The Morris Family had their daughter Beckett’s Bat Mitzvah on March 27, 2010. After services at Woodlands Community Temple in White Plains, New York they held a luncheon for 130 friends and family at Half Moon Restaurant in Dobbs Ferry, New York.
The theme was their family’s favorite vacation spot, Long Beach Island, New Jersey. The idea was to have the event feel casual and warm – like your favorite clam shack at the beach – only this time the restaurant would be filled with everyone they loved. They are foodies, and serving a wonderful meal was a priority. Photographer Margaret Fox captured this family’s spirit perfectly. All vendor information is listed below.
Pictured left to right: Mitzvah Dad Alan, Mitzvah Mom Bonnie, Bat Mitzvah girl Beckett and big sister Juliet.
Multi-colored and oversized, the invitation set the tone for the party – casual, fun and colorful.
Even their selection of stamps had that beachy feel
Half Moon Restaurant is situated on the Hudson River, and on a clear day it has views of the Tappan Zee Bridge to the north and the George Washington Bridge and chunks of Manhattan to the south. They got very lucky and had brilliantly blue skies the day of Beckett’s Bat Mitzvah.
Half Moon’s beautiful views!
Beckett lets her personality show!
To bring their beach theme to life, Daniel Florals and Events worked with Mitzvah Mom Bonnie and daughter Beckett to create that summer environment that spilled right onto their guests tables!
Centerpieces were simple – on the adult side of the room, anodized aluminum beach buckets were bursting with muted flowers and beach grasses
The adult tables also had craft paper runners strewed with beach glass and sea shells with a little crab hanging onto each bucket for dear life!
The kids’ centerpieces were jaunty gerbera daisies nestled in buckets filled with sand
A kite and beach ball centerpiece on the bar added to the laid-back/beach decor
With Rooney Tunes Entertainment providing the music and Joe as the MC, the crowd had a ball.
Mitzvah Mom Bonnie has this advice for our Mitzvah Market readers. She says, “I didn’t have a party-planner so it came down to me to manage all these details, to record them on paper for my Vendors and to review everything with them in advance (and twice) prior to the event.” She then suggests, “Create a day-of-event contact sheet and keep it with you. Another must-do: Give the DJ a song list you love well in advance; make sure your photographer is equipped with a shot list sheet; think through and plan the event flow until it feels right. Then, write it down.” Thanks Bonnie, great advice!
The party favors were t-shirts featuring a logo you see at any souvenir shop at the beach (but with Beckett’s ID) and personalized sea shells for each child.
The shells also served as place cards and were created by Bonnie’s Mom Gerri Rothman, the founder of “To Coin A Phrase,” a highly-regarded social stationery and invitation line which she founded in 1974 and sold in 1990. The place cards were clam shells that she shellacked, edged with gold and personalized with pearls and glitter dust.
The sign-in board was stocked with postcards from Long Beach Island, and guests were encouraged to “Drop Beckett a Line” by signing a postcard and dropping it into a red crab trap (complete with a big old crab).
The highlight of the party wasn’t beach-themed, it was the video montage “The Real Bat Mitzvah of Westchester County.” Shot in the style of the Bravo show, it told the story of how Beckett was so focused on her Bat Mitzvah studies, she couldn’t do much of anything else. Beckett’s Dad is a professional video editor and he directed and produced the montage.
Beckett and her friends getting a kick out of the montage
To go with the simple beachy theme, Martine’s Fine Bakery designed a big fun, colorful cake decorated with beach balls and flip flops and topped with a big yellow boogie board. Most of all, they wanted the cake to taste delicious. No fondant, all butter cream. They served a vanilla cake with butter cream icing and chocolate ganache filling. Fun and yummy!!!
The cake was topped by a giant yellow boogie board – the color of Beckett’s board.
My husband and I both really loved being involved in the Bat Mitzvah prep at the temple. We participated in Torah study and talked to the girls about what becoming a Bat Mitzvah means. We also got to know our Cantor and Rabbi a little better, which connected us to the day even more. Even with all the excitement around the party planning in the house, we tried to stay focused on the service because it’s an incredible and monumental moment in a family’s life.
Beckett loves to cook and bake, and she wanted to incorporate her hobby with her Mitzvah Project. She got involved in the Domestic Abuse Task Force at their temple, which helps settle families who have suffered from domestic abuse from shelters into permanent housing.
To make one new family feel welcome in their new home, Beckett purchased baking supplies – from rolling pins to baking sheets to flour – for the family. She wrote up a few of her favorite recipes and baked a batch of brownies. Then, she delivered the supplies and goodies to the family a week after they had moved into their new apartment and just in time for the holidays. She will continue to donate her time to the task force when she enters our temple’s Academy program next year.
Here is a list of the Mitzvah Vendors who helped make Beckett’s Bat Mitzvah special. If you call any of them, please let them know you read about their services on MitzvahMarket.com. Thanks!
Venue: Half Moon Restaurant 914.693.4130
Entertainment/Photo Favors: Rooney Tunes Entertainment DJ/MC Joe Rooney
Invitation: Collage 941-922-2939 firstname.lastname@example.org
Decor: Daniels Florals and Events 914-481-5528
Cake: Martine’s Fine Bakery 914-346-8650
Photographer: Margaret Fox Photography 914-332-9704
Mitzvah Style: Dresses off the rack and on sale! Beckett’s dress at Neiman Marcus
Juliet’s at Lord & Taylor and for Mitzvah Mom Bonnie Woodbury Commons Outlets
Hair/makeup for Mom: Linda Gallo 914-473-7657
Hair for Bat Mitzvah girl Beckett: Salon Topaz 914-231-6212
Transportation: Chappaqua Bus 914-238-4404