5 Reasons Why You Need Full Service Mitzvah Party Planning

Here are five reasons why you may want to hire full-service party planning help for your child's Bar or Bat Mitzvah in the DC-area. | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VAI love working with full-service clients for their Mitzvah party planning needs. There are always so many reasons why people hire planners and here are some reasons why I’ve found clients want to hire a full-service party planner.

What is full-service party planning?

First, let start with some background about what full-service planning is. My full-service package allows you to be led through the entire Bar or Bat Mitzvah planning process without worrying about a thing. It gives you the freedom to be as involved in the process as you’d like or as your schedule allows. I’m responsible for managing the planning timeline, budget and vendor communication. I attend as many meetings or site visits as you’d like and you never have to make a decision on your own. I handle all of the vendor communication, so all you need to do is sign on the dotted line once you’ve made your decision. And why might those things be important to you?

1. You’re busy

Like really, really busy. Both spouses work or have hectic schedules, you have several kids and the thought of doing everything related to planning the weekend makes you break out in a cold sweat. You’re already overwhelmed with all of the responsibilities you have and now you need to add on hours and hours of researching, planning and figuring out the details. It’s just too much!

2. You’re not Jewish

You’ve been involved in your child’s Jewish community for some time, but this Bar or Bat Mitzvah thing is a new curveball. You’ve never really been to a Bar or Bat Mitzvah and aren’t sure where to start. You know you need a lot of advice and are scared you’ll make a wrong decision. What is the proper etiquette? What do other families do? What should your family do?

3. You’re indecisive

There are just so many options for photographers, videographers, MCs, decorators… Just seeing the list of all of the vendors you’ll need is making your indecisive heart second guess itself. You want more guidance and fewer options that are curated just for you by someone who has taken the time to get to know exactly what your family is looking for.

4. You’re on a tight timeline

Did you procrastinate and now see just how much work it will be? Have you started making phone calls and the vendors your friends have used are booked? With only a few months left to go, you need to hustle and there’s no room for error. You need someone who can get the planning done fast!

5. You don’t really care

It’s not that you don’t care about the process; you are so proud of your child and their accomplishments! You just don’t care that much about the party. You know you need to have one, but the details? Meh, leave it to someone else!

In Conclusion

There are a lot of reasons why people hire full-service party planning help and the reasons above are some of the ones I’ve heard most recently. I love working with full-service clients to give them a truly custom experience based on their family’s needs and wants.

Contact me about how Pop Color Events can help with your full-service party planning!

Lindsey’s Book and Pink Bat Mitzvah Party at DoubleTree Bethesda

I loved working with Lindsey’s family to put together her pink, book-themed Bat Mitzvah party at DoubleTree Bethesda. It was feminine, literary and just plain fun! Lindsey and her mom had a vision and Pop Color Events made it happen with a team of awesome vendors. We can’t wait to work on younger brother Ryan’s Bar Mitzvah in 2019!

The Centerpieces

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

Oversized pink, silver and glitter-filled balloons had a base of books. Each table was named for a different author–from J.K. Rowling to Stephan King to Dr. Seuss and more.

The Book Tassels

Bookmark escort cards 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

Bookmark shaped escort cards with pink tassels directed guests where to sit.

Bar with tassels and balloons 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

More tassels in shades of pink and silver were on the bar…

… and surrounding the stairway up to the cocktail area.

The Logo

I loved how feminine Lindsey’s logo was with the pretty script, books and just a touch of bling.

Logo 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

The Dance Floor

Logo 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

The logo was projected on one end of the dance floor…

Balloon arch over the dance floor 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

… and the other end of the dance floor had Lindsey’s name in giant balloon letters.

 

The Mitzvah Project

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

As part of her Mitzvah project, Lindsey collected books from her guests which were later donated, along with the books from the centerpieces. Lindsey’s friends and family were very generous with their donations!

Just wanted to thank you again for the wonderful job you and your crew did at Lindsey’s bat mitzvah.  The whole day went without a single glitch and we know how hard you worked to pull that off.  God even knows about all the things that went on behind the scenes that my wife and I will probably never even know about.  It was an honor to have our event in your hands on our special day!  Thank you so much for all of your hard work, care, and attention to detail that made everything come together so well!

–Lindsey’s Dad

Thanks also to all of the vendors who helped make this special day pop!

Photographer: Bradley Images
Venue: DoubleTree Bethesda 
Green Screen: Talk of the Town
Centerpieces: Ballroom Balloons
Logo: FabuDesigns
Bookmarks: Elegantly Stated

Pop Color Vendor: NJM Entertainment

Jamel Watkins, Founder of NJM Entertainment, has spent 20 years working his way to being a top MC, starting out as a dancer. Jamel not only provides great entertainment but personal attention to each and every one of his clients. His company is based out of New York, but will travel anywhere, including the DC/Baltimore-area. Here is Jamel to tell you more:

Have NJM Entertainment as MC/DJ for your Bar or Bat Mitzvah | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

How did you get started in your business?

A friend of mine brought me with him to a rehearsal for a company he worked for, I ended up getting a job by dancing against one of the best performers at the time.

Have NJM Entertainment as MC/DJ for your Bar or Bat Mitzvah | 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?

I enjoy helping the family make their vision come to life and I enjoy seeing the Guest of Honor have the time of their life and create a memory that they will never forget.

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

What makes me unique is I am a natural performer who happens to be witty and love what he does.

Have NJM Entertainment as MC/DJ for your Bar or Bat Mitzvah | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VAWhat’s your favorite moment of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah?

The opening of the room is always my favorite. Watching the guest come in and be amazed by the sights and sounds and it just becomes infectious and it sets the tone for the entire event.

Have NJM Entertainment as MC/DJ for your Bar or Bat Mitzvah | 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?

The following are questions that I would recommend all clients ask when booking an event:

  • Is a specific MC/DJ guaranteed for my event and will it list their name in the contract?
  • Will I be able to speak to my MC prior to the event?
  • What type of experience does the MC have with working with this type of event?
  • What will the attire be for the MC/DJ/dancers?
  • Will you help us to create a timeline for our event and coordinate this with the venue as well? and f) What other services can you supply for our event?

Need an experienced MC to rock your party? Contact NJM Entertainment or follow them on Facebook or Instagram to see them in action.

Lena’s Dance and Purple Bat Mitzvah at Hilton Washington DC North / Gaithersburg

I LOVED working with Lena’s family for her purple and dance inspired Bat Mitzvah at Hilton Washington DC North/Gaithersburg. The family could not have been any sweeter and Lena’s dance friends rocked it on the dance floor! Below are some shots from Anthony Marill Photography of the decor by Pattie Kim of Balloons and Decor.

Lena’s mom had been saving her dance costumes for years and finally found a good use for them… these awesome centerpieces! Each table was named after a different style of dance with one of Lena’s dance costumes proudly displayed.

Bat Mitzvah Dance Costume Centerpieces at Hilton Washington DC North/Gaithersburg | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

Some of the costumes were teeny tiny and from when Lena was as young as 3!

Bat Mitzvah Dance Costume Centerpieces at Hilton Washington DC North/Gaithersburg | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

Oversized balloons hanging from the ceiling and purple uplighting created a really dramatic look.

Bat Mitzvah Dance Costume Centerpieces at Hilton Washington DC North/Gaithersburg | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

It was a pleasure working with this family and it sounds like they were pretty happy also!

Brynne knew the answers to my questions before I even asked them. She had an amazing spreadsheet to keep me organized for invitations, guest lists, hotel reservations, gifts and thank you notes etc. She reviewed all of our contracts and caught details that I didn’t and helped us avoid some potential issues. On the night of my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah, I didn’t have to worry about anything and knew that Brynne and her assistant were available for any issues. For instance, my son lost a button on his jacket during pictures and we could fix it immediately. The MC at one point got a little off schedule and Brynne made sure that everything else flowed easily through the evening. No one noticed but us.
-Lena’s Mom

Thanks to the awesome vendors who helped Lena and her family have a Bat Mitzvah party to remember!

Venue: Hilton Washington DC North/Gaithersburg
Photography: Anthony Marill Photography
Decor: Pattie Kim of Balloons and Decor

Day Of Coordination? More Like Month Of Coordination

There's no such thing as a Day of Coordinator for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah party | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

Imagine stepping onto the field for a game without knowing your teammates, attending a single practice, speaking with your coaches or knowing any of the plays. Someone will hand you a piece of paper on game day that probably has most of the information that you’ll need. Think that you’d be able to do a good job? That’s exactly how I feel when potential clients tell me, “I don’t need your help for a full month. I just need you there on the day of the event.”

There is so much more that goes into coordinating your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah party than me just showing up on event day. I spend hours preparing to make the day of your celebration seem effortless. Since I’ve planned so many events, I know the questions to ask and the things to look for to ensure a smooth party. I had a client tell me once that “You don’t know, what you don’t know” and that is so true. If you haven’t planned a large party before (or if it’s been a very long time!), you will overlook something–hopefully not something that is too important!

Most of my work for an event happens before I ever step foot into the venue. Here are the things I do ahead of time to ensure a perfect celebration.

Meet with family and MC

The most important people of the whole day are your family and your MC. I meet with your family to get caught up on the details of your party and get to know your vision. Then a few weeks later we meet with your MC to finalize the timeline of the party. These meetings are so important because the day is about your family and what you want. I need to build a relationship with you so I can understand and communicate your vision to your vendors and execute it on the day of your celebration.

Confirming Day of Details

You have a team of awesome vendors that you’ve researched, contracted and paid; have you looked at the contracts with those vendors since that point? I confirm all of the final details, arrangements, delivery and setup times with your vendors to ensure (1) you’re getting exactly what you’ve agreed to and (2) you can fulfill your part of the agreement.

Fixing Mistakes

In doing those confirmations, there are always a handful of mistakes that need to be corrected. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know, so there were questions that you didn’t ask or things that were overlooked. I recently reviewed a contract for a Month-Of client who had signed a contract for their photo booth for Sunday instead of Saturday. There was another time when a client tried to cut costs by only renting their space for an hour of setup time when her caterer required two hours of setup time and they didn’t rent linens for the appropriate number of tables. I’ve received montages that don’t work, escort cards with missing guests or incorrect table assignments and not enough favors for the number of kids expected. If I didn’t do the work ahead of time, those are things that would have been nearly impossible to fix on the day of the event!

Creating an Event Day Production Schedule and Floor Plan

Your MC will help to craft a timeline for the dance floor, but who is keeping track of the production of the entire day? From load-in to load-out, from first course to dessert, I put together a schedule that considers all aspects of the entire day. I share that production schedule with all of your vendors and answer any questions that they have. I also put together a floor plan that works for all of your vendors needs.

Inventory and Transport Small Decor Items

About 2 days prior to your event, we’ll pick up all of the items that you have purchased for your party (favors, sign in board, decorations, escort cards, etc.). We’ll inventory them to make sure everything is accounted for and bring them to the venue on the day of your event. As a special bonus, we’ll have a quick touch base about any final thoughts you have, leaving you able to relax and enjoy a restful Shabbat and enjoy family and friends who come to celebrate with you.

In Conclusion

It takes a solid month of work to ensure that your day goes smoothly. Any planner who claims that they can come in the day of your event and coordinate isn’t going to be able to deliver the “guest at your own event” feeling.

Need Month-Of Coordination help? Pop Color Events can help!

Pop Color Events Year in Review 2016

It’s been another incredible year for Pop Color Events!

It started out right in January with Hannah’s Bat Mitzvah at Beth Ami in Rockville, MD. The Broadway theme and her name in lights set the tone for her Opening Night.

Hannah Bat Mitzvah Marquee at Beth Ami in Rockville, MD | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

In February, I attended a multi-day conference called WeddingWire World. Despite the name, there was lots to learn about non-weddings and I came away with tons of ideas that I was able to implement in my business.

March was Saul’s sporty Bar Mitzvah at Washington Hebrew Congregation in DC where the dance floor was packed all night!

April was a styled shoot at the Loft at 600 F Street in DC, where I collaborated with SUCH a talented team and wound up with gorgeous images that were published on two different websites.Floral and Art Bat Mitzvah at the Loft at 600F in Washington DC | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Powell Woulfe Photography

It was also Eli’s Bar Mitzvah at Temple Sinai in DC that had so many personal touches–a song by a special group of family friends, a Cuban-style conga, the sweetest montage and more.

June was a doubleheader at Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church. First was Lilly’s Bat Mitzvah with centerpieces that were later donated to a soup kitchen.

Lilly's Bat Mitzvah Can Centerpieces Temple Rodef Shalom Fall Church, VA | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VAFollowed by Ilene’s Bat Mitzvah with a Color War theme.Napkin ring escort cards with ribbon backdrop for Camp Color War Bat Mitzvah 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 Greg Land Photography

In July and August, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Vendor’s Forum hosted our first and second networking nights which were huge successes. I met a ton of great vendors who work with Mitzvah families and learned a lot through some informative discussions. Another networking night is being planned for January or February, so stay tuned!

I took it slow over the summer because I was quite pregnant, but I did manage to write an article for Mitzvah Market Magazine which was published in October. In September we welcomed baby Jonah and spent October getting used to being a family of four, as well as getting things together for my November and December Mitzvahs. It was a hectic time, but I wouldn’t have traded it for the world!

I should have photos of these Mitzvahs soon, but until then… Lindsey’s Bat Mitzvah at the DoubleTree Bethesda was feminine, pink and literary. Lena’s Bat Mitzvah at the Hilton Gaithersburg was purple and the centerpieces were her dance costumes through the years. Lexi’s Bat Mitzvah at the Westin Tysons Corner was dog-themed and full of fun little details.

Cheers to 2016! Looking forward to a very full 2017! My calendar is quickly filling up, so if you’re interested in working with Pop Color Events, please contact me ASAP!

Mitzvah Slideshow vs. Mitzvah Montage

What is a Mitzvah montage and a Mitzvah slideshow? When/where should you use each? Advice about using photo and video at your child's Bar or Bat Mitzvah. | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

Incorporating photos of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah child is becoming more and more popular, with good reason! You’re celebrating your child’s transition from childhood to Jewish adulthood, which is an amazing time to look at how far he or she has come. Two popular ways to do this are a slideshow or a montage:

What is a Mitzvah slideshow?

A slideshow is a continuous loop of photos only. It does not have sound, as it is intended to be part of the background, not the main event. Because it plays continuously it does not matter how long it is and can include as many photos as you’d like. This is an easy DIY project with a variety of online programs like Animoto or Smilebox or Powerpoint.

When/where do you show a Mitzvah slideshow?

Depending on your event venue or set up, a Mitzvah slideshow can be displayed in a variety of different ways: on freestanding or attached TVs (either provided by the venue or your DJ package), on an iPad or laptop or with a projector and screen. It can be shown only during the cocktail hour or throughout the party so people and watch all or part of it at their leisure.

What is a Mitzvah montage?

A Mitzvah montage can contain both photos and video, along with music and other graphics. Because it is a little more complex, it is a more advanced DIY option. If it is too complicated for you to do yourself on iMovie or a similar program, there are a ton of fabulous vendors who will create an amazing look back at the life of your child. Some DJs or photographer/videographers also offer this as an add-on service. In order to keep your guest’s attention, it should be 8-10 minutes long which is approximately 120 to 180 photos.

When/where do you show a Mitzvah montage?

Since it contains sound, a montage needs to be a break in the action at your Bar or Bat Mitzvah party. Toward the end of dinner or dessert are great times to show the montage, so you still have plenty of time for dancing or ask your MC about their preference. Often your venue or DJ can provide the screen or TVs to view the montage, but be sure to mention this to them early in the process!

Still want photos, but not techy?

Here are some other options to include photos of your child that do not require a TV or projector:

  • A table with photos in frames. A gift table or escort card table can do double duty here.
  • As table numbers. Put a photo of your child at age 1 at table #1, at age 2 at table #2 and so on (works well if you have 13 tables!).
  • As decor. Blow up photos of your child through the years, or from a pre-Mitzvah photo shoot and display them on lamp shades, as floating posters or as a sign in board or book.

Pop Color Events can help! Contact me for a complimentary consultation.

Evening Mitzvah Party vs. Afternoon Mitzvah Party

Debating between an evening Mitzvah party or an afternoon or daytime Bar or Bat Mitzvah party? Here are some pros to both options. | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

Are you debating what type of party to have–either an evening Mitzvah party or an afternoon or daytime Mitzvah party? There are pros to both options so you need to decide what are the most important pieces to your family. In this article, I assume that you’re having a morning service, which seems to be the most common in the DC-area. If you’re having a Mincha or Havdalah service, some of these things may not apply.

Evening Mitzvah Party Pros

Plenty of time for family photos

With all of that extended family in from out of town, you definitely want to get some professional photos of everyone together. With a gap between the service and the party, you’ll have time to go home to rest, touch up your hair and makeup plus have time for close family to gather. Depending on how many family photos you’re planning on, you can start family photos 1-2 hours before the party. As a bonus, your extended family will be the first ones to the party, so when other guests arrive, no one has to deal with the awkwardness of being the first one there.

Transportation

For an evening party, guests (especially kids) will be more able to transport themselves to the party than if they are coming straight from service. If you are doing a party immediately following the service at an offsite venue, a bus or other form of transportation is necessary for the kids.

Afternoon/Daytime Mitzvah Party Pros

Price

There is often a little bit of savings for a daytime party since you won’t need to also have a Kiddush Luncheon. However, be sure to check on whether a Kiddush Luncheon is included as part of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah fee at your synagogues. Some vendors also have cheaper prices or minimums because they may still be able to book an evening party.

Attendance

You may have better service attendance since some kids won’t go to both a morning service and an evening party. If the service and party are back to back, there is a greater chance they will attend both.

No event gap

Some people like having a break between the service and the party and some people don’t. It gives the Mitzvah family a chance to take a breather, but out of town guests are left to fend for themselves for a few hours.

Need more help deciding whether an evening Mitzvah party or an afternoon Mitzvah party is right for you? Pop Color Events can help!

Advice for Mitzvah Vendor Transitions

Ensure your Bar or Bat Mitzvah party planning is smooth from start to finish despite Mitzvah vendor staff turnover | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

When you book your event venue and your Mitzvah vendor team at least 2-3 years in advance, a lot can change. Venues, especially hotels, are notorious for having a ton of staff turnover. It makes sense because working in events can be very demanding–lots of nights and weekends, plus some very long hours. However, this turnover can cause headaches for you unless you are prepared. How do you ensure your event is handled smoothly from start to finish despite staff turnover?

Take Good Notes

As you go through the sales process with your venue, they will tell you that they can accommodate a variety of different things to woo you into working with them. Whether it was mentioned that you can bring in your own candy bar or that you can hang balloons from the ceiling or have a mechanical bull, you want to ensure that you document all of the promises. If items were promised before a contract is signed, see if you can have them included in your contract. If it’s later in the process, after a contract is signed, ensure that you write down what was discussed or have it in an email from your contact.

Put It In Writing and Confirm It

After each meeting or phone call, type up your notes and send them to your sales contact to confirm that you understand what was discussed. Ask them to confirm that your understanding is correct so you have documentation down the line if a new contact takes over. It’s even better if you can see proof that the notes have made it into the venue’s records.

Meet With Your New Staff Person

When you learn that your event has been transitioned to another staff member, make an appointment to meet with him or her. Talk through what has been discussed with their predecessor and make sure that they understand your vision for how you want the Bar or Bat Mitzvah party to go. It’s also nice to begin to develop a personal relationship with him or her. After all, they will be working with you to create a very special and memorable day!

Hire An Independent Planner

When there is the possibility for so much transition, having a planner who is with your event from start to finish will ensure that nothing is overlooked and you can breathe easy. A planner like Pop Color Events is able to manage all of your vendors so your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah will be the day you’ve dreamed of throughout the planning process.

Pop Color Events can help manage your Mitzvah vendor team! Contact me for a complimentary consultation.

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