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.
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
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.
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.