By Chloe Rehfield
Morgan’s Bat Mitzvah party had begun, and her friends and family swayed to the pounding beat of Welcome to the Jungle—but Morgan was nowhere to be found. Suddenly, the sound of bongos could be heard in the distance and the doors burst open. There was Morgan, the jungle queen, being carried into the room on a zebra-print raft, surrounded by percussionists and dancers. Everyone cheered as she made her way through the crowd.
To make a grand entrance or not? That is the decision many a Bar or Bat Mitzvah child has to decide. A big spectacle really gets the party started and it’s a fun way to make the milestone even more memorable. In recent years, popularity for highly produced and elaborate entrances has spiked as families get more creative in their quest for an unforgettable celebration.
“The entrance is the first impression that you’re making at the party and it certainly can set the tone for the whole event,” says Melisa Imberman, owner of The Event of a Lifetime in Millwood, NY.
There are plenty of ways for the Bar or Bat Mitzvah to make a standout arrival. Kids today are doing it both low-key and over-the-top. They may just dance their way into the room to a favorite song, join their immediate family as they are escorted by a gaggle of dancers, or come in carried out above the crowd of guests.
“We’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff, including kids driving golf carts onto the dance floor and CO2 gas explosions that miraculously reveal the guest of honor on stage with their dancers,” says event specialist Simon Miller of Simon Elliot Events. The best entrances are pulled off, he says, when everyone is involved and “working in sync,” including lighting, video, DJ and MC.
Trending lately is the entrance video, a splashy, highly produced movie that can be poignant or comical; include the child in a crazy adventure, or just a lively photo montage or music video. Sometimes the child then enters the party through a breakaway wall that seems to be part of the on-screen action.
“Regardless of theme, entrance videos can really help get the crowd involved and ready to party,” says Miller. “We always try to inject energy and a good amount of humor into our videos so that it breaks the ice right before the guest of honor enters the room. If the party is built around a certain theme, an entrance video can tie all of the decor in the room together and connect the dots for guests. Many of our videos get guests up out of their seats. They’re short, sweet, and pack a punch.
An example of this might be a 60 second Gatorade-style commercial of the guest of honor training for all of his or her favorite sports, or a young fashionista taking Rodeo Drive by storm.”
One Bar Mitzvah boy Alex, a sports enthusiast, wanted his celebration to revolve around baseball and basketball. As soon as his parents and sister entered the room, the lights went out, mimicking a power outage. Then his video jumped to life on a huge screen, portraying Alex as an athletic superstar using green screen effects and footage of his favorite sports figures. When the short movie ended, Alex broke through the screen and greeted his guests to much fanfare and excitement.
Many Bar and Bat Mitzvah kids are entering their party on some sort of wheels. Adam had an Abercrobmie-themed party, which his Mom Michelle Farber, owner of M Studio Events, cleverly coined “Adamcrombie.”Adorned in Abercrombie garb, he rolled into his party in a shopping cart.
Adam arrives in a shopping cart to his “Adamcrombie” themed celebration
Photo credt: Kornfeld Studios
Others make their way into the spotlight via Vespa, golf cart, surfboard, even a little red wagon at a Fire Island fete. One entire family came out onto the dance floor on dirt bikes and wheeled around their guests.
Lifting up the Bar or Bat Mitzvah child doesn’t have to be limited to the Horah; fun and creative platforms can carry the guest of honor out at the beginning of the celebration on something that’s in sync with the theme of the party. If it’s a winter wonderland, use a sled. If it’s beach themed, use a surfboard.
A grand entrance can be an exciting and memorable way to get guests involved in the momentous occasion. Bat Mitzvah girl Amanda Hally is on a school cheer team, so it was only appropriate that she ran through an arch of pom poms her guests waved at her during her entrance. Other ways to get friends involved is to throw confetti or help carry the guest of honor into the limelight.
Sometimes kids will go over the top; and why not? After all, it’s their special day. Leanna actually zoomed into her party via zip line. She practiced her grand entrance with professional circus trainers weeks beforehand to get ready for the big day. As she slid down onto the dance floor at SPACE, a huge party warehouse in Englewood, NJ, her guests looked on in awe.
“SPACE has 22 foot ceilings, so we decided to do something innovative and creative with all the room we had,” says her mom, Elvira Grau, party planner and owner of the venue. “In her concerts, Pink usually comes in on zip lines. We wanted to do that. It wasn’t easy because you have to install the hardware in the ceilings professionally, and make sure they supported her weight.”
But it was worth it, says Grau. “The reactions were unbelievable. There were over 200 people there, and every iPhone was out recording her because it was mind boggling.”
What to do When the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Child Doesn’t Like the Spotlight
If the man or woman of the hour doesn’t like attention, there are ways to make an entrance that will still leave a grand impression.
Occasionally a Bar or Bat Mitzvah child is timid and would prefer to have the spotlight focused elsewhere, says Melisa Imberman
of The Event of a Lifetime. “Some low key children opt to skip a grand entrance or choose to enter with their entire families. Whatever is going to make the guest of honor comfortable is fine,” she says. You can always have a group of dancers bring the guest of honor right to his or her seat rather than onto the stage, or simply announce the boy or girl at the beginning of the party, but not make a big deal about it.
When my twin brother and I shared our B’nai Mitzvah, both of us were incredibly shy. We were too afraid to dance in front of our
own guests, let alone have a magnificent entrance that would create even the slightest bit of commotion. Instead of hosting our
party at a conventional catering hall, we celebrated at a comedy club and were ushered in with all of our friends in lieu of being
announced separately. Looking back, I don’t regret the decision to stay humble—my brother and I had an astounding day, as did
the guests who attended. Whether Bar or Bat Mitzvahs enter with grandeur or back away from all the attention, they’ll have a remarkable experience if they choose to celebrate in a way that lets them have the most fun. – Chloe Rehfield
This story is from the new 2015 Mitzvah Market Magazine. If you would like to request a free copy, click here.