Month Before the Mitzvah To-Do | MitzvahMarket | MitzvahMarket

Month Before the Mitzvah To-Do

Month Before the Mitzvah To-Do


Your invitations are out. Your RSVPs are in. It is go time! It is time to finalize everything for your mitzvah. So what needs to get done?

The answer is – SO MUCH!

I have been searching for a comprehensive relatable “to do list” for a type-A New Yorker and haven’t found one to the detail I desired… So, I decided to write my own. I thought you may also find it helpful. With that said, the first step is accepting we are all a little nuts. But then again, so are our parties.

Presenting the Neurotic Jewish Mom’s Pre-Mitzvah To-Do List:

Pre-Mitzvah Preparation

1. Self-Care Journey

  • Coordinate hair and makeup trials for pre or temple photo shoots
  • Make haircut appointments for the males in your family
  • Confirm hair and makeup appointments for day of party
  • Make nail appointments
  • Do your eyebrows
  • Pluck out the weird hair in your arm that you always forget about
  • Shave your armpits and legs
  • Pull out gray hairs
  • Realize sit-ups would have been a good idea a month ago


2. Photographer

  • Set up your temple photoshoot and pre-shoot
  • Coordinate the timing of formal pictures (day of) and give the extended family a timeline
  • Discuss photo album options


3. Attire

  • Confirm service attire for all family members
  • Confirm party attire for all family members
  • Order Spanx, try them on with your dress
  • Bring all clothing to tailor
  • Confirm your shoes fit
  • Confirm your children’s shoes fit
  • Tell your husband to order new shoes, knowing he will want them last minute
  • Pick socks, try them on with event shoes, and set them aside so they are clean
  • Make sure any boys/men have white undershirts to wear under their dress shirts
  • Buy belts if boys are wearing suits
  • Have a family dress rehearsal to make sure everything matches and fits
  • Decide on jewelry, try it on to make sure it matches, and the length works


4. Favors

  • Order favors – decide if you’re getting all one size, if not request sizes from guests
  • Decide on favor bags
  • Decide on a name label for bags
  • Match up favor and size with name label
  • Label and stuff bags
  • Confirm swag for adults like flip-flops or slippers
  • Order earplugs for adults


5. Housekeeping

  • 1-2 weeks prior, send out electronic reminders confirming RSVP
  • Send an email about the mitzvah project
  • Invite your family to the Friday night service, and confirm honors
  • Figure out all gratuities and get cash
  • Decide where the mitzvah gift money will live – five-year CD? Bank account?
  • Make sure thank you notes are ready
  • Buy stamps
  • Start saving “good boxes” to bring stuff to your venue
  • Return everything to Amazon so it’s out of your house


For The Service

1. Religious Items

  • Order yarmulkes
  • Get a basket for yarmulkes
  • Order Tallis 


2. Honors

  • Finalize your aliyah list and ask for Hebrew names if needed
  • If you are doing a Torah portion at the service, practice it out loud and without vowels
  • Send all Hebrew reading parts to honorees so they can practice
  • Send all English reading parts to honorees so they can practice
  • Confirm the people whom you want to honor with lifting/carrying the Torah can lift/carry it


3. Food & Water

  • Finalize details for kiddush or oneg if having one
  • Confirm candy to throw with the temple and put in a basket
  • Bring a cup with a straw for the mitzvah child to keep on the bema


4. Speech

  • Write and edit your speech
  • Practice it out loud
  • Go slower


5. Housekeeping

  • Submit picture and mitzvah project for temple newsletter
  • Include the child’s name in the book of honor


For The Party

1. Venue

  • Finalize menu
  • Confirm special dietary restricts for guests
  • Finalize attendee count
  • Finalize adult drinks and mocktails
  • Finalize placement of your vendors
  • Confirm how and when to pay and get a certified check if needed
  • Confirm table sizes for adults
  • Confirm the date to drop everything off before the party: favor bags, baskets, etc.


2. Seating

  • Create a seating table chart
  • Order seating chart poster or place cards
  • If doing seating poster, confirm venue has an easel
  • Confirm the venue has table number cards they can use or order special ones if not


3. Party Décor

  • If you’re bringing stuff the maître will set up, confirm your vision with him/her
  • Charge anything that lights up
  • Put together the box for envelopes/gifts
  • Complete bathroom basket


4. Candle lighting

  • If you are doing DIY candle lighting décor, do a mockup
  • Decide on the number of candles and honored guests
  • Write rhyming poems for each candle


5. Speech

  • Write and edit your speech
  • Practice it out loud
  • Go slower
  • If siblings are making speeches have them practice out loud


6. DJ

  • Confirm party dancers, add more if needed
  • Set up a call with MC to go over your vision
  • Make a list of “must play” and “do not play” songs
  • Decide on an entry song for each member of your family
  • Make a separate bag for giveaways and prizes
  • Decide who is doing the blessings
  • Confirm songs for your candle lighting
  • Pick who goes up in chairs, and make sure DJ knows the ceiling height
  • Decide on the type of hora you would like
  • Decide if you want games like Coke and Pepsi 


7. Cake

  • Order cake if your venue does not provide one
  • Confirm cake pick up or delivery and when the venue will accept it
  • If picking up, confirm store hours and payment options


8. Photo Booth

  • Confirm backdrop
  • Make special prop requests


In Conclusion

With all the above said, if you have vendors who take care of these things, good for you! If not, you got this. It will all get done. The most important part is that you are now ready to watch your beautiful baby read from the Torah and become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

Remember, that is what this day is all about.

Other than that, get ready to party. You did it! Pat yourself on the back because no matter what, you are about to have the most spectacular event ever!

Also, it’s ok if the UPS store lady is not only invited to your party but gets a candle… Thanks for scanning my QR codes so I can run out the door, UPS lady please come up and light candle number four. We all know she’s played a big role in this day too.

Stacey Wallenstein is the founder of the parenting & lifestyle blog The Mint Chip Mama. Visit her website at and find her across all socials at @themintchipmama.

Posted in Mitzvah Advice

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