Month: October 2016

Bar or Bat Mitzvah Kiddush Luncheon

Bar or Bat Mitzvah Kiddush Luncheon 101 | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VAAfter a morning Bar or Bat Mitzvah service, it’s traditional to have a little nosh for your guests in the form of a Kiddush Luncheon (sometimes spelled Kiddish).

What is a Kiddush Luncheon?

A Kiddush Luncheon is an opportunity to gather with friends and family immediately following your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah service and do something very Jewish–eat! Since it is Shabbat and traditional Jews do not use an oven, the luncheon usually consists of a cold, dairy meal including platters of bagels, cream cheese, lox, egg salad, tuna salad, fruit salad and/or cookies. There is usually a specific place at each synagogue where this happens, a Social Hall, Multi-purpose room or similar.

Sometimes a Kiddush Luncheon can feel like an afterthought in a Bar or Bat Mitzvah weekend since an evening party takes much more time and effort to coordinate. However, this is a mistake! While this generally a low-key portion of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah weekend, there are still a lot of logistics to think through–everything from who will be serving and cleaning up the food to how the room will be decorated. You want to take good care of your guests and make sure that the Kiddush Luncheon gets them excited for the evening party still to come!

It’s also a great opportunity to greet your guests in a less formal way, as well as for them to catch up with each other. Encourage your child to mingle more with relatives and adult guests at the luncheon, so for your evening party, he or she can focus on their friends.

Questions to ask your synagogue about a Kiddush Luncheon

Traditions related to Kiddush Luncheons are a little different at every synagogue, so you’ll definitely want to see what the norm is at your congregation. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Is this a Kiddush Luncheon included as part of my Bar or Bat Mitzvah fee?
  • If so, what is included in the luncheon? Is it possible for me to upgrade the food or other options at my expense?
  • If not, is there the option to use a space at the synagogue? How much is the rental fee?
  • What is the procedure to rent space for a Kiddush Luncheon?
  • Am I expected to have food for anyone who comes to services or is this a private function for my guests only?
  • Is there a group at the synagogue who is available to assist with a Kiddush Luncheon? (Sometimes the Sisterhood offers this as a service.)
  • If my child has a partner for their service, can we/do we have to share a Kiddush Luncheon with them?

Why you WOULDN’T host a Kiddush Luncheon.

There are a few reason why you wouldn’t have a Kiddush Luncheon as part of your Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration. First, if you’re having an afternoon/early evening Bar or Bat Mitzvah service (sometimes called a Mincha or Havdalah service), you’ll just go right into an evening celebration and skip it entirely. Second, if you’re having an afternoon party, a Kiddush Luncheon is not necessary since you’ll feed your guests at the party itself.

Pop Color Events can help with your Kiddush Luncheon! Contact us to find out how.

Pop Color Vendor: Electric Entertainment LLC

I’m excited to introduce Brian Wasser, CEO of Electric Entertainment LLC. Brian is a true nice Jewish boy who, along with his awesome team, will take amazing care of you and ensure your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah is world class. Not only can they provide your MC and DJ, but you can also use Electric Entertainment for lighting, lounge furniture, draping and novelties. Working with Electric Entertainment is an easy way to check many items off of your planning to do list. Here’s Brian to share a bit about who he is and what he does:

Electric Entertainment | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

How did you get started with Electric Entertainment?

Believe it or not, I started Electric Entertainment with my Bar Mitzvah money.  Like most Jewish kids, I went to sleepaway camp during the summer.  We had these terrible camp dances where the counselors would play music, the boys would sit on one side of the room and the girls on the other.  No one did anything.  I always loved to dance and perform, so I happened to have The Macarena on cassette tape with me at camp.  I gave it to the counselors and told them to play it and I would teach everyone how to do it (it was hot and new at the time!  Don’t ask…).  Anyway, I grabbed the mic and the rest was history.  After camp ended, campers would ask me if I would DJ their party back home.  When I got home, I took my Bar Mitzvah money, bought some basic equipment, and Electric Entertainment was born!

Electric Entertainment | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

What’s your favorite part of what you do?

By far my favorite part is being able to give families a memory they will have forever.  Watching smiles on faces and getting people outside of their comfort zone to have an amazing time is such an awesome feeling.  I will never forget a mom hugging me after a party, saying she never thought her son would be up on stage dancing with me, or a Bat Mitzvah girl asking to pose for a selfie while saying it was the best day of her life.  What’s better than that?

Electric Entertainment | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

What’s your pop color–that something special that makes you, you?

I think what truly makes me special is that everything I do is innate.  I have never worked for another company nor been trained by anyone.  This is all me, au natural.  I always just did things the way I thought they should be done.  From the MC’s and dancers to the lighting and lounge furniture, I’ve always just had a knack and an eye for what works and what doesn’t, how to make people comfortable, how to set certain moods, and most importantly, how to connect to people on a level way beyond just “packing a dance floor.”  My clients tell me that I “become a member of the family” and that’s what I instill in my staff.  I can’t break dance.  I can’t spin on my head.  I’m 5’7″.  None of that matters when you just KNOW how to make people FEEL GOOD, and that’s what I think truly separates Electric Entertainment from the rest.

Electric Entertainment | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

What’s your favorite moment of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah?

My favorite moment at a Bar or Bat Mitzvah happened recently.  I lost my father to liver disease 3 months ago and had a Bar Mitzvah just 2 days after his passing.  My client, of course, told me that I needed to be with my family and grieve my loss.  I told them that the show must go on and I would be at their son’s special day.  Entertaining is my passion, it’s what makes me feel good.  None of those guests care what I am going through.  When I walk through that door, I want to give everyone there the time of their lives.  What made this even more special was that this party was for a family that was also celebrating a different milestone; mom was finally cancer-free!  During the party, I knew I was in a zone honoring my dad.  The photographer came up to see afterward saying it was probably the best show he’d ever seen me at (He’s seen us dozens of times).  But the best moment was after the party ended.  The now cancer-free mom came up to me at the end, gave me a huge hug, and just started crying.  She told me she was so proud of me, but I told her this wasn’t about me.  She was crying because, after all she went through, her family truly had the night of their lives and they felt forever grateful.  I will never forget that hug of emotion or the tears of joy.

Electric Entertainment | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

What questions should parents ask someone in your field?

I advise my clients to decide what kind of party they want!  High-energy and action-packed?  More low key and reserved?  More games focused or dancing focused?  Nighttime/NY Style or less flashy?  All of those answers will help narrow the entertainment scope.  

Clients should always ask about Bar and Bat Mitzvah experience.  These parties are a completely different animal than weddings, corporate events, etc.  Maintaining energy and entertainment for 13-year-olds and 50-year-olds at the same time requires unique talent and training.  Ask about what kind of training their staff receives.  Some companies just hire former high school cheerleaders and throw them to the fire.  My company, however, hires only polished and professional dancers.  We also have monthly training sessions where we practice what we do, learn from each other, and go over tools and tricks to maximize the guest experience.  It makes a huge difference, but not every party “needs” that level of talent quality, etc.  They should also ask about meeting their MC before even signing a contract. This could help ensure there’s a connection between the MC and guest of honor, as well as get to know each other and get a feel for his or her personality and style.

When it comes to entertainment and decor, there are various price points for different reasons.  I often use the hotel analogy.  You have the Four Seasons and you have the Hampton Inn.  Both provide a bed and a room while on vacation, but the experiences are completely different, as are the price points.  You have to determine what’s right for you.  I am biased but firmly believe that entertainment can make or break your guest experience and the overall success of your child’s special day.  There are no do-overs.  So long as you do your research and believe your entertainment company aligns with your vision and style for the party, you will have made a good choice.

Need an awesome MC/DJ or help with decor? Visit Electric Entertainment’s website or Facebook to get in contact. Or follow Brian on Twitter or Instagram to see what he’s up to (and some photos of his adorable son!).

Time vs. Money vs. Quality in Bat or Bar Mitzvah Planning

Bar and Bat Mitzvah planning is a constant balance between time, money and quality of the end product | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VABar Mitzvah planning or Bat Mitzvah planning is a constant balance between time, money and quality of the end product. It’s up to each individual family to rank the value of each of these factors and make a decision about how they want to proceed. There are a million ways you can save money from spending hours researching the most budget-friendly vendors to making your own favors or decor. Here are some questions to consider when making the decision.

How much time can you realistically devote to each Bar Mitzvah planning task?

What does your schedule look like and how much will your partner be able to help with the Bar Mitzvah planning? Will hiring a planner help to save you time researching and finding vendors in your preferred price point? Do you have the time to purchase supplies for and create 10+ centerpieces? (Tip: Think about the time it will take to make 1 decor item/centerpiece then multiply by the number you think you’ll need. Then add 10 minutes per item because it will take longer than you think!) Are these the things that you’ll want to spend your free time doing? Are you a procrastinator and will spend the month prior to the event stressed out of your mind?

What does your budget look like?

If you are on a tight budget, DIY may be your best option. However, you need to do your research because it is not always such a huge savings to DIY. Vendors purchase their supplies at wholesale rates and have the experience to work much faster than you can.

What will the quality of the end result be?

If you make your own centerpieces, will they look like you made your own centerpieces? If you hire the most budget DJ or photographer, will the end result scream that you cheaped out? Consider how important the quality of the end result will be to you and decide whether it is worth it to pay a bit more for a true professional.

In Conclusion

Bar Mitzvah planning or Bat Mitzvah planning shouldn’t bankrupt you, but you also should decide how much to pay for convenience and quality. Sometimes the peace of mind in knowing that you have a quality product is worth it in the end.

If you want to save time and get quality vendors, contact me to set up a complimentary consultation.

Pop Color Vendor: It’s MY Party Consignment

I’m thrilled to introduce you to another one of my favorite vendors, Karyn Cramer Hollman, Owner of It’s MY Party Consignment. Karyn’s by appointment only shop allows you and your daughter to have a truly personalized dress shopping experience and find a bargain on a dress that your daughter will wear only once. Or, Karyn will sell your daughter’s once worn Bat Mitzvah dress giving you money back in your pocket. I love that her catchphrase is: “Together, let’s make your daughter feel like the star she is on her Bat Mitzvah!” Here is Karyn to tell you more about It’s MY Party Consignment:

It's MY Party Consignment | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

How did you get started with It’s MY Party Consignment?

It’s MY Party Consignment specializes in dressing the Bat Mitzvah girl for her party and service.  From current to classic we stock an array of affordable and age appropriate attire.  We work to nurture confidence and self-expression through a private, sensitive one on one shopping experience.  While many of the dresses are new, most come from you, recent Bat mitzvah girls.   We consign that (generally pricey) dress, worn once, ever so briefly, the consignee makes some money and a new girl benefits from the cycle!

What’s your favorite part of what you do?

I started It’s MY Party Consignment after years of working with teen and pre-teen girls at the boutique My Best Friends Closet in Rockville. I have seen the joy and stress in their effort to find comfort, style and self-acceptance.  I have also listened with empathy to tales of challenging and costly special occasion dress shopping.  These are young, sensitive teenage girls and not infrequently worried parents watching their daughter grow up in the blink of an eye! I get it!

What’s your pop color–that something special that makes you, you?

Perspective!!!!  Being the mother of sons, I love interacting with girls and their families. In my past life, I was a social worker working with adolescents so I also enjoy being back with this age group and offering support even though it may be a brief encounter.  This perspective has brought joy to my work. From excited, pouty, confident or uncertain these girls light up my day.

It's MY Party Consignment | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

What’s your favorite moment of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah?

There is no one moment but fortunately many!  I love seeing the generations together…doing the aliyahs, blessings and most importantly, on the dance floor!

What questions should parents ask someone in your field?

No one wants shopping to turn into a battle so I recommend being clear with your parameters prior to shopping. Length, cut, price and so on. Keep in mind that straps can always be added to a dress!  It is especially important that your daughter feels comfortable and happy in her dress. We may think a different style or color looks better on her BUT if she is not comfortable, she will not feel at ease.  Joy and confidence IS beautiful!

Want to make money selling your once worn dress OR find a bargain on a dress your daughter will wear once? Contact Karyn at It’s MY Party Consignment!


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