The most important part of planning a bar/bat mitzvah party is getting and staying organized from the very beginning. Create a binder to keep everything from initial brainstorming ideas to final receipts. The goal is to be so on top of it, that the day of is as stress-free as possible so that you can celebrate with your son or daughter.
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Eighteen Months Before
It seems so far away, but the big weekend will be here in no time. At about a year and a half out, come up with a party concept with your child. Start brainstorming venues and creating guest lists. This is the time to engage a bar mitzvah planner to help you realize your vision for the big event.
One Year Before
Nail down your choices and pay those deposits. This is the time to make the final decisions on florist, photographer, venue, caterer, and entertainment.
Eight Months Before
Send out your “Save the Date” cards and reserve a block of rooms for out of town guests. Order invitations. Design the centerpieces especially if part of them will be donated after the party.
Three Months Before
Order party favors and cake. This is a great time to discuss with the DJ the types of songs and games you want. As a precaution, always preview your child’s song list for age appropriateness. Make the final menu with the caterer.
Two Months Before
Send those invitations and wait for the replies to roll in. If you plan on having any physical donations from the mitzvah project, contact the donation site to confirm how they would like to receive the items. Make appointments for hairdressers and shop for party clothes.
One Month Before
Double-check all your vendors to avoid any last-minute surprises. Call those who haven’t responded to their invitations for the same reason. Put together guest baskets for relatives coming in from out of town.
One Week Before
If you’ve kept up with your task list, you should be able to focus on your child during this week. He or she will probably be nervous about their big weekend, so try to spend extra time with them doing something relaxing. Double-check everyone’s outfits to make sure dress shoes still fit and belts match.
The Day Of
No doubt some of this day will be spent putting out little fires. That’s okay. A little chaos is all part of it, but with the basics like caterer and DJ double-checked and in place, all you really need to do is step back and let the kids have some well-earned fun.
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