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The Trials & Tribulations Of A Mitzvah Mom Part 2

By Leslie Adler, www.thevuvclub.com

So, you’ve got a date….now what?

My daughter wanted a party.

There was no wavering, no doubts, no thoughts of a trip instead….Sydney definitely wanted a Saturday night bash with dancing and debauchery. Well, she wanted dancing….Eric (the husband) and I wanted debauchery.

Our next step then, was to select a venue.

I think selecting a venue is like dating…you should look “within your league.” In other words, what is the point of going to a place and falling in love with it if you know it is outside of your price range?

That being said, it was helpful for me to have a budget in mind. To do that I needed a rough idea of our head count, children and adults. Another economic tip my accountant buddy gave me was to realize the quoted numbers are sans tax and gratuity, meaning, for the non-math people like myself, $100 per head is more like $125 per head. “I’m just sayin’…this was helpful to me.”

The budget was also relevant for me, because even more than not wanting to set myself up for disappointment, I did not want to take Sydney to places that would excite her but would not be places I would ultimately feel comfortable making a party. No matter what your budget, everyone has limits…for example: don’t tease your kid and say Rihanna will perform at your party if that is not within the realm of reality….get my drift?

More on why I think selecting a venue is like dating….

I found during my first planning experience that it is very important to like the “caterer” or whatever the place you like calls the “dude(s)” in charge. Every place I investigated, I asked my gut if this person was someone I could work with. (I walked out on a florist who kept me waiting for one hour for a scheduled appointment. I did not think she thought me or my event important enough….so I found another fish in that sea). I learned you need to put a lot of faith and trust in this person in order for your experience to be pleasurable, so I had this in mind this time around as well.

Adler decor

The East Meadow Jewish Center was the location of Leslie’s first planning experience. Check out The Adler Mitzvah Family Spotlight

Another tip I followed: Read your contract! You don’t need a lawyer to review it just don’t ignore it. Are you guaranteeing a minimum? What is the required deposit? (It is reasonable to ask for some money to hold the date…but not too much) When is payment due? Does it include valet? Security? If your kosher, do you realize you need to pay the guy who needs to sit in the kitchen and make sure they slaughter your chickens correctly? Translation: know the deal. Again, I learned the first time around, there’ll be enough surprises along the way….

As for my family…we loved our first experience, which was at a Temple with a great caterer. We would have done our second party there as well, except the Temple was Orthodox and the sun’s bedtime in May precluded us from being able to make a Saturday night party there (couldn’t start till 8:45 PM).

This caterer was embarking on a new venture that would have had him at another Temple as well, but he had not signed on the dotted line yet. Once I knew working with him would not work this time, I looked at only 4 other locations and brought Eric and Sydney back to the one I liked the best.

A sigh of relief….now that my daughter’s venue was booked (a Country Club) we could take some time off before the next decision and until we entered the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Year…our very own Jewish version of the twilight zone.

Till next time….

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About Leslie Adler
Leslie Adler is a mother, lawyer and creator of www.thevuvclub.com and shares her witty thoughts on the many roles women play in their everyday lives. Leslie also combines her legal skills and friendship experience as presiding judge of Momlogic’s “The Friendship Court.”

We hope you will follow along as this Mitzvah Mom updates us on all the highs and lows leading up to her daughter’s May 2010 Bat Mitzvah. Everything from conflicts with other children’s dates to the dress, catering and other Vendor drama. Leslie will bring humor to this exciting yet stressful time for many families.

Read part 1 here.



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