Posted by: Debbie Abrams Kaplan | January 6, 2013

Bat Mitzvah Fair – Oh My!

Bat Mitzvah booth

No, we didn’t attend Savannah’s bat mitzvah. We don’t even know who Savannah is. We did attend a Party Showcase, featuring a bunch of vendors who want our business for our kids’ upcoming bar and bat mitzvahs. In 2014. Yes, I realize we’re a bit late. Two of us don’t even have dates (our faults, not the temple’s), and therefore haven’t booked anything, including venues.

Then again, I don’t think Dori’s bat mitzvah is going to be anything like the ones the vendors here service. We’ve been to a handful on the East coast since we’ve moved. Several were very laid back affairs, and a few were PARTIES, featuring a large band or set of entertainers/DJ and lots of kids activities.

I’ve been obsessed looking at pictures of some b’nei mitzvot parties I’ve seen online, like this Willy Wonka themed party, or the family who bought their daughter a wedding dress as her party dress (well, she had a separate cocktail dress and another for the service) and featured a solo burlesque dance by the girl herself (you can see the video here). The attendees could also mix their own fragrance to take home, and get their photos printed on flip flops. Giant back-lit images of the girl were scattered around the party (in case you forget what she looks like), including behind the bar of the kids’ cocktail party and around the kids’ lounge. And don’t forget the little sister’s slutty  adorable dance poster which says “coming soon.” Can’t leave her out. And because cologne/perfume and flip flops aren’t enough to take home, the kids also got customized sweatshirts, with their take-homes organized into cubbies (don’t worry, they had a candy table too, plus custom lollipops with a pink rhinestone stick).

Or the party where the mother/son dance was interrupted by a surprise break dancing routine, and a live “event painter” created an oil masterpiece of the party while it happened. And because that’s not enough for one party, before the bar mitzvah boy made his entrance, there was a professionally made entrance video to pave the way. If you want to read more and see photos of these types of parties, read this and  click here. Have to say, I’m glad I don’t live in New York. I couldn’t take that kind of peer pressure. Plus I’d never be able to pin down Dori long enough to stuff her into a ball gown and tiara.

So the Party Showcase was aimed more at this crowd than mine.

This is the type of watermelon sculpture you can get made of your child to feature at the event.

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Can you see Dori’s face carved into a WATERMELON?

The place was swarming with entertainment companies – one stop shops that supply your DJ, dancers, funky lights, glow sticks, dancing favors (hats/boas/bracelets), light-up dance floors etc. Every one of these company reps was dressed in all black. The men looked like slick bouncers in suits without ties, and ladies were slim and attractive, sporting short dresses. Unfortunately for them, it was a small crowd, so they had to deal with the three of us trying to dodge them, since I don’t think any of us will be hiring them.

Then there were the photo booth companies, which have sprouted like weeds in the party industry. For good reason. The booths are fun, with props and take-home items that won’t break the bank. Though now I at least know the categories: green screen, photo booth with strips, photo booth with 4×6 photos, choice of frames, etc.

Of course you need to decorate.

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While adorable, I had to laugh thinking of a set-up like this for Dori, who is NOT a girly-girl.

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Can’t forget the ultra-pink candy bar.

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Some centerpiece ideas

And then I got a sample airbrush tattoo (without glitter) from the airbrush artist who has a 2 hour minimum.

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After this fair, I’m thinking we’ll just have the bat mitzvah in Israel. Just like this one. Where we can ride camels to the bedoin type bat mitzvah party. And convince 40+ people to join us on our trip, so I can organize a bat mitzvah flash mob as a surprise!

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Dori’s bat mitzvah. Coming soon!!


Responses

  1. OMG – the pink “BurLEX” bat mitvah. EEESH.

  2. Well. Don’t say I told ‘ya so. About 20 years ago we went to the Bat Mitzvah party for a distant cousin at one of LA’s swankiest Country Clubs. (Braemar) As we were walking in my Dad spied the guests’ arms loaded with elaborate gift boxes, each wrapped my elaborately than the next. He said, “The delegation from Cappadocia brings fine unguents, leopard pelts and other tributes for the Pharaoh…” Needless to say we cracked up and this has become a family joke. All one need say in their most unctuous faux British accent, “The delegation from Cappadocia…” and we know exactly what this refers to.

    Best part was that during the party, the kid was carted on to the dance floor in full party gown on…I am not making this up…a litter carried by several large black men who it turned out were the Break Dancers who then started cavorting around the audience yelling and screaming to the audience to give it up for little L the Bay Mitzvah girl. Needless to say if we weren’t cringing, we were retching at the excess.

    There was also another family Bat Mitzvah where the Dad viewed himself as a nextgen party planner and got up at the mic to recite Hamotzi with the immortal words, “Let’s get this Jewish stuff out of the way so we can get down and party hearty…” Cue barf bags…The little 13 year old girls running around in $1500 prom dresses that left little to the imagination was also a wonderful addition to the memory.

  3. Steve – if you look through the other profiles from the Mitzvah Market links, you’ll see that pretty much every girl is carried in on the shoulders of black men, and the boys are escorted by scantilly dressed women. Ugh! Your stories are priceless.

  4. Hilarious. BTW, you wear “Jewish Viking” well. 🙂

  5. That watermelon gal sat out in the sun too long. Looks like Arizona summer meets New Jersey winter white face meets Caribbean overdose. Very scary

  6. oye. Lily’s bat mitzvah is 1/26/13 and we are so not doing all this schmaltz. Yes on the photo booth and air spray tattoo but that’s it. I think Lily is wearing nice jeans to the party!!!!! I still want my kids to go to college!

    • An early mazal tov to Lily! And glad you’re keeping it real. College is a goal for us too, one that won’t be met without huge debt if we throw a big shindig.

  7. That watermelon is amazing! I am floored by all of this fanciness (and East Coast thing, I think). People are spending as much as they do at weddings! Can’t wait to see what you do for Dori’s 🙂

  8. […] went to another mitzvah fair with my partner in crime, Rachel. Rachel is planning a bat mitzvah two weeks after ours, so we get […]

  9. […] thought we were done with bar/bat mitzvah fairs for a little while (see past posts here and here), but then a Facebook ad popped up with one organized by Mitzvah Market, which features […]

  10. […] going to so many mitzvah fairs for my daughter, I waited until 4 months before my son’s to hit the circuit. Granted, we already have almost all the details nailed down for his, so I don’t need a new […]


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