Month: October 2017

Beverages on Consumption vs. Open Bar

 Should you choose open bar or beverage on consumption for your Bar or Bat Mitzvah? Which makes the most sense and why? | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar and Bat Mitzvahs in MD, DC & VA

We’ve discussed different beverage options for your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah, but the next question is always should I do an open bar or beverages on consumption? Providing your own alcohol is usually the most cost-effective option, but is not always permitted. In this article, we assume it is not an option.

The open bar or beverages on consumption is a tricky question, and unfortunately, there is no one right answer since you can’t predict how much your guests will drink. The industry rule of thumb is two drinks per person for the cocktail hour then one drink per person per hour for the remainder of the party. I know this sounds like a lot to most people, but keep in mind that despite getting those drinks from the bar, you may not actually consume the entire drink. You put down the drink and forget about it, the drink gets cleared before you’re finished, etc.

Their beverage consumption may vary based on a variety of factors listed below.

Start time

Is it an evening or afternoon party? People are less likely to drink heavily in the afternoon. Some venues may offer a different price for open bar beverage packages because of this.

Drink sign at Jake's Pinstripes Georgetown DC Red and Black Hockey-themed Bar Mitzvah Party | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Susan Hornyak Photography

Your Guests

You know your guests best, so you are the only one who can answer the question of whether or not they are big drinkers and how many are big drinkers. Go through your guest list and add a column to estimate the number of drinks each guest will have. Some people have told me that their Jewish guests drink less, but I don’t know if that is actually true.

Cost of drinks

The final decision about whether to do open bar or beverage on consumption comes down to math. How much does a glass of beer, wine, mixed drinks or soda cost each? How many drinks do you reasonably think your guests will drink? Multiply. What is the number of drinks per guest where it makes sense to pay for a package vs. on consumption? When considering the cost of drinks, also keep in mind what is included in the open bar package–does it include wine service at the tables, hard liquor, etc.?

Graffiti Bar at a midnight blue and lavender urban lounge and club-themed B'nai Mitzvah party for twins in Beltsville, Maryland | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar and Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

Advice

If you want to move forward with beverages on consumption check with your caterer to see if you are able to set a limit and once it is reached, either the bar will close or you will reauthorize to spend more.

In Conclusion

Doing beverages on consumption is risky, since you can’t predict how much guests will drink or how quickly will the waitstaff clear drinks. However, you know your guests best. After assessing your guest list and doing the math, you can decide what makes the most financial sense.

Jake’s Hockey Bar Mitzvah at Pinstripes Georgetown, Washington DC

I loved working with Jake and his family for his hockey-themed Bar Mitzvah Party at Pinstripes Georgetown. They are my favorite type of clients–they knew what they wanted, they appreciated my help and guidance and most of all, they wanted to have a really, really fun party. The venue was the perfect location for his low-key, Labor Day Bar Mitzvah celebration.

Jake's Pinstripes Georgetown DC Red and Black Bar Mitzvah Party | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Susan Hornyak Photography

The evening started with cocktails for the adults and delicious snacks, bowling and bocce for all!

Bocce at Jake's Pinstripes Georgetown DC Red and Black Hockey-themed Bar Mitzvah Party | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Susan Hornyak Photography

Bowling at Jake's Pinstripes Georgetown DC Red and Black Hockey-themed Bar Mitzvah Party | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Susan Hornyak Photography

After that, we went upstairs when the real partying began! The room looked stunning with red uplighting and centerpieces featuring lights, hockey sticks, hockey pucks and Jake’s logo. Some tables had hockey skates and others had hockey helmets as part of the centerpiece base. Each table also had a photo of Jake at various ages playing hockey which served as the table number.

Hockey centerpieces at Jake's Pinstripes Georgetown DC Red and Black Hockey-themed Bar Mitzvah Party | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Susan Hornyak PhotographyHockey centerpieces at Jake's Pinstripes Georgetown DC Red and Black Hockey-themed Bar Mitzvah Party | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Susan Hornyak Photography

Guests loved the seating chart which was shaped like a hockey ice rink with jerseys on top. The jerseys were removable and served as escort cards, directing guests to their table number.

Hockey rink and jersey seating chart with escort cards at Jake's Pinstripes Georgetown DC Red and Black Hockey-themed Bar Mitzvah Party | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Susan Hornyak Photography

I always love a good hora and this was one of the funniest ones I’ve ever been part of! With the low ceilings at Pinstripes, one of the guests had the bright idea to take a hockey helmet from a centerpiece and give it to Jake (and the rest of the family) to prevent hora-related head injuries. Hilarious!

Hora at Jake's Pinstripes Georgetown DC Red and Black Hockey-themed Bar Mitzvah Party | Pop Color Events | Adding a pop of color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Susan Hornyak Photography

It was a pleasure to work with this family for Jake’s Bar Mitzvah party and they were pretty happy too:

Brynne is super easy to work with, detail oriented and on top of everything. She is creative and will help you come up with a great theme, find you vendors that work with your personalities, provide the services you want and in your budget. Most importantly, Brynne was someone I could completely trust. I knew she had our best interests in mind when making decisions about the party. Our son had a clear vision of what he wanted and she never tried to convince him to do anything he didn’t want to do- instead she worked with him to provide the perfect party for him. We were impressed with how Brynne handled coordinating with all the vendors in the weeks leading up to the party. I felt super confident that Brynne had everything handled, so I took her advice and just enjoyed every minute of the party. We couldn’t be happier with Brynne and will be using her again for our other son’s bar mitzvah party.

-Jake’s Mom

Thanks to the awesome vendors who helped make it happen and mazel tov to Jake and his family!

Photographer:  Susan Hornyak Photography
Venue: Pinstripes Georgetown (Washington DC)
Entertainment: Unique Dreams
Green Screen: Snap Entertainment
Centerpieces/Lounge: DaVinci
Sign In Board: Sprites Ink
Shirts: Planet Cotton

Pop Color Vendor: Michael Temchine Photography

I love working with Michael Temchine of Michael Temchine Photography and Mitzvahs by Michael. His work is stunning and he has such a way of capturing the special moments of your family’s big day. I know you’ll love him too, so read on for a little bit more about how he became a photographer and why he loves what he does.

 

How did you get started in your business?

For as long as I could remember every I asked for a camera from my parents for Chanukah, or my birthday. My interest in photography grew exponentially in high school leading to my attending the Rochester Institute of Technology for a degree in photojournalism. At the final class my fellow future photojournalists and I talked about what we were all going to do. I said, “I don’t know what exactly I am going to do, but I do know I am never going to freelance or shoot weddings.”

Boy was I wrong. I just did not know it yet.

Upon graduation, I began my photojournalism career covering politics then freelanced for many publications specializing in features (culture, life, community, and portraiture). Along with many photojournalists, my desire was to use photography to change the world; to have an impact on how the public sees and interacts with each other.

So how did I become that which I swore I would never become, a wedding and mitzvah photographer? All it required was a change of perspective on what “the world” meant.

The focus of my photography is now on the individual world of each family I work with. Photographing their life’s most important moments could not be more consequential; with the impact lasting generations. I love being able to tell your stories. I love being able to show you, you with real moments – large and small.

Evan's bar mitzvah at Oheb Shalom in Baltimore, MD by Michael Temchine Photography

What’s your favorite part of what you do?

A photojournalist friend of mine once told me when I was starting out that “… all stories are about people.” The people I meet and photograph will always be my favorite part. I love the interactions, relationships, and dynamics of people coming together.

I love finding those little moments that nobody else sees and capturing it for eternity. I love that a still image never gets older. Your bar, or bat, mitzvah kid will always be 13 in that photo even when you display it at their wedding, or to their grandchildren. You never get older in a photo and these are precious times in their lives.

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

What makes me, me is that I know that it is never about me. This is your mitzvah, not mine. These are your kids and friends, not mine. My job is to tell your story, not mine. I am a keen observer and a discreet photographer that does not interject, unnecessarily, myself into the event.

Whether it is portraiture or the party I am always looking for moments of personality to peek through. When you look through photos that I have taken they should ring true and not staged.

I see the moments that tell your story. That is my strength.

Sarah's bat mitzvah at Har Shalom in Potomac, MD. by Michael Temchine Photography

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

I don’t have a favorite moment, per se, what I have is a favorite overall feeling from the bar and bat mitzvah kid. What I love is to see the kid, the honoree, the star of the day, exuberant with joy at their party. I love seeing that the party they are attending is right for them. Unfortunately, I have been to parties that were not designed for the kid, where it is clear that they would rather be anywhere but there. Sometimes the party seems to be for everybody else, or the parents, and what the kid wants is lost.  That is why when I photograph parties where the kid has been involved, and listened to, are always fantastic.

Washington Hebrew Congregation bat mitzvah Washington D.C. portraits reform Jewish by Michael Temchine Photography

What questions should parents ask someone in your field?

  1. What is your approach to photography? Is it Photojournalistic/Documentary vs Traditional?
  2. Are you the photographer that will be there for the portraits and party?
  3. Do you have business/liability insurance?
  4. How do you handle equipment failure? (It happens and if the photographer does not have backups for their equipment then you are potentially without a photographer)
  5. What happens if we book you and you can’t make it? What are the reasons this might happen?
  6. How many years have you been a professional photographer? Do you make your living full-time as a photographer or is this a side gig/hobby?
  7. BONUS: What questions should parents NOT ask someone in your field?
    Have you photographed at X venue before?

If you are only looking at professionals especially trained photojournalists, then the venue does not matter. Having been someplace before does not mean the photographer will have any special inside knowledge over another photographer. I have photographed bnai mitzvah and multiple weddings for the same families, sometimes at the same venues, and each time the photos were completely different. In these cases, the venues may be the same, and many of the people are the same. What is different is that the honoree is different, the time is different, so the energy and event is necessarily different. Same people, same place, different feel.

Need an experienced photojournalist for your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah? Check out Michael Temchine Photography or see his most recent work on Facebook or Instagram.

© 2015 Pop Color Events