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The Vatske Bat Mitzvah Family Spotlight

The Vatske Bat Mitzvah Family Spotlight

Hi all!

The Vatske family from Long Island planned a fun candy themed Bat Mitzvah in honor of their daughter Marin on September 26, 2009. The service was held at the family’s synagogue, Temple Beth Sholom in Smithtown, New York with a Saturday night reception at the Hamlet Willow Creek in Mt. Sinai, New York.

Mom Tara was the party planner for her daughter’s Mitzvah, a daunting task, but with lots of creativity, attention to detail and the use of the internet she was able to find some fabulous cost savings ideas and created a beautiful and unique party for her friends and family.

We would like to thank the Vatske family for sharing their ideas with Mitzvah Market!

Party photography was done by Classy Candids. All vendor information is at the bottom.

Pictured from left to right: Brother Ethan, Mom Tara, Bat Mitzvah girl Marin and Dad Bruce.


Mitzvah Mom Tara and daughter Marin both look beautiful in their gowns from Magic Moments. Dad Bruce and brother Ethan look equally dashing in their tuxedos from Rogers Tuxedo.




The beautiful invitation is from Sealed with a Kiss.


vatske invite bow

The front of the invitation had this beautiful bow

Tara invite

The invitation featured lime green and chocolate brown colors




Marin’s reception took place at the Willow Creek Hamlet Golf &  Country Club. Mom Tara raved about Catering Manager Barbara!




Willow Creek Hamlet Golf & Country Club


Shown below are some of the various ways Mitzvah Mom Tara incorporated the candy theme into the party.  She created the place cards herself and purchased the supplies from Michael’s Arts & Craft’s. Each card featured a piece of candy which represented the table guests would be seated at. The place card also said the name of the candy.



The place cards are ready for the party!

Tara place cards

All of the kid’s tables were M&M’s.  Five of the kid’s tables were represented by silver, brown, light pink, dark pink and white M&M’s. Marin’s table had 3 colors. Each adult table were represented by a different pink candy


She created this map to show guests where their tables were located. The map was displayed on an easel next to the card table

Vatske sign-in
Mom Tara created sign-in cards which were placed into a scrapbook after the party

Tara sign in card

A sample card from the “scrapbook”

Tara montage board
Tara also made the picture montage of Marin which was displayed at the reception


Stamp - Mitzvah Decor


The ballroom all dressed and ready for a party!



Vatske centerpiece

Centerpiece bases filled with candy


Each table was named after a candy

Tara decor

Vases filled with silver foiled Hershey candy kisses completed the candy theme! The pink candy (Good and Plenty, Laffy Taffy, Jelly Beans, Chocolate Balls etc.) in the middle represented the table

Stamp - Mitzvah Music


The entertainment and music was provided by Party Harty with Howie as the MC.



Tara dancing

Bat Mitzvah girl Marin and brother Ethan up on stage with the dancers

Tara dancing
Marin enjoying herself in the middle of all the action…

With a little help from her Mom, Marin made a quick change from her Bat Mitzvah service and cocktail hour dress into her beautiful blue gown


Stamp - Mitzvah Cake

Dessert was really sweet and included this beautiful topsy-turvy chocolate brown and pink cake created by the Rolling Pin Bakery.  All candy on the candy bar went with the color scheme and was pink, brown and silver.

Once again Mom Tara got her creative juices flowing and made the pink labels on the chocolate brown Chinese takeout food favor boxes which read, “Sweet Dreams” and “Hugs and kisses from Marin” with the date.

Tara purchased all of the favor bags, gift tags, crinkle paper and Chinese food takeout containers (for candy) from She also ordered all the labels which were used for favor bags, gift tags, hotel bags and water bottles (for adults) from


Vatske cake

The cake looks too good to eat!

Tara candy bar

Looks like Marin wants the fabulous candy bar all to herself!



The Vatske’s offered many unique candy themed favors to their guests.


Tara sweatshirt favor
Sweatshirts with Marin’s candy theme above and below…


The back of the sweatshirt listed songs that were also on a CD which was given to guests as they left

Tara candy torahs
Adorable personalized “Candy Torahs” made with sweet tarts


Stamp - Mitzvah Idea


Each guest also received a “candy quiz” with their favor bag with questions like:

1) A long race? Answer = Marathon Bar
2) Andy Pettite and Joba Chamberlain live here on game days?
Answer = Mounds
3) Dustin Hoffman somersaults?
Answer = Tootsie Rolls

Vatske toothbrush

As if that wasn’t enough, guests were given toothbrushes of course –  with a note from Marin “Don’t forget to brush!”

Marin gave each guest a CD to listen to on the way home. The first track was a message from Marin recorded at the Vatske home using Garage Band on the Mac.   She thanked everyone for coming and sharing this special occasion with her.   Marin “signed off”  by saying  “Good night, sweet dreams and “chocolate hugs and kisses.”



Marin and her dad enjoying some alone time.



Vatske golf cart

Marin loved taking a picture with her Dad in the golf cart before the party started

Tara (mom/daughter) tshirt

Tara and Marin wore another version of their candy theme at a brunch the day after her Bat Mitzvah. These were given to them by Tara’s best friend Beth


Stamp - Mitzvah Project Idea
For Marin’s Mitzvah Project, she collected food for the food pantry at her temple.  She created a sheet attached to large paper grocery bags for placement on pews during Rosh Hashanah (her Bat Mitzvah was Shabbat Shuvah). She also asked each guest to bring an item to the temple or party location.



We asked Mom Tara for some advice now that the planning is behind her. This is what she told us, “Since you want your friends/family to remember this event, concentrate on the entertainment and special touches.  Ask yourself these questions, “Will “x” be missed if we don’t do it?”  “Is it something everyone will really remember?” “Does it make a difference?” If you can – enlist a friend to help with some items if you are doing it yourself like rolling up sweatshirts, glue gunning items, bringing things to location, etc.  Beth was a godsend!”


Stamp Vendor's Directory


Here is a list of the Mitzvah vendors who helped make Marin’s Bat Mitzvah special. If you call any of them, please let them know you read about their services on Thanks!

Venue: Hamlet Willow Creek, 631-474-9200
Party Harty 516-845-8585
Party entertainment: Photos – That’s Entertainment Concepts, (through Party Harty) 516-845-8585
Sealed with a Kiss  516-921-7227
: Rolling Pin Bakery 631-689-2253
Photographer: Classy Candids 516- 777-3337
Décor/florist: Bayport Flower House 631-472-0014
Schwabs 2nd wind Screen Printing 631-331-4532
: Dr. Ross Gruber 631- 289-9000
Candy Torahs: 800-965-6652
Favor Bags/Chinese take-out boxes:
Labels for everything:
Dresses for family members:
Magic Moments 631-474-2647
Suits for family members
: Tuxedos from Rogers Tuxedo 631-467-1177
:  Sivana Salon 631-584-2408
Dana Curtin 631-767-3050

Posted in Mitzvah Spotlight, Family