Food Trucks

Food Trucks

These gourmet restaurants on wheels are appearing all over the country and are serving up some mighty fine delectable treats. Is there a considerable amount of time between your ceremony and the reception? Arrange for one of these trucks to be outside your synagogue and send your guests off with gourmet coffee and bakery items such as croissants, scones, muffins, and other scrumptious pastries.

Even though you’ve had a grand dinner at your reception, your guests will surely work up an appetite from all of the dancing they’ll do at your Mitzvah celebration. Don’t let them go home hungry! Have a food truck send your guests on their way with a take-home bag filled with your choice of a parting food item.

You may wonder what other types of food you can serve from a gourmet food truck. We’ve seen everything from Mexican specialties to jumbo salted pretzels to caramel apples. How about build-your-own pitas, French fries, or fried ice cream? Consult with the owner or operator of a food truck for even more ideas.

You can even have larger-than-life posters with your picture placed on the side of the truck. For added fun, have the menu board reflect names of your goodies that represent you. For instance, if your name is Nathan, you could offer Nathan’s Nachos…you get the idea. Most food trucks have speakers that can play your favorite tunes, too.

Your Mitzvah celebration is one that you’ll cherish for your entire lifetime. While you don’t have to mention what you have up your sleeve on your invitations, you can be sure that your guests will love being catered to in such a thoughtful way!

Images courtesy of MitzvahMarket.com

Trend Alert: Mitzvah Programs

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Invitations4Less.com has been assisting families with their Bar and Bat Mitzvah invitations for nearly 20 years now and I have been with the company for almost eight years. One of my favorite parts of the job is assisting families with their Bar and Bat Mitzvah invitations. I am not Jewish so one the things I have enjoyed most is learning the customs and traditions of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. One of the latest trends for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs is a Mitzvah program. Just like one you would receive as you arrive at a wedding ceremony. I love this idea. For the non-Jewish guest, this is excellent way to help them understand the traditions that surround the service and celebration. For the Bar or Mitzvah and their immediate family, it’s a treasured keepsake.

The Bar Mitzvah Program is yours to personalize with prayers and the order of the service. You can also add details such as the history behind becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, along with honoring those that are special in your son’s or daughter’s journey. This is also a wonderful way to share the information about their Mitzvah Project. Below are a few options that have been popular with our customers.

No matter what the celebration, a program adds to a special event by giving guests an intimate understanding of the day’s agenda. It enlightens guests with traditions and customs that surround the day’s festivities and honors those that have made it special.

The Top 5 Bat / Bar Mitzvah Invitation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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Over the years, I have worked with countless Bar and Bat Mitzvah parents who are stressing over their child’s invitations. A Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a meaningful event for every family and everything surrounding this big day should be perfect. But, between the guest list, the wording, the timing, and other details, it’s easy to overlook something. We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 Bar Mitzvah invitation mistakes and how you can avoid them.

 

1. Set a realistic budget for your stationery. When setting your budget, do a little research first. Keep in mind that Bar and Bat Mitzvah Invitations come in a wide variety of styles, and that a complex multi-layer invitation is going to cost more than a simple one. You’ll need to have an idea of how many invitations are needed, and factor in your postage costs when determining what your bottom line will be.

2. Order a sufficient quantity. When ordering, we suggest that you order at least 25 more of everything than you think you’ll need. You’ll be amazed at the last-minute additions you’ll have to your guest list, and having those extras on hand will save you money in the long run because reorders often cost nearly as much as the original order! Plus, don’t forget that you will want a few invitations to keep as mementos.

3. Order a proof of your order. For a small additional cost, you can have a proof of the wording of your order emailed to you. When you receive it, proofread very carefully. In fact, I suggest that you read it out loud to be sure that everything sounds right. Be sure to check all spellings and verify that the date, time, and location all appear correctly. Enlist the help of a friend or two to help you double-check it as well; those extra set of eyes can pick up on details you may have missed.

4. Use the proper postage. When you receive your printed order, assemble one complete set and take it to your local Post Office to be weighed. Purchase the Forever stamps which are good even if postage rates increase.

5. Don’t procrastinate. Your invitations should be mailed six to eight weeks in advance of the Bar Mitzvah. Most of our invitations are received in approximately two weeks from the time you order, but in some instances they may take a bit longer especially if they are produced in Israel or have complex layering. We suggest that you order at least 4 months prior to the event as this will allow you sufficient time not only to receive the invitations, but to address them as well.

I hope that you’ve found this information helpful. The staff at Invitations4Less.com will be happy to assist you with your order. If there’s anything we can assist you with, please Contact Us!

Batter Up for a Baseball-Themed Bar Mitzvah Invitation

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So, your son is growing up to be a huge baseball fan. If he’s anything like my four nephews, he can recite batting averages and statistics without even blinking an eye. It would come as no surprise to anyone if he wanted a baseball-themed Bar Mitzvah.

Start off by sending out our Batter Up Bar Mitzvah invitation to your guests. This exclusive invitation was created by our in-house designer and is available only at Invitations4Less.com! You can even have tickets designed and printed that your guests will need to bring to the party for admittance.

But don’t stop there. Rent turnstiles and have ticket-takes greet your guests at the door. The staff at your event center can be dressed as baseball players or umpires from head to toe. Supply them with stadium boxes that can be filled with bags of peanuts, boxes of popcorn and even Crackerjacks!

Your son may want to dress up as his favorite player. Order baseball cards with his photo and details of his mitzvah on them to pass out as souvenirs. In addition to sporting helium-filled balloons with his name on, you can get personalized pennants to add to the décor.

For decorations, there’s a multitude of ideas available. Assign a MLB team to each table and decorate each in the appropriate colors. For centerpieces, place baseballs inside a large glass cylinder-shaped vase and position small wooden baseball bats around it. Top it off with that team’s pennant in the center.

Use the baseball theme for the cake, too. Have your cake decorator make four square-shaped cakes: one for each base plus home plate. Arrange them appropriately and in place of the pitcher’s mound in the center of the “field” have a cake with your son’s photo placed on it.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading some of our ideas for planning the perfect baseball-themed mitzvah! What other ideas could you imagine incorporating into this theme?

Image Credits:

Invitation: Invitations4less.com
Table cover: mypartyplanner.com
Balloon: Los Angeles Dodgers® and shindigz.com
Centerpiece: n-joyevents.com

Trend Alert: Emerging Trends in Color and Design

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Here at Invitations4Less.com, we love paper! We are continuously searching for new and exciting upcoming trends from respected authorities on color and design. This week, we’ll feature some predictions as reported by Pantone’s TONES newsletter.

Two elements make this invitation one that is sure to get noticed. First, its use of yellows, oranges and greens portray feelings of joy. The circle, a perfect geometric shape, is the “most peaceful shape and represents the human soul,” according to artist Wassily Kandinsky.

Since we are talking about circles, we couldn’t help but include our ever-popular Mod Dots invitation. When we look at this, we just can’t help but think of fun times. To make this invitation even more appealing, we are happy to announce that it is available in an array of alternate colors. Check with customer service for color swatches that can be emailed to you.

What trends are you watching for and incorporating into your celebration? Leave us a comment and we’ll work your thoughts into a future blog post on emerging trends!

Kiddush Luncheon

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At its most basic meaning, Kiddush is the reciting of a blessing over wine or grape juice. On Friday evening and Saturday morning, this ritual is performed to remember and sanctify the Shabbat as the holy day of rest. Synagogues will usually serve light refreshments such as cake and gefilte fish with the Kiddush after Shabbat morning services. But for the occasion of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, the celebrating family will often host a much more extravagant Kiddush event.

Depending on how elaborate of an event you are planning will most likely determine what you would decide to do for the Kiddush. It is no mystery that after sitting through a lengthened service that features speeches by many, most guests cannot wait to move into the social hall. Bar and Bat Mitzvah guests have become accustomed to expect much more than little plastic cups filled with grape juice.

Kiddush luncheons tend to resemble the traditional Jewish brunch, the meal that is also most commonly served to break the fast after Yom Kippur. Sometimes Bar Mitzvah services do not wrap up until close to 1 p.m., and by that time your guests may be ready for a more filling meal. Meat luncheon buffets typically offer deli platters, baskets of challah rolls and rye bread, potato salad and coleslaw, and don’t forget pickles. Hot hors d’oeurves such as mini potato knishes may also be passed around.

When it comes to planning a Kiddush luncheon, it is crucial that you work with your synagogue (know its level of Kosher observance) and your caterer. If you prefer a more formal sit-down luncheon instead of a buffet, make sure your social hall has enough room to seat all your guests. Don’t be afraid to come up with an original menu and your caterer should be flexible to meet whatever your needs and requests may be. The Kiddush luncheon is an integral part of the Bar Mitzvah weekend and you know from the moment some guests step foot in the synagogue, they are already guessing the Kiddush menu.

We Do Hebrew! | Hebrew Wording

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You’ve selected the perfect invitation for your son or daughter’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah, and you’d love for it to include their name in Hebrew. Not every printer can accommodate Hebrew wording on their invitations, but Invitations4Less.com has been providing Hebrew typesetting services for their customers for years!

Ordering Hebrew online might seem a bit overwhelming, but it’s actually quite easy. When you place your order, you’ll be prompted to enter the spelling of the Hebrew wording that you’d like to appear. For instance, the name “David” is spelled like this in Hebrew: daled, vav, daled.

We have several Hebrew fonts that you can select from, or we’ll choose one for you that will look good with your English lettering based on our years of expertise. We can even do full pages of Hebrew copy! You may also add the popular Bayz Hay Hebrew caption which translates to “Blessed be the Lord” to your invitation in the upper right corner.

Once we have the spelling of the Hebrew, our professional Hebrew typesetter will email a proof of the artwork to you for your approval. If you need to make corrections, that’s not a problem. We’ll promptly email you a new proof with the corrections as indicated.

As soon as we have your approval on the Hebrew, we’ll submit your order to the printer for proofing of the Hebrew and English wording together on your selected invitation. You’ll be able to preview online what everything will look like prior to printing the entire order.

The entire staff at Invitations4Less.com will be happy to assist you with placing your order for Hebrew. Contact us today!

Countdown to Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah | Bar Mitzvah Timetable

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Being organized is the key to planning a successful and stress-free Bar or Bat Mitzvah. We’ve compiled a Bar Mitzvah timetable to assist you in what can be an overwhelming undertaking. As you complete each task, check it off and feel free to add in other items that you think will be necessary.

2 Years prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah
– Schedule the date for the Bar or Bat Mitzvah with the Synagogue.
-Decide on the type of celebration you want (day, evening, semi-formal, etc.)
– Set your budget. (Read our tips on Bar Mitzvah budgeting here
– Estimate the number of guests you’ll be inviting.
– Reserve the reception hall, caterer, photographer and videographer.

1 Year prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah
– Book the entertainment which includes the band, DJ, or magician.
– Reserve the photo booth.
– With your child’s input, decide on the party’s theme and/or color scheme.
– Mail Save-the-Date cards or magnets.

6 to 12 months prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah
– Arrange block of hotel rooms for out of guests.
– Begin shopping for your Bar or Bat Mitzvah Invitations.
– Consult a florist about arrangements for the synagogue, the Kiddush table, and for centerpieces.
– Start looking for decorations.

3 to 6 months prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah – Finalize your guest list.
– Order your invitations from Invitations4Less.com and make arrangements to have your envelopes professionally addressed by our in-house calligrapher.
– Start shopping for clothing for the entire family. Boys will need a suit or may also rent a tuxedo. Girls should select an appropriate dress for the synagogue and an additional formal dress for the reception.
– Order personalized yarmulkes.
– Order favors for children and adult guests.

3 months prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah – Make your final selections for clothing, shoes, and accessories.
– Take one complete invitation ensemble to post office to have it weighed.
– Purchase the postage stamps needed for your invitations and reply envelopes.
– Make a hotel packet for out-of-town guests.

6 to 8 weeks prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah
– Mail the invitations.
– Finalize arrangements with the florist.
– Compile list of songs for the DJ or band.

1 month prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah
– Arrange catering for the brunch on the day of the Mitzvah.
– Have fittings and alterations done on clothing as needed.
– Set appointments for hairstylist and manicurist.

2 to 3 weeks prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah
– Choose participants for the honors during the synagogue service.
– Prepare seating arrangements and send to the reception venue.
– Confirm guest count total with caterer.
– Do one final check for the decorations and florist.
– Write prayers, speeches, and toast to be given after the Kuddush.
– Pay synagogue for their services.

1 week prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah
– Have formal photos taken.
– Make transportation arrangements for out-of-town guests.
– Confirm brunch arrangements.

As you cross off each task, you can feel confident that you have everything under control.

We hope you find this Bar Mitzvah timetable useful, and welcome your feedback. For a printable copy of this schedule, click here.

Mazel Tov!

Invitation Assembly

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Your Bar Mitzvah invitation order has arrived and now it’s time to start the process of assembling your invitations and stuffing the envelopes. This process can take some time and you may want to recruit some help.

Here are a few easy guidelines to follow.

The first step you may want to consider is taking a complete invitation ensemble to the Post Office to be weighed and measured. We recommend that all of our customers make a visit to the office for this purpose, just to confirm that the correct postage is applied.

If your Bat Mitzvah invitation has bows or photos that need to be applied, you will want to do that first. If your invitation and enclosure cards require folding, that is the next step.

Now you are ready to stack the items in a particular order. The rule of thumb is to stack the cards in size order. Go ahead a place the invitation on a flat surface, so the writing is face up.

Invitation Assembly Step 1

Invitation Assembly Step 1

Now it’s time for the enclosures. If you have a reception card, it will go on top of the invitation, face up. The respond card and envelope will go top of the reception card. The respond card should be face up, on top of the respond envelope. The flap of the respond envelope should overlap the respond card.

Invitation Assembly Step 2

Invitation Assembly Step 2

Any other enclosures, such as direction or accommodation cards will be added to the stack in size order. All items should be neatly stacked at the bottom of the invitation over the wording. If your invitation includes tissues, they should be placed over the copy of each applicable card.

Now your invitation and enclosures are to be inserted into your envelopes. The fold of the invitation should be inserted into the envelope first. The printing on your invitation and enclosure should face the back (open side) of the envelope. If your invitation ensemble includes single envelopes, then you are done. If your invitations include double envelopes, then you will want to proceed to the next step.

Invitation Assembly Step 3

Invitation Assembly Step 3

Next, the inner envelope is inserted into the outer envelope. The flap of the inner envelope should be facing backwards; the front of the inner envelope should be facing the back flap of the outer envelope.

Invitation Assembly Step 4

Invitation Assembly Step 4

Remember, if your Bar or Bat Mitzvah invitations include double envelopes, then the outer envelope will have your printed return address. If you ordered envelope liners, then the inner envelope will be lined.

As always, all of us at Invitations4less.com wish you the best while planning your Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Mazel Tov!