The Party Favers

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Planning Guide
Organization is the key to a memorable bar/bat mitzvah celebration, and planning can actually get underway as early as three years before the actual date. And whether you select a simple reception to celebrate your child's passage into the rites of Judaism or an elaborate evening affair for 300, the goal is the same. You want a memorable and meaningful event that you and your family will remember for a lifetime.

Your Required Info
Your Name: Event Date:
Email Address: Event Times: to

2 to 3 Years Before Event
Contact a synagogue or temple when your child is less than ten years old.:
Decide on the style of the event, one that suits your lifestyle and budget:
Contact potential service providers, caterers, and entertainers:

1 Year Before Event
Book Location:
Book Entertainment:
Book Photographer:
Book Videographer:
Book Party Decorator:
Book Florist:
Select a "theme" and/or color scheme for the event.:
Help your child decide on a community service or Bar/Bat Mitzvah project idea.:
Many families find that the meaningfulness of the event is enhanced when a tzedakah [charity] project is established.

6 Months Before Event
Develop a guest list with current addresses.:
Select the order invitations.:
Order thank you notes:
Order direction cards (if needed):
Order Napkins and Guest Towels:
Always order more invitations than you think you are going to need. Reprints of small quantities can be costly.
Keep your eyes open for interesting stamps, they add a nice touch to the envelope and reply card.:
Decide on centerpieces for tables and any other decorations.:
"Sign-in Boards" are popular and should be ordered, usually though the florist/decorator:
Choose party favors for guests.:
Arrange out of town guest accommodations.:
Stay in close contact with your child's Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutor:
Decide if you will be offering other events through the weekend.:
Many families invite close friends and family to a Friday evening Shabbat dinner before the big event and a Sunday brunch.

Special Study/Research/Special Training/Skills
Finalize all party selections (menu, centerpieces, and decorations):
Make Appointments for hair stylist, barbers, and manicurists as needed.:
Order personalized kippot (in Yiddish, yarmulkes):

2 Month Before Event
Mail Invitations.:
Number the back of the response cards to correspond to your guest list to ensure accuracy.
Create candle-lighting ceremony.:
Work with your child to ensure that you are writing something that he or she feels comfortable reciting at the big event.
Coordinate the Entertainers and Caterers to ensure that the Time Frames Match:
Develop a timeline for the event that includes formalities, horas/dances, and food services.
Encourage your child to practice his or her service out loud.:

1 Month Before Event
Reconfirm all services providers:
Develop a seating plan:
Coordinate a rehearsal time with your temple.:
Many temples allow you to video this event in lieu of the actual service.
Arrange hospitality baskets for out-of-town guests.:
Coordinate out-of-town guest transportation to and from airports and events.:

1 Week Before Event
Confirm final guest count with caterer:
Remember: Once you have guaranteed a number, that is what you will be responsible to pay for, even if fewer guests show up.
Adjust seating arrangements.:
Pack an "Emergency Kit" as shown below.:
It’s better to be safe then sorry! Since you never know what unexpected events may happen on your big day, we have prepared a list of “must haves” for you to keep on hand for those “just in case” moments. Pack the following items in a large portable tote bag or Rubbermaid type bin, you’ll be glad you did!

Small sewing kit


$20 (you never know what you may need it for)

Coins (parking meters, vending machines, etc.)



Touch up make-up*

Safety pins*

Straight pins

Small scissors

Small can of hair spray

Extra buttons

Hair pins


Cotton balls

Cotton swabs

Band aids

Small snacks (i.e.. crackers, granola bars, dried fruit, etc.)

Breath mints*

Small bottle of water

Brush/comb for hair touchups*

Disposable camera for candid shots

Small portable mirror*

Travel size bottle of favorite perfume

Hand lotion

Dental floss

Crazy Glue

Touch up fingernail & toenail polish*

Clear nail polish

Nail file*

Nail clippers

Extra suitable pair of earrings (in case she should happen to lose one of her original pair)

Extra earring backs*

Local taxi company phone number (just in case)

List of vendors and phone numbers (should you need to contact one of them)

Cell phone numbers of those in the event and family

Baby wipes

Shoe polish

Scotch tape

Hem tape

Spot remover


Wrinkle out spray

Straws (to sip something to drink without smudging lipstick)

Smelling salts

Sanitary supplies*


Your Notepad (Self-Notes)

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