Many of our readers followed our guest blogger Stephanie Kepke Kaplan’s series, On A Wing And A Prayer. We read about her quest for a dress on a budget of under $100 and her son’s desire for a lounge area and dancers!
Now we are excited to share the Kaplan’s Bar Mitzvah celebration with our readers and find out exactly what happened!
Stephanie and her family had a Sunday afternoon party at North Shore Synagogue with family and friends. The traditional affair, with a shorter (1/2 hour) cocktail hour, to keep costs down featured a baseball theme.
Pictured above (L-R): Mom Stephanie, brother Joshua, Bar Mitzvah boy Drew, Dad Jeff and youngest brother Aidan
Jason from Neal Bloom was the photographer and all the rest of the vendor information is listed at the bottom of the spotlight.
Congratulations to the Kaplan family – looks like Drew had a terrific party to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah!
Mom Stephanie found her invitations at an unlikely place: Party City. She was thrilled with how they turned out and loved all the positive comments from family and friends.
If you are on a budget, Party City is a great place to find invitations
Stephanie talked a lot about her search for a dress in her Mitzvah Market blog series, On A Wing And A Prayer.
Stephanie in her beautiful “bargain dress” from Lord & Taylor with her son Drew
Party Excellence provided the highboy tables, centerpieces for the adult tables and the lounge area all to match their baseball theme. The décor also included a full lounge, provided by Party Interiors with tables that lit up in colors that matched the centerpieces.
Each table was a different team
Mom Stephanie saved money by buying large glass vases at TJ Maxx and filling them with new baseballs. The centerpieces created by Party Excellence fit right on top
Although not originally in the budget, Stephanie was able to negotiate with Paul from Party Interiors & My Glow Party and surprise her son with the lounge set-up
Mom Stephanie created the place cards and holder by gluing artificial turf on foam board.
Entertainment Tonite provided the music with Mike D. as the MC.
Drew with the ET crew. Not only did he get the one dancer he wanted to have at his celebration, but two!
Drew played the drums for family and friends. After his initial performance of an original musical piece he had composed, he played along with a few of the songs the DJ played.
Mom Stephanie created the sign-in book and now you can order one just like it! Stephanie has since started a Facebook business called Wishes Inc.
Drew holding up his sign-in book
Sayings For You provided the “Drew’s Grand Slam” T-shirts for the young guests.
The back of the shirt…
and the front!
Mom Stephanie created the matching labels on the favor bags herself
Mom Stephanie and her guests raved about the food provided by Del Mir Caterers who also created Drew’s cake below.
Guests also enjoyed an ice cream bar
Guests could enjoy a variety of delicious treats on their way out of Drew’s celebration.
A candy bar
Hot pretzels to go
Mom Stephanie has this advice for our readers:
“You can have a great party and stick to a budget – it just takes a bit more work, some ingenuity and the ability to be flexible. I made the place cards and the place card display, the sign in book and the favor bag labels. I also printed the addresses on the invitation envelopes. I placed organza bags filled with chocolate baseballs (purchased online at a bulk rate) for guests to take home on their way out in a wooden tray I embellished with baseball ribbon. Doing these things myself not only saved money, but made the day more special.”
She adds, “My son had begged us for dancers and a lounge, but neither was in our budget – until we were able to add them at the very last minute at a savings. (You can read my last Mitzvah Diaries post for all of my other last minute changes.) Everything fell into place and by being flexible the party was better than I could have ever imagined. One last bit of advice – the party goes by very quickly. Pause and take in everyone around you having a wonderful time and enjoying the fruits of your labor. It is an ephemeral moment, but it will live in your memory forever.”
Drew and his family love animals, especially dogs. His Mitzvah Project was called, “Pennies for Puppies” and he collected change for Island Dog and The Town of Oyster Bay Animal Shelter. He also sold refrigerator and car magnets to raise funds for Island Dog and collected blankets, towels and other items for the Town of Oyster Bay Animal Shelter.
Drew raised additional money through the facebook page he created. He found out that his donation would rescue and transport a dog named “Hobie” to New York. He has three legs and was rescued when he was found running in traffic in Puerto Rico.
The Kaplan family is excited to report that Drew’s Mitzvah Project turned into a Mitzvah for his family. Their beloved dog Sadie recently passed away and although not looking to adopt this soon, “Hobie,” who will have a new name, is now living with the Kaplans.
The following vendor’s helped to make Drew’s celebration special. If you give any of them a call, please let them know you read about their services on MitzvahMarket.com.
Venue: North Shore Synagogue 516-802-5492
Party Planner: “Mitzvah Mom” Stephanie
Music Entertainment: MC: Mike D, Entertainment Tonite 516-826-6900
Favors: Sayings for You 845-639-9700
Party Entertainment: Photo favors, The Main Event 800-839-0918
Invitations: Party City, Woodbury 516-692-4378
Cake: Del Mir Caterers At North Shore Synagogue
Décor: Party Excellence 516-586-5252
Lounge Area: Party Interiors and My Glow Party 516-586-5492
Sign-In Book: Mom Stephanie, Wishes Inc.
Chocolate baseballs: Candy.com
Mom’s Dress: Lord and Taylor, Walt Whitman Mall
Dress Alterations: Neddy Alterations, 516-359-9600
Suits for family members: Effie LerMan’s, 516-586-6949
Hair: Janine Roberti, email@example.com, 516-815-9147
Photographer: Jason, Neal Bloom Photography, 631-754-7442
Videographer: Rainbow Video and Photography, 516-796-6081