Month: February 2016

Questions To Ask Your Vendors About Your Winter Mitzvah

If you have a winter Mitzvah date, here are some questions to make sure your vendor team will be able to handle any possible snow scenarios. | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA
Hiring a team of professionals led by a Mitzvah event planner is the best way to ensure a flawless event, despite any winter weather challenges that may arise. If you have a winter Mitzvah date and are worried about snow, here are some great questions you can ask early in the process to make sure your vendor team will be able to handle any possible snow scenarios.

Synagogue

How many times have winter Mitzvah services been canceled or rescheduled due to weather?
How much notice would you give us if the service had to be canceled or rescheduled? Would our family and/or child’s partner’s family weigh in on the decision?

All Vendors

Have you dealt with events with inclement winter weather before? How did you handle it?
If the weather is bad, but we still have our event, how will you ensure that you arrive at our event on time?
Does your contract have a “Force Majeure”, “Act of God” or “Act of Weather/Inclement Weather” clause? May I see it?
What are you responsible for in case the event is canceled or rescheduled due to weather?

Venue

What is your snow removal plan? How long does it take your parking lot and sidewalks to be clear of snow and ice?
Do you have a backup generator in case the power goes out?

Hotel

Will the guests in our room block be able to rebook without penalty and at the same rate if the date changes?

Final Thoughts

No one can control the weather, but you can make sure that you’ve asked the right questions to ensure your winter event is covered. Always double check that what you’ve discussed related to weather has made it into your vendor contract, just in case. Choosing the right vendors who can handle any winter weather challenge, will ensure an amazing party that goes off without a hitch even in the worst case scenario. And if any vendor gives you an answer other than “we will be there regardless of weather,” find another vendor. Your piece of mind in this situation is priceless.

Need help finding the right vendors? Contact me!

How to Reschedule Your Mitzvah (Due to Snow)

It's going to snow on your Mitzvah and you need to reschedule. Here are tips on what to do. | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in MD, DC & VA.

If your Mitzvah needs to be rescheduled due to weather, you’ll be very happy you hired a planner because s/he will handle the heavy lifting. Decisions and follow through will need to happen quickly. Here are the steps to take if you need to reschedule your event.

1. Call your planner

If you have a planner, s/he will handle all of the following for you and will already have been in touch with all of your vendors prior to your phone call. Pat yourself on the back for making a good decision and make yourself a (spiked) hot chocolate.

2. Check your contracts

If you don’t have a planner, you’ll want to check all of your contracts for a “Force Majeure”, “Act of God” or “Act of Weather” clause. Contractually, what are your vendors responsible for providing? Ethically, will they go above and beyond what their contract requires?

3. Talk to your synagogue

Will the service happen as planned or will it be rescheduled? If it happens as planned, decide if you still want to change your party date. Assuming you still want to change…

4. Talk to your venue (if it’s different from your synagogue)

Delaying the party to Sunday allows roads to be plowed and conditions to improve and may be the best solution. Does your venue have availability to reschedule to Sunday or to a different date (if the service is rescheduled)? Will there be any change to the level of service you expected due to the date change? Finalize your new event date.

5. Talk to your vendors

Go through your contracts, one by one, and contact each vendor. Does each vendor have availability to reschedule to the new date? If so, will there be any change to the contracted level of service, items expected or person/people onsite expected due to the date change? If major changes need to be made, get all of the details in writing. If they do not have availability on your new date, will they help you find a suitable replacement or give a refund? If the weather conditions still may not be great, ask what contingencies they have in place to ensure you receive excellent service.

6a. Contract any new vendors

If, for any reason, your old vendors are unable to service your new date, you’ll need to quickly find new vendors. Start calling and sending emails ASAP!

6b. Email your guests

Now that you have the big details ironed out, it’s time to let your guests know the changes. Send an email with all of the details, new and old, and let them know you’d still love to have them. If there were guests who were unable to come due to the date being bad, you may want to reach out to see if they can join on the new date. To your guests, it will seem like “magic” that your event has been rescheduled and only you will know the headache of what went on behind the scenes!

Want to save the headache? Contact me about how Pop Color Events can help!

Start Your Week With A Pop: Mitzvah Links for the Week of February 15

Start Your Week With A Pop! Mitzvah Links | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VAHappy President’s Day and hope you had a great weekend! Here are a few Bar Mitzvah/Bat Mitzvah, Jewish and/or family-related links to start your week with a pop!

The year of the Bar Mitzvah. One family’s journey through a year full of family Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. So interesting to see how each experience is so different. Via My Jewish Learning.

Hilarious take on being a frequent Bar/Bat Mitzvah guest – Part 1 and Part 2 and http://www.toolazytowriteabook.com/2016/02/10/part-3-of-your-indispensably-honest-guide-to-attending-a-bar-bat-mitzvah/Part 3. I’ll admit that I laughed more than once! Via Too Lazy To Write A Book.

What I learned from my Bat Mitzvah via Kveller.

Looking for a special place for your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah? Try camp. Via Jewish Journal.

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

Mitzvah Snow Scenarios

If you have a winter Mitzvah date, there's a lingering fear in the back of your mind. What if it snows? | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

If you have a winter Mitzvah date, there’s a lingering fear in the back of your mind. What if it snows? Over the next few weeks, we’ll talk winter weather, the exact steps to take if you need to reschedule your event, questions to ask your vendors in advance of a winter event and contingency plans you may want to have in place. Stay tuned!

Scenario 1: A little snow

Most snow situations will be just a few inches of snow and the event can (and should!) go on as planned. It can certainly be inconvenient and some guests will be unable to attend, but it will still be an amazing celebration. In this situation, check in with your venue to confirm their snow removal plan and that they will be ready to host. Then check with your vendors to confirm that they are prepared for this scenario–how are they getting to the venue, how much extra time do they plan for travel, how will their equipment be protected from the weather?  If you have a Mitzvah planner, they will likely handle this for you.

Funny story. I have a January birthday and it actually snowed on my Bat Mitzvah weekend. I was 13 then, so I don’t recall how much snow actually fell, but it was enough to make everyone nervous. We did have a few guests who couldn’t it make it, but everyone who was important to my family and me made it there. While there were a few empty chairs, all I remember was feeling like I was the most special person in the world.

Scenario 2: A lot of snow

First, it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself and have a brief (BRIEF!) pity party. Next, be in touch with your synagogue, venue and vendors to see what they recommend or if your synagogue or venue have decided to reschedule/close (this makes your decision for you!). If you have a Mitzvah planner, they can handle the vast majority of this communication.

While this is not ideal, I find that in these situations the best in people usually comes out. They understand that the weather is outside of your control and do their best to help you reschedule and have the same event at a later date. Your guests will understand and support you no matter what the outcome. They’ll do their best to attend on a different date.

The best time to reschedule is the Sunday after your event since your out of town guests will likely still be in town and Sundays are usually slower days for vendors. You’ll want to confirm that your exact vendors are available for the alternative date and if they aren’t, who they will be able to provide instead. In a few weeks, we’ll talk through the exact steps to take to reschedule.

Final Word

Safety first! Keep the safety of your guests and vendors first and foremost. If there is a state of emergency and you are being warned to stay off the roads, reschedule your event. Event planners and vendors can only do what’s safe and physically possible, none of us can control the weather!

Need piece of mind for your winter event? Contact me!

Mitzvah Month of Coordinator FAQs

A "Month Of" Coordinator for your Mitzvah will allow you to be a guest at your own party and ensure you've done everything right. Priceless! | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

We talked last week about “Month of” Coordinators and I thought I’d share some common questions I hear about month of coordination. Feel free to send me any additional question that you may have!

Who needs a Month of Coordinator?

In my opinion, everyone who is having a large party. The day of your event, you don’t want to have to worry about anything. It’s worth the piece of mind to hire someone to deal with any problems that may arise. I spoke with one mom after the fact who said she wished she hired me. She said,”From the photos, it looked like a great party, I wish I got to go to it. I was too busy dealing with one crisis after another to celebrate.”

My venue/caterer has an event coordinator, can’t they do all of this?

Your venue or caterer event coordinator’s job is to make sure that their piece of the day goes smoothly, not to oversee the entire party. Depending on where they work, they may have other events that same day or weekend. They may not be able to devote the time to answering questions and helping you wrap up all of the details. Most will only stay at the party until their piece is finished, not until the bitter end. An independent coordinator is there to oversee every vendor and handle every problem is it arises from set up to clean up.

How far in advance do I hire a Month of Coordinator?

You can hire one as early as you want. I’ve been hired anywhere between a year and a half out to six weeks out. However, note that if you decide to hire someone very close to your event, you run the risk of them already being booked by someone else.

Isn’t this stuff included in your other planning packages?

All of my packages include the follow up on details the month prior. The major different is the amount of handholding you get throughout the entire planning process. For the month of package, our work together truly starts about four to six weeks prior to your event, even if you book your date farther in advance.

Do you just do day of coordination?

I believe that in order for the day of your Mitzvah to run smoothly, I need about a month’s preparation. I need to understand your family’s unique event needs and expectations, communicate with your vendors, help create a detailed event timeline and plan for contingencies. Yes, I’ll be there the day of your event, but I’ll have put in the work a month in advance to make sure everything is planned perfectly. I can’t just show up the day of your event and make it happen and I’d be wary of anyone who claims that.

Final thoughts

I believe that even if you’ve DIYed your way through your Mitzvah planning, a Month Of Coordinator is a vital component to double check that you’ve considered all the contingencies and that you don’t need to worry about a thing on your event day. You’ve spent so much time and money preparing, don’t you want to be to relax and have a great time?

Interested in learning more about my “Month of” Coordination package? Contact me!

Start Your Week With a Pop! Mitzvah Links for the Week of February 1

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

Happy February! Here are a few Bar & Bat Mitzvah, Jewish and/or family-related links to start your week and month with a pop!

It’s never too late in life to have a Bar or Bat Mitzvah via Tablet Magazine.

This sounds like a Bat Mitzvah that was full of meaning via My Jewish Learning.

It’s worth pushing your kids to have a Bar Mitzvah in the end via The New York Times.

When you’re not invited to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah via Kveller

Loads of creative candle lighting ideas via Mitzvah Market

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

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