Dream a Little Theme | Bar Mitzvah Themes

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Working your celebration around a theme is an easy way to make sure the entire event is cohesive. When choosing a theme for your Bar or Bat Mitzvah it is best to pick something that can be easily incorporated into your overall atmosphere, including: decorations, invitations, food, music, favors, dress and games or other entertainment. Here are some popular theme ideas for your party.

– Hollywood Theme
– Broadway Theme
– Sports Theme (Baseball, Basketball, Football, Volleyball, etc.)
– Candyland Theme
– Dr. Suess Theme
– Rock Star Theme
– Retro Theme (50’s, 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s)
– Hawaiian Luau Theme
– Israel Theme
– Green or Eco-Friendly Theme

One of my favorite themes has to be “Red Carpet Glam”. You will ask your guests to dress up in their fanciest clothing and then literally roll out the red carpet. Add movie-themed posters and props, complete with silver and gold accessories. You could even have an awards ceremony showing a DVD of clips or photos from your child’s life.

If that’s not for you, how about a Las Vegas themed party? Casino tables and magicians can provide the entertainment with decorations ranging from playing cards to roulette wheels.

Or if nothing else you can always just go with a color theme. For instance, with girls you can never go wrong with pink (feathers, butterflies, or flowers) with pink treats to match (hearts, etc.).

There are so many options for a themed Bar/Bat Mitzvah event and you can always use these useful concepts to help choose a theme that may work best for your son or daughter:
– Favorite Place
– Favorite Hobby
– Favorite Time Period
– Favorite Color
– Favorite Pop Culture
– Favorite Invitation

Have you already chosen the theme for your upcoming Bar / Bat Mitzvah Celebration? Tell us about it!

A Visit with Sheri Lapidus

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Earlier this month, Joyce and I traveled to New York City to attend the National Stationery Show. While there, we were very fortunate to meet with public relations expert Sheri Lapidus. She’s the founder of Mitzvah Market and is the go-to person when you need advice and ideas for planning your Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

We asked Sheri to share with us what the popular themes are that she is seeing in the world of Bar Mitzvahs. She advised us that the trend is not to have a specific theme. Instead, the entire Bar Mitzvah event is being centered on color schemes. The child will indicate his or her favorite color, and then coordinating invitations, decorations, and favors are selected.

Bar and Bat Mitzvah entrance videos are quite popular, and guests love watching these one-of-a-kind productions. Sheri stated: “Kids love them because it’s their way of adding a customized personal touch and in some cases these mini movies can involve family and friends! For many kids, it’s a way to showcase their personality, talents and show-off their acting skills.” You can watch some great entrance videos at MitzvahMarket.Com

Sheri is also seeing lots of great ideas being incorporated into lounge areas, both for kids and adults. Sleek lounge furniture, over-sized pillows and dim lighting are a hit for the kids’ lounge area, while the adult lounges can be designed with mom and dad in mind.

We’ve worked with Sheri in the past to promote our invitations, but it was such a treat to meet her in person. Be sure to check out Sheri’s informative website at MitzvahMarket.com for more great ideas for your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration.

You See A Funeral Home, The Industry Sees A “Life Event Center”

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What’s stately and elegant, tastefully decorated with upscale furnishings and available for your event reception?

Greenwich Village Funeral Home

Greenwich Village Funeral Home

Today the answer to this question may be your local funeral home!

According to an article which appeared in USA Today (originally published by the Indianapolis Star) earlier this year, funeral homes are opening their doors to all sorts of events, not just those for the bereaved. They see it as an opportunity to pull in extra business and many are renaming their facilities monikers such as “Life Event Center” in an attempt to lure Brides, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Quinceaneras, and even birthday celebrants in through their elegant doors.

While at first this may appear somewhat odd, there are a lot of reasons why this may be the perfect choice for your event, not the least of which is cost, which can be considerably less than a traditional event hall or restaurant. In many cases, you can choose your own catering, and the neighbors are sure quiet and won’t mind so much if you’re not!

Would you host your event in a “Life Event Center” if you knew it also served the funeral community?

photo courtesy Greenwich Village Funeral Home, NY, NY

A Mitzvah Mystery

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Finding creative ways to entertain teens can be a daunting task. And being original, to do what hasn’t already been done over and over isn’t always easy. Kids want their parties to be cool, memorable and most of all, fun! A Mitzvah Murder Mystery Dinner Party may be the perfect solution.

What, you may ask, is a Murder Mystery Dinner Party? Perhaps you remember the board game Clue, where players act as roving detectives moving room to room in a mansion trying to figure out who done it, with what and where? At a mystery dinner party, guests and host take the roles of various suspects and try to solve the mystery by examining all of the evidence in an attempt to identify the murderer in the group. Players are invited to attend the party dressed in their assigned character and ready to play their part. The game is often played over a multi-course dinner party.

For the birthday boy or girl, creating an original and unique script can be half the fun! Considering guests’ personalities may help in creating their roles. Once you’ve decided on your story and plot, use props and decorate your “set” to make it as realistic as possible. If writing a script proves to be too difficult, consider boxed kits, or prepared scripts from online sources. Before long, guests will be asking some version of Was it Professor Plum in the library with the lead pipe? Or was it Mrs. Peacock in the Lounge with the rope?

Once you’ve narrowed down the theme for your celebration, it’s time to choose the appropriate invitation.  The experts at Invitations4Less.com can assist you!

Trend Alert: 4 Trends for your Mitzvah Party Planning

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If you’re in the planning stages for an upcoming Bat or Bar Mitzvah, your head may be spinning with ideas while you try to sort through the logistics of timing, location and your guest list. Trends in the celebration industry seem to evolve as quickly as your child can empty your refrigerator, so to help you stay on track, here is a rundown of the latest trends in Bar and Bat Mitzvah party planning.

Mitzvah Trends

Mitzvah Trends

Personalize Everything!
After all the hard work, this is one day that your son or daughter can truly say is all about them. Almost everything can be personalized in some way from the obvious – highlighting your child’s name on their invitations, to monogrammed favor boxes filled with M&M candies with his or her name in favorite colors, centerpieces that feature photos of the honoree and generous use of his or her name in the décor.

Mitzvah Videos!
Have you seen the video made by Zachary Freiman’s father for his Bar Mitzvah? At last check, over 350,000 people had viewed it online.
Entrance videos made just for the mitzvah honoree are all the rage right now. And when they’re fun and well-made, they get everyone talking, throughout the party and on into the future. A video presented at your reception will truly get the party started and keep the fun rolling all evening long.

Designate a corner of your reception site as the special teen zone. It’ll be a big hit, especially if you stage it as a nightclub with special lighting, comfy couches with loads of pillows, and a snack bar stocked with plenty of cold drinks to cool off between dances. The young people will have a place to relax and enjoy the downtime. And even better, you’ll be the coolest parent on the planet!

Gourmet Food Trucks!
The gourmet food truck trend is so hot right now, even the Food Network has made a show of it, The Great Food Truck Race. Catch the wave of this trend by surprising your guests on their way out the door with a food truck to send everyone home at the end of the evening with a little extra nosh for the road, or even a breakfast-in-a-box for the next morning!

With a little research on Pinterest and Instagram, we’re certain that your Mitzvah party planning will be a breeze!

Trend Alert: Cupcakes

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Who doesn’t love cupcakes? They’re cute little personal-sized cups of yummy goodness that you don’t have to share with anybody!

Pretty Cupcakes

Pretty Cupcakes

So, it comes as no surprise that the trend is carrying over and replacing full-size celebration cakes for weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and all sorts of other celebrations. Bakers have scaled down the artistry of traditional cake-decorating so using the beautifully-crafted cupcakes means that each guest is able to admire their very own piece of artwork when it’s placed in front of them. What could be more special?

One thing I especially love about using cupcakes at your Bar or Bat Mitzvah is that your guests can have their cake and eat it, too!

Simply have your baker make up twice as many cupcakes as your guest list calls for. The more cupcakes, the grander the display!

Your guests will be doubly impressed and thrilled when, after serving your sweet treats, your catering staff packs the remaining cupcakes up in adorable personalized boxes so you can send the extras home as parting favors to be savored the next day.

Favor Boxes

Favor Boxes

These boxes from Krepe-Kraft are available through Invitations4Less.com. Just contact us for assistance in ordering!

Now the only decision is which flavor?!

Cupcakes Image: Courtesy Katja Seaton, Katja’s Kupcakes, Cheshire UK
Cupcake Boxes Image: Courtesy – Krepe-Kraft Printing & Personalizing, Buffalo, NY

Save the Dates Save the Event!

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If your son/daughter’s bar/bat mitzvah is at a busy time of year during high travel times, a holiday weekend or a busy summer it’s a great idea to look into sending your guests save the date cards. Giving them a heads up of your Bar/Bat Mitzvah plans increases your guests’ chances of being able to attend the big day!

As a general rule you should start spreading the news around six months prior to the event. This will give your guests plenty of time to make travel arrangements, save some cash and ask for days off of work if needed.

Remember, when sending out Save The Date Cards, it’s very important to be clear about who will be invited to the event. Being up front about the invitees will give your guests ample time to plan and make sure there are no surprises later. It’s a good idea to write each individual’s name on the envelope when mailing out your Save The Date Cards.

After the Save the Dates have been mailed, it’s time to start shopping for your Bar or Bat Mitzvah invitations.  We have a wonderful selection to choose from at every price point.  Questions?  Feel free to contact us today!

Trend Alert: Bar Mitzvah Destinations

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A new approach to celebrating one’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah is becoming increasingly popular with families in the Jewish community. Rather than spending $20,000 or more on Bar and Bat mitzvah celebrations, more families are booking vacations for a portion of the price. Instead of stressing over party details, once-in-a-lifetime memories are being created and shared with one another.

Such celebrations are creating a niche industry for travel agencies. Families are choosing any number of locations for their celebrations. Destinations such as U.S. Virgin Islands, Colorado, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, and Italy are popular choices, as are full-week cruises. Travel agents are able to book everything from the travel details to arranging for a rabbi to perform the ceremony to the cocktail hour that may follow.

Some credit the fact that more Jews are not closely connected with their local temples and an increase in mixed-faith marriages for the new trend. Additionally, families are often separated by great distances, so the mitzvah celebration can serve as a family reunion.

Not everyone is embracing the new trend. Some see the departure from traditional celebrations as an obstacle for Judaism because it removes the child from their local Jewish community and that is the bond that keeps the religion united.

However, parents are looking for alternatives, especially in this day of one-upmanship. Some of today’s mitzvahs incorporate extravagant themes and often vie with weddings in terms of preparation and cost.

We’d like to get your input on this controversial topic. Would you abandon the traditional Bar Mitzvah experience which includes everything from invitations to entertainment in order to take a unique trip that would surely cultivate special memories?

Mitzvah Logistics – Keep it Simple

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In my years with Invitations4Less.com, I’ve worked with many customers who are not just planning the single event of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, but a whole event-filled weekend surrounding that wonderful highlight. With relatives coming in from all over the country, Friday evening Shabbat dinner and Saturday evening parties, perhaps followed by a scrumptious Sunday brunch, the coordination and planning can seem overwhelming! Organizing the logistics of it alone can seem like a huge task, not to mention helping the out-of-town guests who are not familiar with the locations of your events, where to find good accommodations, and keeping the schedule straight. We have a great idea for helping you to address all of these concerns: using direction and map cards along with accommodations and general information cards.

Some popular choices, depending on your needs, are Directions or Map cards available in paper to match most Bar and Bat Mitzvah Invitations. Directions may be printed on an accessory card that coordinates to your invitation, if folded, with the word “Directions” printed on front and the direction wording printed inside. Or, you can supply your own map for us to reproduce onto one side of a single card stock with printed directions on the other. The two-sided or folded stocks can also be used similarly for printed directions on one side with accommodations listed on the other. I’ve even seen people use a single card stock for accommodations on one side and general information about what a Bar Mitzvah is and what they can expect, along with definitions of key terms, for guests who may not be of the Jewish faith and are unfamiliar with the process. How handy is that – all the information your guests need on a convenient card or two, to help them get where they’re going smoothly and on time so that they can focus on the service and the fun of the celebration!

Bar and Bat Mitzvah Gift Ideas

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If you’ve received a Bar or Bat Mitzvah Invitation and have never attended before, you may feel a little baffled about what type of gift would be appropriate for the honored celebrant. A brief explanation with tips for Bar Mitzvah gift ideas is the topic of this week’s Mitzvah Monday post by Natasha.

When Jewish male children reach the age 13, and girls the age of 12, they become responsible for their actions and become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah- a son (Bar) or daughter (Bat) of the Commandment. Being a part of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is certainly a joy, but finding the right gift can be difficult.

Gifts should be brought to the reception, or party rather than the synagogue. While there aren’t necessarily any traditional gifts, Judaic gifts such as a kiddush cup or tallis, are often given by family members, or those very close to the family. Generally speaking, any gift that one would consider appropriate for a young teen should be acceptable: books, music, an e-reader , camera, video games, etc.

If you would like to give a cash gift, it is customary to give in multiples of 18. This is because 18 is the numerical version of the word “chai”, which means “life.” Chet is the 8th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and has a numerical value of 8 and yud is equivalent to 10, together these total 18. Giving money in multiples of 18 is symbolic of giving “chai” or “life.”