Elvira Grau, owner of SPACE in Engelwood, New Jersey, has seen it all!
For the past 8 years, she has successfully acted as the party planner for 3-4 Bar Bat Mitzvahs a weekend at her unique party space with high tech games, extravagant entertainment, unique decor and customized menus.
In April 2014, Elvira planned her own daughter Leanna’s Bat Mitzvah. The theme was an easy choice as Leanna’s birthstone is the diamond. “Shine Bright Like A Diamond” was the theme and it was carried out in all areas of this celebration.
As with all parties Elvira plans, she approached her own daughter’s celebration with the five principles of party planning: VENUE, MENU, ENTERTAINMENT, DECOR AND STAFF.
Below are pictures from Leanna’s celebration including Elvira’s secrets to a successful party and the ideas behind each creative element she dreamed up!
Mazel Tov to the Grau family and thanks for sharing your ideas with our readers!
Let’s face it, most invitations are thrown away after a Bar Bat Mitzvah celebration is over. Elvira wanted something unique, that would stand out, set the tone for the entire celebration and most importantly be useful!
After much research, Elvira found a source in China to engrave on a diamond shaped paperweight and another to supply the red box which looked like something you would get from Cartier – Leanna’s favorite. Each boxed invitation was hand delivered to guests. The Grau’s picked one town a day and delivered them in person – they say of the experience, “It was very exciting to see everyone’s reaction, they flipped out!”
To save money on paper and stamps, a Website was created for the RSVPs. Check it out here
Leanna and her parents Elvira and Jim all looked great!
Leanna and Elvira found their long gowns at Jacqueline and Jim’s suit is Versace
Leanna changed into a short Jovani dress midway through the party
Each and every Bar Bat Mitzvah that Elvira plans is unique and different in look and feel. Prior to Leanna’s celebration, SPACE received a renovation. Everything from new walls, LEDs, carpeting, dance floor and furniture. The newly decorated SPACE debuted with her daughter’s celebration.
Before guests entered SPACE, they were greet by large vinyl blow-ups of Leanna
Leanna’s pre-party photo shoot included poses with diamonds
Elvira wanted a magical feeling when guests arrived. She lined the entrance of SPACE with white astro turf and trees with twinkle lights for a “Tavern on the Green” feel. Leanna’s step and repeat was front and center for photo ops as guests arrived
Elvira feels a step and repeat is a must-have for a party. This one featured Leanna’s logo
Elvira knows from experience that your child’s gifts are the last thing you need to deal with the night of your party. She creates custom gift boxes, like the one above for Leanna. They are both convenient and safe!
Elvira wanted Leanna’s name in lights, so in-house they built each letter from wood, sprinkled it with glitter and attached light bulbs. It hung over the bar, the hub of the party
Unique entertainment is part of Elvira’s secrets to a successful party. Guests were greeted by aerialists who were hanging from the ceiling serving wine!
Other “atmosphere” girls performed as guests enjoyed the cocktail hour
Part of the renovation included a new white dance floor, new white leather furniture and 20 foot custom built cabanas with sheer white curtains which created a VIP area for guests. SPACE can also add a gobo in the center of the room like this one for Leanna with her name projected within a diamond shape
Elvira decided against traditional seating for this celebration. There were only two formal tables for family which featured crystal chandeliers, candles and flowers. For this big social cocktail party, it was open seating
It was hard for Elvira to be a guest at her daughter’s celebration. She checked and re-checked every detail including the “Reserved for Family” signs on the only two tables
Crystals also hung from the ceiling
Crystals, giving the look of diamonds, of all sizes were everywhere, including inside these highboy table tops!
This was a unique entrance! For weeks, Leanna practiced at “circus school” for her grand entrance. Everything was safely rigged and thoroughly checked.
Leanna gets ready for her grand entrance!
This was possible due to the high ceilings at SPACE
Practice paid off as Leanna was lifted up and zip lined across the dance floor to her destination as impressed guests looked on and recorded this entrance on their smart phones
Watch Frank Duca’s highlights video of this terrific celebration!
There were many special touches for this celebration.
As Elvira explains, “I’m Russian, so we had to have a Vodka luge for the adult guests!”
SPACE’s arcade provided all types of fun games for young guests
And the older ones!
Leanna jumps for joy!
Elvira wanted to do something unique for Leanna’s sign-in that didn’t cost a lot of money. She’s a big Home Goods shopper and found a large piece of art work in the clearance center that she felt would be perfect!
Elvira “blinged” the edges, added sharpies and asked guests to sign-in!
Elvira feels nothing is more elegant and simple for a candle lighting than different height vases with orchids and floating candles.
Crystals were scattered on the table top for added shine!
The family is all smiles during the candle lighting ceremony
Custom LED lucite tables were set-up around the cocktail hour area with food stations.
All food stations were fun and interactive. On one side, they had “live” sushi and on the other side was a Peking duck station and a wok station. Posters of Leanna hung above the stations for personalization and drama!
Dessert was covered in silver food glitter and looked very glamorous
The dessert bar featured Leanna’s name
Too pretty to eat!
Check out these strawberries
A vanilla fountain was on hand for guests to enjoy
Leanna’s friends all received J America sweatshirts.
Crystals were ironed on the back of each one
As guests left, they could grab and go from a candy bar.
As candies matched the decor!
The following vendors worked with Elvira at SPACE for Leanna’s celebration:
Photographer: Chris Herder, 917-689-6463
Videographer: Frank Duca, 908-715-2187
Music Entertainment: In-house DJ, MC Charlie
Favors: Hyman & Harry Inc.
Dresses: Jacqueline, 973-992-3535
Hair: Fredrick Fekkai
Make-up: MAC Loida Soriano, 201-362-2029 and Khuraira, 201-227-1135