As the founder of MitzvahMarket.com, I’ve written over 100 family spotlight stories for this Website including my daughter Carly’s Bat Mitzvah in 2010.
Now it’s time for me to share our family’s celebration for my son Evan which took place on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at Temple Avodah in Oceanside, New York.
His favorite sport is basketball and he came up with the theme. He coined a new term and wanted a “Bar Knicksvah,” in honor of his favorite New York team!
The two weeks leading up to his celebration were filled with additional stress due to hurricane Sandy. We didn’t have power, we weren’t sure our party venue would have power in time and we didn’t get to meet with most of our vendors until the week of the celebration, but everything turned out great! As I tell our readers, when you use professional Bar Bat Mitzvah vendors, you can’t go wrong!
As we did with my daughter’s celebration, we tried to create a fun weekend for family and friends, filled with unique special touches honoring this milestone event. We hope you enjoy reading all about it.
Simon Elliot Events was the photographer and the rest of the vendors are listed at the bottom of this spotlight.
Pictured above (L-R): My husband Roy, Bar Mitzvah boy Evan, mom Sheri, and my daughter Carly
Shortly after launching MitzvahMarket.com, I wrote about the Snowflake Gift Company and their unusual pop-up invitations. I had this in mind for Evan’s Bar Mitzvah.
The left side shows Evan’s logo and the outside of the pop-up invitation. The right side is the inside pop-up. If you look closely you will see my immediate family in the crowd!
In the end, the invitation was a collaboration between 3 companies. Simon Elliot Events shot pictures for us in front of a green screen and created the design. Evan’s Aunt Amy from FabuDesigns.com created the logo, RSVP and direction cards and added a pocket to the back and Snowflake Gift Company who printed the invitations. We were thrilled with the results!
Evan’s Bar Mitzvah service was held at Temple Or Elohim in Jericho, New York.
Our basketball yarmulkes were from kippah.com
Both my daughter Carly and I found dresses off the rack at Runway Couture. Carly’s shoes were from It’s Simply For You.
Carly’s gown was long, but she decided she wanted the hi-low look. My dress was one shoulder with a long sleeve which we decided to cut-off. Runway Couture easily took care of these adjustments
When hosting your second Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration at the same venue as your first, you hope to create a different look for your guests. United Floral literally created a slam dunk for the ballroom at Temple Avodah in Oceanside creating the perfect basketball decor.
United Floral used a combination of basketballs, flowers and mannequins to create our basketball look!
Evan shows off the spacious ballroom at Temple Avodah filled with basketball decor
To keep with our theme, United Floral brought in two basketball hoops for each side of the dance floor. They were covered in vines of orange roses
Some tables featured a large spray of beautiful orange roses
Three of our tables had life sized mannequins dressed in Knicks uniforms
The third type of centerpiece featured trees with basketballs wired on. Aunt Amy/Fabu Designs created our matching table numbers
Kombert Caterers provided comfy brown couches and stainless steel high boy tables for the kids lounge area
Evan was hoping to have an entrance video with a basketball storyline involving many of his friends. Again, the hurricane affected our plans, but on a Sunday when most didn’t have power, we were able to film Evan’s entrance with the help of many including Ultimate Gaga who provided the space, Carl our MC from Entertainment Tonite, Evan’s real basketball coach Warren Wagner and about 18 of his friends!
Simon Elliot Events shot Evan’s entrance video on the basketball court at Ultimate Gaga
Guests enjoyed the results and loved that Carl, our MC, along with Evan had key roles in the video!
Watch the results here
We wanted to involve Evan’s friends in the entrance, so before bringing Evan in, Carl announced the starting team – all of his friends
Adult guests were given game clappers to wave as everyone entered the room – just like what happens at a real basketball game
Evan makes his entrance followed by his own group of cheerleaders, “female camp friends”
Entertainment Tonite provided the music entertainment for the celebration and once again rocked the house with Carl as our MC.
Evan poses with the Entertainment Tonite crew
The young guests were on the dance floor most of the night!
Carl having fun with our guests
Some of you might remember my daughter’s Karaoke Candle Lighting. My son didn’t want to be as involved, so my husband came up with an NBA draft candle lighting ceremony.
With the help of Simon Elliot Events, we pre-taped our “commentator comments” for each candle and then Evan announced his picks
See example here
Marios Bakery created a terrific and delicious “Jersey” cake with Evan’s favorite number 44
At my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah, we surprised our guests with a Rock The Reception dance. For Evan’s party, we also surprised our guests, this time during my Mother/Son dance.
Halfway through my special dance with Evan, an Extreme Break Dancing Troupe “crashed” our party and surprised our guests
Evan poses with the troupe
After their performance, they stayed and danced with our guests, including my husband Roy
Here are some additional touches we had for Evan’s celebration.
As guests entered the lobby of Temple Avodah, they were greeted by two large cut-outs of Evan created by Simon Elliot Events. These were very similar to the photos used on his invitation
Kombert Caterers thinks of everything, including a custom menu card with Evan’s logo
Simon Elliot Events provided a Superstar photo booth which our guests loved
We also had basketball photo favors from Par-T Shots
The kids enjoyed the Fit Challenge booth from Simon Elliot Events
A few days before the party, I realized I hadn’t thought of the ladies room basket. That One Special Touch came through with a perfect basket of items!
After much thought and debate over Evan’s sign-in board, Roy suggested using a piece of a basketball floor. Not sure where to find something like that, we decided to make it ourselves!
We bought a box of adhesive wood-like floor boards and created a 30 x 36 inch floor. It was glued to a piece of plywood.
Total cost = $46.00
We loved the idea of having a “live” Event Painter to capture the feel of the room and a permanent memory of the evening. Joan Zyklin did a great job and guests enjoyed watching the progress of the oil painting during the night.
Joan was positioned so she could see the entire room and painted “live” non-stop during our 5 hour celebration.
This painting has since been framed and is now hanging in our house
Aunt Amy created fold-over cards using an image of the finished painting, and Evan used these as his “thank you” notes
Even though A Promos USA/Imagemaker is located in Freeport and was very affected by the hurricane, they came through with our favors!
We used basketball drawstring bags with name labels created by Aunt Amy
The boys received personalized basketball jerseys with their last name and Evan’s logo on the back
The girls received cropped sweatshirts with a vintage look
Although the food and desserts from Kombert Caterers is amazing, we wanted our guests to leave with a little something. Since it was only five days until Thanksgiving, we had mini apple pies from the Jericho Cider Mill for everyone, along with custom labeled water bottles.
The label read:
“We’re glad you survived that horrific storm,
And were here to watch Evan perform.
Since Thanksgiving is less than a week away,
Please take home a pie for that “feasting” day.
Thanks so much for coming – we hope you had fun,
Now be on your way – the party is done.”
Love, The LaPIEdus family
Water bottles with custom labels
Evan decided on two Mitzvah Projects: He made a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphonia Society in honor of his favorite football player Ernie Davis, and a donation to a Hurricane Sandy organization.
Advice from Mom Sheri:
“We had a terrific celebration that was over in the blink of an eye. My advice is to realize that you have hired professionals, so let them do their jobs so you can enjoy your child’s big day. From the service to the horah, you will find yourself with a permanent smile.”
The following vendors helped to make Evan’s celebration special. If you give any of them a call, please let them know you read about their services on MitzvahMarket.com.
Venue: Temple Avodah
Caterer: Kenny Kombert, Kombert Caterers, 516-678-6161
Photographer/Videographer: Simon Miller, Simon Elliot Events, 516-586-6822
Entrance Video/Montage/Candle Lighting Draft: Simon Miller
Decor/Florist: Charles, United Floral Events, 516-829-8890
Music Entertainment: Carl MC, Entertainment Tonite, 516-826-6900 x:115
Favors: Mindy Younger, A Promos USA/Imagemaker, 800-987-8766
Invitation: SnowFlake Company
Logo/Favor Tags/Table Numbers: Amy Wohl, Fabu Designs, 312-513-1698
Cake: Linda, Marios Bakery, 516-766-0891
Yarmulke: kippah.com, 718-435-3288
Ladies Room Basket: Randi Lehman, That One Special Touch, 516-496-1025
Fit Challenge/Superstar photo booth: Simon Elliot Events
Basketball photo favors: Bob, Par-T Shots, 516-766-4666
Dance Troupe: Tom Kaufman Productions, 212-223-0962
Live Event Painter: Joan Zylkin, 302-475-0990
Apple Pie: Jericho Cider Mill, 516-433-3360
Dresses: Kimberly, Runway Couture, 516-308-4639
Carly’s Shoes: Rachel, It’s Simply For You, 516-921-2863
Evan’s Suit/Shirt/Tie: Kenny’s Mens & Boys Wear, 516-921-2660
Transportation/Buses: First Student
Security: Party Police, 516-697-7206
Hair: Alysha, Salon at 230 West, 516-367-8000
Make up: Nicole Gallo, About Face, 516-348-5292