Month: April 2017

Adding social action to your Mitzvah party

Many families include a social action, tzedakah or mitzvah component into their Bar or Bat Mitzvah party. Here are ways to include charity in your celebration. | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

Many families, including a number that I’ve worked with, choose to include some sort of social action, tzedakah or mitzvah component into their party. I love when families really want to focus on the meaning of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah! There are so many different ways to include charity as part of your celebration. Here are a few examples and ideas:

Collect Donations

Lindsey collected book donations from her guests. She included a note in her invitation and asked guests to bring books to donate to a local charity. Boy, were her guests generous!

Book donations Mitzvah project at Lindsey's pink book themed Bat Mitzvah party at DoubleTree Bethesda | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Bradley Images Book donations Mitzvah project at Lindsey's pink book themed Bat Mitzvah party at DoubleTree Bethesda | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Bradley Images

Donations could be anything from food to toys to clothes. Select an organization that is important to your child or that fits with the event’s theme and ask your guests to help!

Donate Centerpieces

Lilly and her family got creative with their centerpieces and donated the food to a local charity. A note from Lilly let guests know more about the centerpieces and where they were going.

Bat Mitzvah Can Centerpieces at Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, VA | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Alison Tremblay

In addition to collecting donations of books, Lindsey also donated books that were used in her centerpieces as table numbers and as the base for the balloons.

Balloon and book centerpieces at Lindsey's pink book themed Bat Mitzvah party at DoubleTree Bethesda | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Bradley Images

A local charity, I LOVE is Repeat Roses. They gather event flowers and donate them to senior citizens, hospice care patients and others who need a little bit of cheer. You need to contact them early as they can get very busy!

Make a Tzedakah (monetary) donation

Instead of or in addition to traditional favors, why not make a donation in honor of your guests. There are a few ways to do this; you can make a donation on behalf of your guests, you can help your guests to donate or have your child contribute a percentage of their gifts to a charity of their choosing.

If you make a donation on behalf of your guests, a framed photo or note at each place can let guests know. It’s wonderful when this note comes directly from your child to let them know why it is an important charity to them.

If you want to facilitate your guests making a donation, there are a number of websites that can help. One of my clients allowed their guests to select a charity to donate to through a company called TisBest. All of the adults received a gift card with instructions and were able to donate to a select group of charities.

If you want to help your child understand the true meaning of tzedakah, have them take some of the money that they receive as gifts and donate to a charity of their choosing. This allows them to make tzedakah part of their celebration and sets a great example for donating later in their lives.

Donate Food

Talk to your caterer to see what they do with the leftover food. Will they allow you to donate it to a local food bank?  Find a local food bank or food rescue operation at Feeding America.

Finally

Let your guests know! Raising awareness for wonderful charities is another way to help. Your guests will feel good knowing that, in some small way, they’ve contributed to a good cause and you’ll feel good that you’ve included a mitzvah and social action in your Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration.

Need more social action ideas? Contact me and we can figure out how to keep the mitzvah in your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

Olivia’s Colorful Bat Mitzvah at Hyatt Regency Dulles

Olivia and her family were just about the sweetest folks you could imagine (plus they had a major sweet tooth… check out the candy bar!). They chose a colorful palate that encouraged guests to “Liv it up” at the Hyatt Regency Dulles. I love the jewel tones, tassels, oversized balloons and color, color, color!

Olivia’s Dad made the escort card holder and the family made all of the colorful tasseled escort cards. With the balloon accents, that was such a statement piece and guests loved taking their photos in front!

Liv it Up tasseled balloon escort card holder at Olivia's colorful, jewel-toned, balloon-filled Bat Mitzvah party at Hyatt Regency Dulles. Pink, purple, teal, turquoise and gold. | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Sweet Dreams Studios Liv it Up tasseled balloon escort card holder at Olivia's colorful, jewel-toned, balloon-filled Bat Mitzvah party at Hyatt Regency Dulles. Pink, purple, teal, turquoise and gold. | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Sweet Dreams Studios

Liv it Up tasseled balloon escort card holder at Olivia's colorful, jewel-toned, balloon-filled Bat Mitzvah party at Hyatt Regency Dulles. Pink, purple, teal, turquoise and gold. | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Sweet Dreams Studios

The logo was projected onto the wall.

Liv it Up logo at Olivia's colorful, jewel-toned, balloon-filled Bat Mitzvah party at Hyatt Regency Dulles. Pink, purple, teal, turquoise and gold. | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Sweet Dreams Studios

I love this color!

Liv it Up table number at Olivia's colorful, jewel-toned, balloon-filled Bat Mitzvah party at Hyatt Regency Dulles. Pink, purple, teal, turquoise and gold. | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Sweet Dreams Studios

The adult side of the room had different colored balloons with ribbon or tassels, plus intentionally mismatched napkins and chair sashes.

Liv it Up tassel balloon centerpieces at Olivia's colorful, jewel-toned, balloon-filled Bat Mitzvah party at Hyatt Regency Dulles. Pink, purple, teal, turquoise and gold. | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Sweet Dreams Studios

The kids sat at a horseshoe-shaped table with the same balloons, napkins and chair sashes as the adults.

Liv it Up tassel balloon centerpieces at Olivia's colorful, jewel-toned, balloon-filled Bat Mitzvah party at Hyatt Regency Dulles. Pink, purple, teal, turquoise and gold. | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Sweet Dreams Studios

There were 23 different types of candy at the candy bar, just the right number for my sweet tooth! Each glass jar was accented with colorful ribbon and a label.

Liv it Up candy bar buffet at Olivia's colorful, jewel-toned, balloon-filled Bat Mitzvah party at Hyatt Regency Dulles. Pink, purple, teal, turquoise and gold. | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Sweet Dreams Studios

Thanks to the awesome vendors who helped make it happen!

Photographer/Photo Booth: Sweet Dreams Studio
Venue: Hyatt Regency Dulles
MC: Unique Dreams/MC Justin 
Centerpieces: Festive Effects
Chair Covers/Napkins: Be Seated
Logo: FabuDesigns

Should I see a MC or DJ in action?

Selecting the right Bar or Bat Mitzvah MC/DJ is tough, but seeing them at someone else's party is a bad idea. Here's why and how to choose your MC/DJ. | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

It’s tempting to want to see a vendor in action, especially a band or MC/DJ before you hire them for your Mitzvah. After all, you want to ensure you’re picking the right one! But is it the right move to visit someone else’s party to see them? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I highly discourage clients from attending other events (that they were not invited to as guests) to see potential bands or DJ/MCs for their events. Why is that and how should you select your MC/DJ? Read on!

Random person at your event

I don’t trust vendors who allow you to essentially crash someone else’s party. I mean, would you want random people walking through your event? Or your DJ/MC’s attention being taken away from your event because they are trying to sell someone else on their services? I had this happen with a particular MC, who did not let my client or me know this was a possibility and had random people dressed in street clothes walking through their formal affair. They stuck out like a sore thumb and I had to ask them to leave. It was incredibly uncomfortable for everyone. And, needless to say, I do not recommend this MC to my clients.

You don’t know the host

Second, if you’re visiting a random person’s event, you don’t know the host family or the Mitzvah child at all. You have no idea what they’ve requested of their DJ/MC, so you’re not getting the full picture. At least with a friend recommendation, you know your friend’s personality and style which gives you slightly better insight as to whether you’d like a particular DJ/MC.

So how should you choose your band or DJ/MC?

A great and experienced DJ/MC is able to tailor your party to your family. If you go in with an understanding of the type of party you want and the needs of your guests, you’ll have a much easier time finding the right one. Do you want to the DJ/MC to focus on the kids and playing games with them? Do you want to have a solid balance of time when adults and kids are dancing? Does your crowd love to dance? Hate to dance? Think it through!

Then start looking at DJ company websites which often have bios or videos of their DJs and MCs in action. These allow you to get a feel for the style of the company before you reach out to talk to particular MCs.

Ultimately selecting the right DJ/MC is a gut check. You need to talk to a few to see if you and your child click with them. It’s a great idea to work with a company that represents multiple MCs so you can talk with a salesperson to see who might be the best fit. You can describe your child and your family to the salesperson and they can help you find the right one.

Looking for the right MC/DJ? Pop Color Events can help!

Food and Beverage Minimum for Bar Mitzvahs

What is a food and beverage minimum and why is it important for your Bar or Bat Mitzvah party planning? Tips, advice and tricks for your Mitzvah party f&b. | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

I recently spoke with a mom who was so pleased with herself for negotiating down her hotel’s food and beverage minimum. I didn’t want to burst her bubble, but I was concerned she didn’t really understand what she had negotiated. Sadly, I was right. I want to help you avoid making the same mistake!

So what is a food and beverage (f&b) minimum?

A food and beverage minimum is the amount you are required to spend on food and beverage to use a space. It rarely includes taxes, fees or gratuities. An f&b minimum often takes the place of a room rental fee or waives a room rental fee if you hit a certain number.

Why Is a food and beverage minimum important?

Where the mom got confused is that the actual amount of the minimum is not as relevant as how much the food on the menu costs. For instance, if you are able to negotiate a $7,500 food and beverage minimum for 100 people, but the cost for open bar and the type of plated meal you want will actually be $100 per person, having a low minimum doesn’t make a difference. In this scenario, you’re going to spend $10,000 (before taxes and fees) regardless of the minimum.

Having a high minimum and a low number of guests will ensure that they will have an incredibly nice meal unless you want to pay for food not consumed. What that means is, you have to pay the minimum. If you’re going to pay that amount regardless, you might as well have great food and beverage for your guests and get as close to the minimum as possible. If you don’t spend to the minimum, any leftover funds will be charged as a room rental fee. You will always pay the minimum!

More about minimums

Be sure to check what is included with the food and beverage minimum or a room rental fee. Does it include tables, chairs, linens, china, silverware, glassware…? Before you sign on the dotted line, also check to see prices on a menu or better yet, have them put together a sample menu for you. That will give you the best sense of how much the type of meal you’re looking for will cost and if you can hit the minimum.

There is a wide range of what food and beverage minimums can be. I’ve seen everything from $7,500 for a very suburban hotel property on an off-peak Saturday afternoon to $50,000 for a high-end hotel property on a Saturday night at a busy time of year.

Minimums are most common at hotels, banquet halls, restaurants or other venues with in-house catering. If you bring in your own caterer, you most likely won’t have a minimum at all.

So be sure to check not only what the minimum is, but how much the food on the menu costs. Those two factors will determine how much you’ll spend on food and beverage.

Looking for a great venue with (or without!) a food and beverage minimum? Pop Color Events can help!

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