Month: November 2016

Pop Color Thanks! Second Year Edition

Pop Color Events has so much to be thankful for this year. Here's a list of people and things who deserve the biggest THANK YOU!!! | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

With tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I won’t be publishing my usual Thursday blog post. Instead, I’m about to get a bit personal and share some of the things I’m most thankful for this year. It’s been a big year for my family, as we welcomed our second son, Jonah Rhys on September 18. Running a Pop Color Events with a very little one (he’s 9 weeks old!) has been challenging, exciting and tiring. I have much to be grateful for this year.

My husband

Chad is an amazing husband and co-parent. As I build Pop Color Events, it’s a lot of nights and weekends, but he never complains about the time he spends solo parenting. He loves our boys more than I ever could have imagined and I feel so lucky to have him to raise my children with. He listens to me hash out new ideas, encourages me to keep going when I’m unsure and helps me see the positive in everything.

My boys

Being a mom of two is a balancing act, but I’m lucky to have such amazing kids. Levi has taken to being a big brother so naturally. And Jonah is a champ for sleeping through the night starting at about 5 weeks (hopefully I haven’t jinxed myself!). I feel so blessed to have 2 happy, healthy boys who have so many exciting things ahead of them.

My extended family

I’m so thankful to my parents, sister and in-laws for their help in a very busy November and (upcoming) December. Over the past year, they’ve been an extra set of hands to help set up and staff events, watch my children during busy times and we’ve had a lot to celebrate. I’m so thankful for their love, support and willingness to drive down south.

My Clients

Without you there would be no Pop Color Events. Thank you for allowing me to help you plan such an important day in your lives. Thank you for your trust, humor and honesty. I am so lucky to work with and for such amazing people!


Working from home can be lonely, but I’ve met so many amazing vendors.  Between networking groups and the Facebook group I started for Bar/Bat Mitzvah Vendors, I’ve learned so much and made many new friends. And that facebook group I started? It’s nearly 400 members strong and has vendors from all over the country.

Opportunities for growth

This year has presented some exciting new experiences which have allowed me to grow personally and professionally. I’m most proud of my first styled shoot and my first published magazine article. I participated in my first vendor showcase and several vendor conferences and virtual trainings. There have been challenges and set backs, but I know both my business and I are stronger for it.

Here’s to another year of things to be thankful for!

Candle Lighting Ceremony-Yes or No?

Should you have a candle lighting ceremony as part of your child's Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah party? Here are some pros and cons. | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

Candle lighting ceremonies have long been a part of Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah celebrations (psst. Want to know more about what a candle lighting ceremony is? I got you covered). I mean, I remember being a slightly awkward 13-year-old and standing in front of a cake calling up family and friends to light candles. However, the tide seems to be turning. Less than half of the Bar or Bat Mitzvahs that I’ve done in the last year have included one. Should you have a candle lighting ceremony? Here are some pros and cons so that you can make the choice.

Pros to a candle lighting ceremony

A candle lighting ceremony is a way to publically honor people who have been important in your child’s life. Yes, there are other opportunities to honor family and friends–aliyahs, kiddush, motzi, etc., but they are limited. Candle lighting ceremonies allow ALL of those people to get their moment in the sun.

Along the same lines, a candle lighting ceremony is a great photo opportunity. Time is limited to get photos of your child with friends and family and this will ensure you get at least 1 image of the most important people.

Cons to a candle lighting ceremony

A candle lighting ceremony can take a long time. Each candle requires honoree(s) to walk to the table, light the candle, give the Mitzvah child a hug and then take a photo. Multiply that by 13 and you’ve easily taken at least 20-25 minutes from your party. That’s time you and your child could be dancing, playing games or shmoozing with friends. It’s also more than enough time for your guests (especially the tweens) to get antsy, chat with each other and stop paying attention.

These ceremonies can exclude people and make them feel left out or uncomfortable. Imagine sitting and waiting to see if you’ve made the cut to be called up to light a candle, especially as a pre-teen. How would you feel if you waited and were never called?

Things to consider

There are a few things you should consider when making the decision of whether or not to have a candle lighting ceremony. First, how comfortable is your child speaking in front of a group? Next, there is a lot of preparation that needs to happen prior to the ceremony. Who will write the poems/speeches for each candle? What song will play as the honoree walks up? What will the candelabra look like? Who will set everything up? Also, will you be having a photo montage? A montage is a much shorter way to honor family and friends by showing photos of special times with special people. Finally, what kind of party do you want? Do you want people to be up and dancing or do you want to have a more subdued party?

Need help deciding if you should do a candle lighting ceremony? Pop Color Events can help!


You get what you pay for in Mitzvahs

Think hiring a Bar or Bat Mitzvah professional is expensive? Try hiring an amateur! Paying for experience will make your party run smoothly | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VAThink hiring a Bar or Bat Mitzvah professional is expensive? Try hiring an amateur!

I see parents balk at prices for different Mitzvah-related vendors, wondering why they’re so expensive. Of course, there are a ton of variables that can cause a difference in pricing, but one of the things you’re paying for is your vendors’ experience in both their field and in Bar or Bat Mitzvahs. That experience is absolutely priceless to you in making your event run smoothly.

These scenarios keep me up at night: The band who has never done a Jewish event before and learned the hora, just for you. The family friend who has a great camera and wants to get into events. Your co-worker’s son who DJs school dances. The restaurant who wants to get into the catering and is giving you a deal.

You see the savings and I see all of the potential pitfalls. Talent inexperienced in Mitzvahs? Leads to a hora where people are awkwardly standing around and not sure what do. Your friend whose never shot an event before? He doesn’t know where to be to get the right photo when you need it. He doesn’t have the experience in the lighting to catch you in the most flattering way and your photos suffer for it. The DJ who does school dances? He don’t know how to engage both adults and kids at the same time; half your crowd stays off the dance floor because the music isn’t right. That restaurant? Its staff doesn’t know how to pace a meal for 150 and it comes out cold and mushy.

The reality is that you get what you pay for. Is saving money really worth it so you can be someone’s learning experience? Let someone else be their guinea pig. Hire a professional if you want professional results.

Contact me and I can recommend wonderful, professional vendors who will create an amazing Mitzvah experience for your family.

Pop Color Vendor: Marvelous Montages

Montages are a special part of many Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, but you may not know that there are companies that are devoted solely to designing those awesome Montages. Marvelous Montages creates unique, one of a kind montages that you really do have to see to believe. Marlene, Graphic Designer of Marvelous Montages does amazing things that I’ve never seen in another montage. She actually animates your still photographs to bring them to life, as well as helps you select the perfect songs to compliment your images. One of the great things about what she does is that everything can be completed online or in the mail so wherever you are in the country, or even overseas, you too can have your very own Marvelous Montage! Here’s Marlene to tell you a bit more:

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

Why did you start Marvelous Montages?

Growing up in my family’s photography business, I have been around and assisted with Mitzvahs and special occasions since I little! This naturally grew into my taking pictures and designing artwork for foto favors and also to designing albums of the celebrations. About 10 years ago, I began designing montages as well. I have always loved being creative and artistic and have studied graphic design, so all these areas have given me an outlet to use that creativity.

What’s your favorite part of what you do?

I love bringing people’s pictures to life! A photo montage opens up a world of possibilities to experience your pictures in ways that you do not get by looking at them in a photo album. In a montage, people can be moving in a picture against the background, fireworks can come alive in your July 4th photo, the clouds in the sky can be moving in that fantastic vacation photo you have… and so much more! It’s wonderful to creatively tell the stories of your photos and present to you an imaginative, well-balanced, exciting video keepsake for you to treasure.

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

I definitely have an enthusiasm for designing and I love bringing that to your photo montage! I really invest in your montage and respect your photos – seeing how to best bring the stories in your pictures to the screen so the creativity looks natural, fun, unexpected at times, and shines with a sprinkle of “razzle dazzle” throughout! In a nice email I received from a montage family, they said that I “put (my) heart and soul into (my) work”. It’s nice to know that families see the care given to their pictures and are very appreciative of their Marvelous Montage.

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

In addition to the playing of the montage, I think the speech by the parents is always a wonderful part of a Mitzvah. Mom and Dad get to express how proud they are of their child and it is always a moving part of the celebration.

What questions should parents ask someone in your field?

Some questions parents can ask: Are your montages usually all the same layout/style or is each montage designed uniquely based on the pictures you receive? What does the price include and are there items that are additional – adding captions, fixing red-eye or minor dust/scratches, etc. What samples do you have that are representative of the montage price point I would like to have?  

Need a montage that is unlike anything your guests have ever seen? Visit Marvelous Montages, follow on Facebook to see her most recent work or visit her Pinterest page for montage inspiration.

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