Month: December 2015

Pop Color Year In Review

Pop Color Year In Review | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in MD, DC & VAWhat a year it’s been for Pop Color Events!

It started when my path crossed with Sammy’s awesome mom. She took a chance on Pop Color Events, back before I had a business name or a website. Then it really started with a pop at Sammy’s Bar Mitzvah in Bethesda at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel in June. I had the best time working with Sammy’s family, meeting some amazing vendors and executing an event that I am incredibly proud of. I gained the confidence to know that I could make a business out of this doing what I love–working with families, planning, organizing and throwing memorable events.

From there, Sammy’s mom referred my services to her friends and things started moving!

I spent the summer doing a whole bunch of boring behind the scenes business stuff–becoming an LLC, getting and EIN and generally making sure that my business was on the up and up. I purchased and my branding process started. I worked with a designer to create my logo and website. I streamlined my packages and made sure everything was accessible to my ideal client.

September was my coming out–my website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram all launched and my online following started growing. I am so grateful to my family and friends for helping me get the word out.

And get the word out they did! In October, I worked with Josh’s family for month of coordination for his rockin’ Bar Mitzvah at the Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center in Fairfax, VA. I loved doing the month of coordination, not only because Josh’s family was tons of fun, but because their vendor team was great!

I’ve spent the remainder of the year working with my 2016 clients doing everything from scouting event locations to putting together floor plans to creating menus and more. My clients are such a diverse group hailing from DC, Maryland and Virginia. I’ve also met a ton of incredible people along the way. I feel so lucky to have met so many vendors who I can ask advice, bounce ideas off of and confidently refer to my clients.

Thanks to all of you who’ve helped me along this journey. I’m so looking forward to 2016 and the many Mitzvahs I already have on the books.

Cheers to 2015! Here’s to a great 2016 for Pop Color Events!

Interfaith Bar and Bat Mitzvah Advice

Interfaith Bar and Bat Mitzvah Planning Advice | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

In this season of the December dilemma and on Christmas Eve, I wanted to write about interfaith issues. I started to do some digging and realized just how many amazing resources are out there for families trying to balance different religions during the Bar and Bat Mitzvah process. So rather than recreating what already exists, I wanted to share some links that I think will be helpful to interfaith families during their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

Advice for starting the process when you have (or are) a non-Jewish spouse

Educating your non-Jewish family (and friends)

Sample information for programs that explain a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, the worship servicesanctuary and service participants

A Torah blessing that a non-Jewish spouse can say

A family whose child has studied both Judaism and Christianity becomes a Bar Mitzvah

Finally, if links aren’t enough and you’d like an actual book here are some great recommendations.

Start Your Week With A Pop: Mitzvah Links for December 21

Start Your Week With A Pop! Mitzvah Links | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

A few Mitzvah, Jewish and/or family-related links to start your week with a pop!

Hope you’re enjoying your weekly round up of interesting Mitzvah, Jewish and/or family-related links.It’s the last time to start your week with a pop in 2015! I’m taking next week off, so make sure to enjoy today’s links extra 🙂

Need some ideas for cool DC event venues?

What type of entrance will you do? Mitzvah Market has some ideas.

Need a laugh? Here are 10 things that could go wrong at your Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

Looking for ideas to cut your alcohol costsWashingtonian has you covered!

Have a link you’d like featured in a future Start Your Week With A Pop? Contact Brynne!


Typical Events for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah Weekend

Typical Events for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah Weekend | Shabbat Dinner, Kiddush Luncheon, Afternoon Party, Evening Party, Kids Only Party, Sunday Brunch | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvah in DC, MD & VAThere are a variety of different types of events that can happen over the course of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah weekend. Note that I said “can happen” and not “must happen.” I believe that you should have the types of events that make the most sense for your family. I’ve listed the different types below along with some handy tips for planning.

Shabbat Dinner

Definition: Start your Mitzvah weekend with a Friday night Shabbat dinner. Having a Shabbat dinner for out of town guests, family or close friends is a nice way to see some of your VIP guests in a more intimate setting.

Pop Color Tip: To make it very convenient, rent space at your temple and then have your guests walk down the hall to join you for Friday night Shabbat Services. If you have a smaller group, you can make a reservation at a restaurant near your temple or have an open house at your home. Easy peasy.

Kiddush Luncheon

Definition: A kiddush luncheon is a quick nosh immediately following a morning service, generally lasting a maximum of 2 hours. It’s usually bagels, lox, tuna and other cold food. No alcohol is generally served and there is no entertainment. It’s simply food and shmoozing. Sometimes the temple will provide it and sometimes you’ll have to rent space at the temple and do it yourself.

Pop Color Tip: As soon as you get your Mitzvah date, find out if your synagogue includes a kiddush luncheon as part of your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah package. If a kiddush luncheon is not part of the Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah package at your temple, you’ll want to act quickly to rent space and save money in your budget for this. Or, if you’re having a Mincha or Havdalah Service (in the afternoon or evening), you won’t need to worry about it at all.

Afternoon Party

Definition: Like a kiddush luncheon, an afternoon party starts immediately following Shabbat services. However, an afternoon party is different from a kiddush luncheon because it is longer (4-5 hours) and has all of the pieces of a party–cocktail hour, music, entertainment, food, drinks… This is less formal than an evening party in both guest attire and event experience. Since it will be light outside throughout your event, there is overall a different feel. It’s possible for this party to have an “adults only” vibe and then have a kid’s only party at a different time (see below).

Pop Color Tip: There is room for savings with an afternoon party since it can be a less busy time for vendors and they may still be able to book an evening party. Negotiate!

Evening Party

Definition: While similar to an afternoon party, an evening party generally starts between 6 and 7pm. These parties have a more formal feel. Depending on how observant the family is, these give more flexibility for location since they can start after Shabbat.

Pop Color Tip: One of the biggest complaints I hear from families I’ve worked with is that they went to an evening Bar or Bat Mitzvah party and they didn’t eat until 9 pm or even 10 pm. They were starving! Make sure you think of the flow of the party when you choose your start time.

Kids Only Party

Definition: Pretty self-explanatory, but it’s a party for only your child’s friends. This party often occurs on Saturday night or at some point on Sunday. It generally happens because other events scheduled over the Mitzvah weekend are more focused on adults and parents want to have a special party just for their kid’s friends.

Pop Color Tip: Since this is just for the kids, allow your child to be very involved in the planning. Make sure it is something that he or she thinks is awesome and the party will be awesome!

Sunday Brunch

Definition: If you’re expecting a lot of out of town guests and they’ll be staying at a hotel, a very nice thing is to offer brunch food in a private room at the hotel. This gives you one last chance to see friends and family who have traveled from afar to be with you for your child’s special day. There are a variety of other alternatives to a hotel brunch, this such as inviting guests to stop by your home on their way out (if most of your out of towners drove, this works well), informally letting guests know that you’ll be in the hotel restaurant during a certain timeframe or hosting guests in a hospitality suite.

Pop Color Tip: The salesperson at the hotel who helped with your room block can help arrange this. Mention that you’re planning on doing this early in the process! If you have a lot of out of town guests or have had your party at the hotel too, see if you can negotiate for upgrades for your brunch. The more money you spend at the hotel, the more bargaining power you have.

The Final Word

You certainly do not have to have every single one of the events listed above, but I find it important to know all of your options while planning. As always, I recommend doing what works best for your family. Each situation and family is unique so there is definitely no one size fits all approach.

And just because I have to say it, Pop Color Events is available to help with all of these different types of gatherings and I offer discounts when you book more than one type of service with me.

Start Your Week With a Pop: Mitzvah Links for the Week of December 14

Start Your Week With A Pop! Mitzvah Links | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

A few Mitzvah, Jewish and/or family-related links to start your week with a pop!

The history of Hava Nagila is fascinating! Thanks My Jewish Learning.

You need to RSVP! Yes you! via Kveller.

Need an entrance song? Mitzvah Market has you covered.

Speaking of music, here are some great choices for father/daughter or mother/son dance songs from Mitzvah Market.

The evolution of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah photographer.

Have a link you’d like featured in a future Start Your Week With A Pop? Contact Brynne!

Candle Types and Tips for Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah

Candle Types & Tips For Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in MD, DC & VA

In honor of Chanukah, I wanted to talk a little bit about 6 types of candles you might have at your Bar or Bat Mitzvah and offer some safe candle usage tips. Candles help create the ambiance at an evening event or in a darkened room. They are an elegant, timeless addition to any party.

Votive Candle | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA Votive Candles

These are the candles that you often see in groups of 1, 3 or 5 on dinner tables or hightop cocktail tables. They are short candles about 1½ inch in diameter and 2-3 inches high. Votive Candles are meant to be placed in a glass votive holder (a variety of decorative types are available) because the wax will completely melt around the wick, allowing them to burn for an extended length of time.

Tea Light Candle | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA Tea Light Candles

Tea light candles are different than votives because they come in a metal or clear plastic “cup.” They are also typically shorter (about 1 inch high) and do not burn for as long. However, they are often less expensive than votives, so they are a popular choice for that reason.

Taper Candle | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VATaper Candles

These are the long and thin candles that you’d use to light for Shabbat. You’d place Taper candles in a candelabra or candle sticks. They are often used in a candle lighting ceremony since they are so dramatic. Be careful with these since they can break easily in transport since they are so thin.

Havdalah Candle | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VAHavdalah Candles

Are you having an evening party? You may need a Havdalah candle for a brief Havdalah service. These candles are braided and have several wicks. You can get Havdalah candles that are blue and white or a variety of colors, incredibly intricately braided or very simply braided. Your temple gift shop is a good place to purchase or you can buy from a plethora of online vendors including from Israel.

Candle | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA Floating Candles

Floating Candles add interest to a centerpiece as they float on water. It’s important to have candles specifically designed to float (with a round or tapered bottom) or the wax will drip into the water and ruin the look of the centerpiece.

LED Candle | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA LED Candles

Or as I like to call it, the faker’s candle. This is a small lightbulb designed to look like a candle. They can often be very realistic, flickering just like a “real” candle. You can get versions that are able to be submerged in water and they can go anyplace that you would put a real candle. LED Candles click, twist or switch on and last for hours and hours. They won’t get blown out by the wind or by your guest and they won’t cause a fire if someone’s hair gets too close.

Candle Tips

I’ve already covered some helpful tips for a candle lighting ceremony, so I won’t repeat too much. However, the one thing to note is safety with tweens and fire. I recommend leaving actual candles off of the tween tables and instead opting for either LED candles or nothing at all. Knowing where the fire extinguisher is couldn’t hurt, either.

Check your contract with your venue carefully, as many have regulations about the types of candles/flames that are and are not allowed. Often open flames are not allowed, as they can be a fire hazard.

Putting candles in odd numbered groupings (1, 3 or 5) is much more visually interesting than putting them in even numbered groupings (2 or 4).


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Start Your Chanukah With a Pop: Chanukah Links for the Week of December 7

Why I Only Plan Bar and Bat Mitzvahs

Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are the best types of events to plan. I don't know of many planners who specialize in Mitzvahs, but I'm ready to let the secret of why they're so awesome out! | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

To me, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are the best types of events to plan. I don’t know of many planners who specialize in Mitzvahs, but I’m ready to let the secret of why they’re so awesome out!

The Kvelling

As a mom myself, I love seeing parents kvell (Yiddish for burst with pride) over their kids. Mom and Dad have seen how hard their son or daughter has worked to prepare for this day,  and once the tough part is over, everyone is ready to party! There’s always a moment where I get a little choked up when I see parents speaking and just so gosh darn proud of their kiddo. I’ve got a ways to go before I get there myself (my little guy is not even 2 yet!), but I always put myself in their shoes and feel the love flowing.

The Love

Speaking of the love, there is so much of it at these events! There are so few happy occasions when extended families have the opportunity to gather together. To me, this is the best kind of occasion! I like to take a moment with the Mitzvah child and have them look around the room and let them know that everyone is there because they love him or her. How often do you get a celebration in your honor with all of the special people who love you in one place?

The Tweens

Tweens are hilarious. Maybe it’s because I don’t have one yet, but I think they are so fun. I know that makes me a little crazy, but there’s just something magic about that time in between childhood and teenhood. They’re old enough to have thoughtful conversations and strong convictions, but still young enough to be a bit naive with how the world works.

The Variety

Each event is different because each family is so different. I love that I never have to plan the same event twice. It keeps my job interesting and it keeps me on my toes.

When you’re looking for a planner, ask yourself, why do they plan any other sort of event when Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are so darn fun?

© 2015 Pop Color Events