When changing your Mitzvah service and celebration from in-person to virtual, most parents automatically think it will be a HUGE cost saving. And while there certainly will be things you removed from your virtual Mitzvah budget, do not cut your budget just yet! In order to keep the day special for your child and family, consider reallocating your funds to different categories.
We spoke before about 101ish things to include in your Mitzvah Budget, but here is a list of some new costs to consider for a Virtual Mitzvah Service and Party. In this post, I’ll discuss which costs are different and the same for a virtual event. Remember, your job as a party host is to make your guests have a wonderful experience. You can still do this virtually!
Your platform is equivalent to your venue for an in-person event. You’ll need something to stream your service and party, whether it’s Zoom, Streamyard or another 3rd party platform. Your temple may provide this for your service and/or your entertainment may provide this for a virtual celebration. However, it’s possible you may be on the hook for this.
Your catering costs will definitely decline but consider sending treats, a meal in a box, restaurant gift card, challah and grape juice or something else to your guests. It will add to the festive feeling and positive guest experience.
Your needs for a planner may change, but there are many vendors and details to be managed. A planner can still be a huge help so you can focus on the important things that day.
Many photographers and videographers are still shooting events from a distance. By having the service in your home, you open up the opportunity for your service to be photographed. It’s still a nice idea to have a professional photographer or videographer capture this special moment in your child’s life, as well as beautiful family portraits.
The role of your entertainment may change, but there are fun virtual Photobooths, interactive entertainment options like trivia, teach cooking classes, teach breakdancing, do crafts, etc. There are entertainers who can do magic, sing, dance, etc. You can still have an MC to guide your party along and keep your guests’ attention. Or your MC company may offer A/V options to ensure your service looks amazing streams flawlessly from your home.
This is so important that it needs its own category. Good production, from lighting to microphones and cameras, will make a HUGE difference in how your service and party look. You will either need to purchase or rent this equipment. Keep in mind that good equipment is very in-demand right now, so prices may be inflated or they may be shipping delays. It is also worth bringing in a professional to ensure any technical issues are handled by someone else. This is also helpful to keep the experience more dynamic. Your A/V team can spotlight your child reading Torah, create fun backgrounds for parties or ensure that the montage or video tributes work seamlessly. The virtual nature of this sort of event lends itself perfectly to montages. You’ll want to be sure to allocate resources to put together an extra special montage.
Decor + Rental
Your decor needs will be less, but you do want to consider what your background will be. Will you want floral arrangements, beautiful linens, a custom printed backdrop, etc. to be behind the service? Will you need to rent a podium?
Paper Goods + Graphic Design
While you won’t need escort cards or a seating chart, you may want to have some graphic elements. Creating a logo to put on items to be shipped out is a fun way to build excitement. You can do that on paper goods like cocktail napkins, a printed note, items to wear or have nearby during the service, facemasks, etc. You may still want to have a printed invitation and you’ll definitely need thank you notes.
Your shipping costs will increase significantly depending on what you want to send to guests. You can always make personal deliveries to local friends and family (and say a fun, distanced hello!), but decide what it makes sense to ship, as the weight of the items can quickly add up.
Good news! This is not needed at all.
Keep in mind the service elements you may need to provide. Will you be sending a siddur or readings to guests? Will there be a virtual option for them to follow along? Will you need to provide your own ritual object or will your temple provide them?
Still needed. You may need fewer attire options or more casual (often less expensive!) attire options. Do you feel comfortable having someone come to do hair and makeup?
You may want to create a website to keep guests informed about any changes to your event.
Virtual Mitzvah Budget Conclusion
A virtual Mitzvah may certainly save you money, but don’t slash the budget and sacrifice guest experience. There are many ways to make a virtual Mitzvah special and memorable.