Mitzvah Event Planner

Why You Need Partial Planning Help for Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah

Partial Planning clients for Bar or Bat Mitzvahs want to be hands on but have help along the way when event planning | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

I offer three levels of service for Bar or Bat Mitzvah planning because I’ve found that each meets the needs of a different sort of client. I love working with Partial Planning clients because it really is a collaborative experience. Clients who are ideal for a partial planning package:

Know that they don’t know

These clients are smart cookies! They know that there is a lot that they don’t know about planning a Bar or Bat Mitzvah party and want guidance along the way. They see value in hiring someone who is an expert in planning, since they are often experts in their line of work. They are questioners and seek to get information to make sure they are making good choices.

Are short on time

Let’s face it. Everyone in the DC-area seems to have a demanding job and these clients are no different. Planning a Bar or Bat Mitzvah party take HOURS. They don’t want to spend their free time researching every last vendor, contacting them, asking questions and then worrying that the perfect vendor isn’t even on their radar. They understand the importance of relationships and how a planner’s vendor relationships are a huge time saver. A planner will act as a matchmaker to find the perfect vendor for each client’s unique needs. Especially if you are working with specific needs that limit your options–need a venue for 300 people or a Kosher caterer or a mechanical bull, a planner knows exactly where to start looking.

Want to be hands on

Despite being short on time, partial planning clients want to be involved in making decisions for their event. They want to have a personal relationship with the vendors and feel comfortable with their decisions. They may be a little Type-A (don’t worry, I am too!), so they aren’t ready to fully give up control of their planning process, but still want to make sure that they’re doing things right.

Need help staying on track

See short on time above. There are so many details that are part of the party, that these clients want to make sure that planning is on schedule, everything is covered and nothing gets overlooked. Partial planning clients love reminders, check ins and someone to act as a sounding board for all of their questions along the way. And there are often many questions!

Are looking for creativity and inspiration

Often these clients tell me that they have difficulty visualizing how it will all come together. A partial planner will help to figure out the vision and make sure the client can see it too. This may be through verbal descriptions, photos, design boards, timelines, floor plans and more. Planners have the resources and experience to translate your wants into something unique, creative and just so you.

Want to be able to enjoy themselves at their party

There’s something special about having worked with a planner for 6+ months. They know you, you know them and you trust that they’ll be able to handle anything that arises. That trust leaves you free to enjoy your party and not have to worry about a thing.

In Conclusion

A partial planner for your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah will allow you to feel confident that you are making the best decisions for your family, that your planning is on track and that you’ll have an amazing party!

Think that partial planning might be right for you? Contact me for a free consultation

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!

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.

Bat or Bar Mitzvah planning have you feeling overwhelmed?

Bat or Bar Mitzvah planning in the Washington DC-area have you feeling overwhelmed? Here's what to do first! | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VAIt can get overwhelming to start your Bar Mitzvah planning in the Washington DC-area. So often I see busy parents who don’t know what to do, do nothing at all. Sadly, burying your head in the sand won’t keep your child’s Bat or Bar Mitzvah date from coming.

So how do you get started? Well, first make your list. Then make a phone call or send an email. An event management company like Pop Color Events is a good place to start for the overwhelmed, stressed parent. I can walk you through every step of the way. I like to tell parents that I’m like a coach for your Bat or Bar Mitzvah planning. I help to break down the process into manageable pieces, so you can take it one step at a time. I help you pace yourself throughout the planning, so it stays slow and steady throughout. That means the feeling of overwhelm won’t haunt you throughout the process. I’ll be there telling you what needs to happen and when, giving you advice and making sure you’re doing things right.

I understand that sometimes getting started can be the toughest part. But here’s some tough love: you just need to do it. Make the phone call. Send the email. Get started. The momentum of making your list will get you going and a planner will keep the ball rolling.

Contact me for a free Bat or Bat Mitzvah planning consultation and receive a complimentary guest list tracker. It’s like crossing two things off your to do list at one time!

Can you discount your Mitzvah planning packages?

If I already have vendors contracted for my Bar or Bat Mitzvah, do you offer discounts on your Mitzvah planning packages? No and here's why. | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

I’ve been asked a few times by prospective clients who’ve already gotten started in the Mitzvah planning process and have a few vendors contracted if I’ll discount my Mitzvah planning packages for a full or partial plan. After careful consideration, I’ve decided that I cannot offer discounts and here’s why:

Most prospective clients have at least one vendor contracted already

By the time a prospective client reaches out to me most already have gotten started in the planning process. Often they’ve contracted with a venue or at least have an idea of where they’d like to have their event and a vendor or two that they’d like to use.

Recommending vendors is easy

In planning Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, I’ve had the opportunity to work with and meet a ton of talented, amazing vendors. When I recommend a vendor to you, I go through my mental rolodex to consider which vendor will be the right fit for your event. I send a few quick emails and I’m done. The tougher part is what comes next:

Coordinating vendors is time-consuming

Even if you have one or more of “the big three” vendors– venue, DJ and photographer –under control, I am still going to be working and coordinating with them throughout the process. I’ll need to review the contract you’ve already signed. Then I’ll spend time chatting with each vendor to ensure I understand what you’ve already agreed to and clear up any problems that you didn’t know to ask about. If I haven’t worked with a vendor already or they aren’t experienced in the Mitzvah scene, this can take a ton of time. Getting up to speed with a vendor can actually take me more time than recommending one in the first place!

You’ll still want vendor recommendations

If you’re looking for full or partial planning Mitzvah planning packages, you’re still going to need me to find other vendors for you. Likely you’ll need design assistance, invitations, decor, favors, novelties (photobooth, green screen or games), finishing touches (escort cards, sign in boards, logos…) and more.

In conclusion

All of these things take time and time is money! If we’ll be working together for months or years (rather than just 4-6 weeks prior to your event, like my Month of Package), many things can and will come up and you’ll want my advice. I need to be compensated for that, after all, I am running a business. So that’s why I can’t offer discounts to my packages if you already have vendors contracted. Hope it makes sense!

Still need someone for Full or Partial Planning services for your child’s Bar, Bat, B’nai or B’not Mitzvah? Contact me! 

Venue Planner vs Mitzvah Planner

What's the difference between the planner at your venue and a Mitzvah planner/coordinator? | Pop Color Events | Adding of Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA.

I’ve heard many parents say “Why do I need to hire a Mitzvah Planner? I have a contact at my venue who will do everything that you do.”

FALSE.

The planner at your venue and a Mitzvah Planner/Coordinator like Pop Color Events have two very different roles. It’s important to understand what the contact at your venue (who might be a salesperson, catering manager or have a similar sort of title) will and will not do for your event. Assume nothing and read your contract to see if these sorts of responsibilities are spelled out there. Otherwise, ask!

Downsides of relying solely on a Venue Planner

Venue planners are often most likely to say that they’ll help with planning at a venue like a hotel or a restaurant where they’ll provide multiple services (catering and food related items like dishes, furniture like chairs and tables, and maybe even lighting or other A/V equipment). Don’t let that fool you! There are many pieces that they will not handle–vendor communication, event timelines, sourcing materials, etc.

Your venue contact could leave the position at any time. Let me repeat, YOUR VENUE CONTACT COULD LEAVE THE JOB AT ANY TIME. You are contracted with the venue, not with that specific person. There is a HIGH turnover in the hospitality industry and it is unlikely that the venue planner that you start with will be the venue planner on the day of your event, especially if you book 2+ years in advance. If that person promises that they’ll help with X, Y or Z, the person who replaces them might not have the skills to help with those items. If it’s not in your contract, assume it’s not gonna happen. In addition, your venue coordinator may not even be the contact from the venue who is contractually required to be there. A banquet captain or some other person from their staff might be the lead the day of your event.

Your venue coordinator could have multiple events in one day, especially if the venue has multiple event spaces. How much attention will they be able to devote to you on your event day, if they have so many other things going on?

Their focus is the services that they will provide, not the other vendors you’ve hired. Your venue may have a list of preferred or suggested vendors that they’ll provide to you. Ask them why are the vendors on this list. Sometimes, vendors pay for the privilege of being on such a list, so be wary!

Importance of hiring an independent Mitzvah Planner

When working with an independent Mitzvah Planner, you are likely contracting with a specific individual who will be with you every step of the way (for a partial or full service planner) or help you wrap up the final details (for a month of planner). They will become familiar with every aspect of your event–every vendor, every detail. Depending on the level of service that you contract for, the planner can help you with everything from finding the perfect invitation to hotel room blocks. S/he has personal relationships with vendors in every category and will recommend the best vendors for your event based on their complete understanding of what you’re looking for.

S/he will oversee your entire event from start to finish, load in to load out. A Mitzvah Planner should only have one event per day (unless their company has multiple planners). I would NEVER book two events in one day because I would not be able to give the level of service necessary to multiple clients.

Have a Venue Planner, but realizing you actually need a Mitzvah Planner? Pop Color Events can help!

Characteristics of a good planner

How do you know if your Mitzvah planner is a good one or a bad one and how can you choose a good planner from the start? | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar and Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VAI’ve been hearing horror stories recently about people’s terrible experiences with Mitzvah planners. It makes me crazy to hear about these event planners who are ruining it for those of us who work hard every day for our clients. How do you know if your Mitzvah planner is a good one or a bad one and how can you choose a good planner from the start? Read on!

A good planner will:

  1. Respond to your emails/calls in a timely fashion. 24 hours is good. 74 hours is not.
  2. Make you feel as though they have all of the time in the world to answer your questions. You’ll feel like their only client, even though you know they are working on many other events.
  3. Keep you posted on what they’re working on for you, so you feel confident that your party planning is progressing on schedule.
  4. Be very clear about expectations. They should explain the benefits and drawbacks of different options and help you understand why something may not work as you envision it.

A bad planner will:

  1. Disappear for days without responding.
  2. Not listen to what you want and try to fit you into a cookie-cutter mold. In the same vein, they’ll tell you that’s not how it’s done and dismiss your ideas.
  3. Have a reputation for coming through in the end, but not being there in the middle.
  4. Not collaborate with vendors and refuse to share information until the very last minute.

How to pick a good planner

  1. Trust your gut.
  2. Find someone you trust.
  3. Ask questions and gain a clear understanding of what they will and will not do for you.
  4. Ask for references from past clients or vendors they’ve worked with.

Basically, trust is the most important part of the event planner equation. You need to trust that your planner is going to do their job and do it well. You need to trust their judgement. If you don’t feel like you can trust them from the getgo, keep looking for someone different.

I’d love to talk to you to see if we’d be a good fit. Contact me to set up a free consultation.

Mitzvah Month of Coordinator FAQs

A "Month Of" Coordinator for your Mitzvah will allow you to be a guest at your own party and ensure you've done everything right. Priceless! | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

We talked last week about “Month of” Coordinators and I thought I’d share some common questions I hear about month of coordination. Feel free to send me any additional question that you may have!

Who needs a Month of Coordinator?

In my opinion, everyone who is having a large party. The day of your event, you don’t want to have to worry about anything. It’s worth the piece of mind to hire someone to deal with any problems that may arise. I spoke with one mom after the fact who said she wished she hired me. She said,”From the photos, it looked like a great party, I wish I got to go to it. I was too busy dealing with one crisis after another to celebrate.”

My venue/caterer has an event coordinator, can’t they do all of this?

Your venue or caterer event coordinator’s job is to make sure that their piece of the day goes smoothly, not to oversee the entire party. Depending on where they work, they may have other events that same day or weekend. They may not be able to devote the time to answering questions and helping you wrap up all of the details. Most will only stay at the party until their piece is finished, not until the bitter end. An independent coordinator is there to oversee every vendor and handle every problem is it arises from set up to clean up.

How far in advance do I hire a Month of Coordinator?

You can hire one as early as you want. I’ve been hired anywhere between a year and a half out to six weeks out. However, note that if you decide to hire someone very close to your event, you run the risk of them already being booked by someone else.

Isn’t this stuff included in your other planning packages?

All of my packages include the follow up on details the month prior. The major different is the amount of handholding you get throughout the entire planning process. For the month of package, our work together truly starts about four to six weeks prior to your event, even if you book your date farther in advance.

Do you just do day of coordination?

I believe that in order for the day of your Mitzvah to run smoothly, I need about a month’s preparation. I need to understand your family’s unique event needs and expectations, communicate with your vendors, help create a detailed event timeline and plan for contingencies. Yes, I’ll be there the day of your event, but I’ll have put in the work a month in advance to make sure everything is planned perfectly. I can’t just show up the day of your event and make it happen and I’d be wary of anyone who claims that.

Final thoughts

I believe that even if you’ve DIYed your way through your Mitzvah planning, a Month Of Coordinator is a vital component to double check that you’ve considered all the contingencies and that you don’t need to worry about a thing on your event day. You’ve spent so much time and money preparing, don’t you want to be to relax and have a great time?

Interested in learning more about my “Month of” Coordination package? Contact me!

6 Reasons Why You Need a Month Of Coordinator for Your Mitzvah

6 Reasons You Need A Month Of Coordinator For Your Mitzvah | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

You’ve done the heavy lifting. You’ve found the venue. You’ve found all of your vendors. You’ve selected the menu. You’ve sent the invitation and are gathering RSVPs. And you’re starting to get very excited for your child’s Mitzvah. It’s all happening! But you have a sinking feeling that there’s something you’re missing. You realize that you don’t know what you don’t know and can’t ask the questions that you don’t know to ask. You feel like you must be missing something. Here’s where a Month Of Coordinator party planner comes in to save the day!

About four to six weeks prior s/he will:

1. Check in to make sure you’ve done everything right

You’ll provide all of your event’s contracts to your coordinator and then s/he will have a million questions. S/he will evaluate where you are and help you figure out the final to-dos. S/he will also be there during the contracted period to answer all of the questions you have (and probably some you didn’t know you had!).

2. Help to create a schedule for the party

From the time the first vendor arrives to the time the last vendor leaves and everything in between, a Month Of Coordinator will help to figure out when things need to happen to keep the party moving. How long will it take everyone to eat dinner? How long will it take everyone to move from the cocktail hour location to the party room? When is the right time to show the montage or have the mother/son dance? S/he will work with your DJ, entertainment and caterer to ensure everyone has enough time to do their part of the party right.

3. Help create a floor plan for the party

The Month Of Coordinator will work with your venue or caterer to create a floor plan that makes sense for the flow of your party. Is there enough space between guest tables for waitstaff to get by? Is the DJ positioned near an electrical outlet? How far is the photo booth from the dance floor?

4. Coordinate with vendors

The month before the party is when your vendors will have the most questions. They’ll need to know about the schedule, floor plan and a host of other logistical items. Where do the vendors load in their equipment? How far is the loading dock from your event space? Is there even a loading dock? Do you really want to deal with those questions while you’re dealing with final Mitzvah rehearsals and last minute tutoring?

5. Help with event setup and breakdown

You can’t help set up, you’ll either be in Shabbat services or enjoying time with family and friends. Who is going to make sure that each centerpiece is on the correct table? Or that the escort cards are placed in the right order? Or that the exact seat your child requests is reserved for them? At the end of the night, after a long, LONG day, will you really want to stay to make sure the venue is left in broom clean condition? Who will pack up your gifts early in the night, to ensure nothing gets swiped? As part of my package, I give you gifts and cards and anything else that can be packed up early in the night, if you choose, you can leave before breakdown up ends so you can go home to crash. My assistant(s) and I get there as early as needed and stay as late as needed.

6. Allow you to be a guest at your event

And finally, the most important. Family and friends have traveled from near and far to be with you for your child’s special day. Don’t you want to spend time catching up, dancing, eating and drinking with them? My guess is you’d much rather do that than check in with vendors or keep an eye on your watch to make sure the hora is happening when scheduled. You be a guest rather than a party planner, and let your coordinator handle all of the details behind the scenes.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of things to think about immediately leading up to your Mitzvah and having a Month of Coordinator will help make the process as stress-free as possible. I’ll leave you with a testimonial from an awesome Month Of Mom that I worked with, which I think perfectly captures the benefits of Month Of coordination.

I didn’t know it was possible to hire an event coordinator to just get you across the finish line in the month before the event – and that was EXACTLY what I needed. I honestly don’t know how I could have survived the last month without Brynne’s help. I tend to be a “control freak,” but recognized that I would be better off letting Brynne take the wheel. She was beyond conscientious – thinking of things I would not have thought of. She helped me make my vision a reality. Everything was ready by Thursday night and delivered to the venue by Friday afternoon. I was able to relax and enjoy time with family on Friday night, get a good night’s sleep, and just focus on enjoying the Bar Mitzvah experience without worry. I feel like it was a 100% success, due in no small part to Brynne’s help. For the very reasonable price, it was worth every penny! – Josh’s Mom

Interested in learning more about my Month of Coordination package? Contact me!

Why I Only Plan Bar and Bat Mitzvahs

Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are the best types of events to plan. I don't know of many planners who specialize in Mitzvahs, but I'm ready to let the secret of why they're so awesome out! | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

To me, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are the best types of events to plan. I don’t know of many planners who specialize in Mitzvahs, but I’m ready to let the secret of why they’re so awesome out!

The Kvelling

As a mom myself, I love seeing parents kvell (Yiddish for burst with pride) over their kids. Mom and Dad have seen how hard their son or daughter has worked to prepare for this day,  and once the tough part is over, everyone is ready to party! There’s always a moment where I get a little choked up when I see parents speaking and just so gosh darn proud of their kiddo. I’ve got a ways to go before I get there myself (my little guy is not even 2 yet!), but I always put myself in their shoes and feel the love flowing.

The Love

Speaking of the love, there is so much of it at these events! There are so few happy occasions when extended families have the opportunity to gather together. To me, this is the best kind of occasion! I like to take a moment with the Mitzvah child and have them look around the room and let them know that everyone is there because they love him or her. How often do you get a celebration in your honor with all of the special people who love you in one place?

The Tweens

Tweens are hilarious. Maybe it’s because I don’t have one yet, but I think they are so fun. I know that makes me a little crazy, but there’s just something magic about that time in between childhood and teenhood. They’re old enough to have thoughtful conversations and strong convictions, but still young enough to be a bit naive with how the world works.

The Variety

Each event is different because each family is so different. I love that I never have to plan the same event twice. It keeps my job interesting and it keeps me on my toes.

When you’re looking for a planner, ask yourself, why do they plan any other sort of event when Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are so darn fun?

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