By Sheri Lapidus, Founder MitzvahMarket.com
As seen in the New Jersey Jewish Standard Bar/Bat Mitzvah Supplement, Winter 2015
MitzvahMarket.com is the largest online resource for Bar Bat Mitzvah planning families in the country. We bring our readers the newest ideas in themes, candle lighting, entrances, sign-ins, favors, invitations and much more. Additionally, we offer a Mom to Mom forum where readers exchange ideas, feature real events through our Mitzvah Family Spotlights, suggest Mitzvah Project ideas and spotlight various Bar Bat Mitzvah vendors who can make your child’s celebration different from the rest.
If you are currently in planning mode or know someone who is, you need to know what the trends will be in Bar Bat Mitzvah celebrations for 2015! (In no particular order)
1. 4 Hour vs. 5 Hour Party – Many venues are offering a condensed 4 hour cocktail party in one room without a formal cocktail hour. This is a very personal choice based on the type of guests you are inviting and the type of celebration you want for your child. With the 4 hour celebration, you will have few or no breaks for your guests and your crowd doesn’t feel the party is dragging.
2. Email RSVP’s – Some families are going green with their RSVP’s. This saves on paper and stamp costs. A special email address is created so guests can go digital on their response. Downside: You can’t send your gift (when it’s a check) in the envelope with your RSVP.
3. Candy Bars/Buffets – Kids and adults love a sugar fix and more and more parties are featuring candy bars and buffets. Candy makes a great favor that can be taken home by your guests. Some offer guests logo’d bags and boxes for easy fill-up!
Photo credit: NY Lounge Decor
4. Clever Logos – A creative logo with your child’s name cleverly used can really give your party the “Wow” factor. Once you have a great logo designed, you can use it in so many ways to brand your Bar Bat Mitzvah celebration. For many families, the logo serves as the theme of their celebration.
Photo credit: thecoolestgiveaways.com
5. Dancer T-shirts – At a Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration, motivational dancers are not there just to get your guests out of their seats and onto the dance floor, they can look great too! By wearing a custom T-shirt, their look can incorporate your child’s logo or match a particular theme.
Photo Credit: Unique Musique
6. Food Trucks – Although your guests will have plenty to eat during your celebration, it’s popular to have a food truck waiting to offer them a Mitzvah Exit treat as they leave. You can find a truck with almost any type of food: popcorn, cupcakes, waffles, pizza, and Mac n Cheese to name a few.
Photo Credit: Tobo Foods
7. Custom Sneakers – High heels might be a popular choice for girls, but many girls (and boys) are slipping into something more comfortable. Whether they are custom made or embellished with studs, the Bar Bat Mitzvah kids are using their feet to express their style.
Photo Credit: DonaLisa Photography
8. Dual Purpose Sign-In Boards – At most Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations, there is a sign-in option, so guests can leave a special message for the guest of honor. Why not use something useful that can serve a purpose for years to come? Mirrors, pillows and chairs are some creative items to use as your sign-in.
Photo Credit: The Pieced Palette
9. Creative Candle Lighting Displays – Whether you are lighting one candle or thirteen, you’ll need a display. Some families are opting for creative alternatives to a traditional Bar Bat Mitzvah cake for their candle lighting ceremony. Cupcakes, floating candles, ice sculptures and puzzles are some examples.
Photo Credit: Simon Elliot Events
10. Big Grand Entrances – Many children choose to enter their Bar Bat Mitzvah celebration on the shoulders of the DJ dancers, but a growing number of families are getting more creative! A unique entrance can show off your child’s personality as soon as they walk in. Whether it’s in a golf cart, on a surf board, Segway or bicycle, your entrance can also tie-in with your theme.
Photo Credit: Sweet Dreams Studios
11. Meaningful Mitzvah Projects – Long after the DJ’s name is forgotten and the sweatshirt is outgrown, your child’s Mitzvah Project should be remembered. Hopefully your child will find something that leaves him or her with a full heart and a lifelong desire to help others and do good.
12. Montage Featuring Voice-Overs -Video montages are very popular and a wonderful keepsake for years to come. It’s hard summing up your child’s 13 years with photos alone, so many Moms and Dads are lending their voices and talking over the video montage to add a very personal touch and their wishes for their child.
13. Hashtag Events – Involve social media at your celebration by creating a custom hashtag. Guests are asked to take and post photos “live” from the event using that hashtag. Guests who can’t attend, can view photos in real time.
14. Food – According to the Upper Montclair Country Club there is an increase in demand for asian food, and/or sushi rolls. While most kids still want chicken fingers, fries, pizza and mozzarella sticks, some are requesting more sophisticated adult food like Caesar salad and steak options.
To see the rest of the Jewish Standard supplement, click here.