Invitation Maven

How to Survive (and enjoy) planning a Bar or Bat Mitzvah

I have a client who is planning her daughter’s bat mitzvah. She’s a lovely woman…she’s full of energy and she is very excited as this is her oldest child and wants things to be perfect. The bat mitzvah is six months away, but because her kids aren’t home right now (they attend sleep away camp), she told me she’s been “obsessing” about bat mitzvah stuff.

…like she was stressed.

Planning a bar or bat mitzvah is a lot of work. In addition to the invitations, there’s finding a venue, tasting the food, hiring a DJ, choosing a theme, buying party favors, arranging for other entertainment, dealing with out of town relatives, having to make seating arrangements (especially when Aunt Sadie doesn’t get along with her sister, Aunt Esther), and a hundred other details.

And let’s not forget the service itself – the synagogue, the rabbi, the cantor, the kippot, the programs, making sure your child practices the torah portions. I could go on…

Having been exactly where she is (I have three children myself and planned all three of their b’nai mitzvot, most recently in December 2014), and having helped hundreds of families through this process, I know exactly what she’s feeling.

But I had a suggestion for all this “obsessing” she’s been doing.

I told her “ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT! Seriously. LOVE IT. Take it all in. Make it part of your experience, not just the preparation for the experience. The day of the bat mitzvah will pass by in a blur and if you don’t enjoy each and every moment of the process leading up to that day, you’ll miss out on lots of the memories.”

I share this advice with all of my clients. It brings each of them a sense of relief because they realize their feelings are normal. It also really does enhance the entire experience and it makes the process more enjoyable.

When we’re singularly focused on planning every detail of an event that’s in the future, we sometimes forget that we’re planning what is supposed to be a happy occasion and we miss things that are happening in our lives right now. By enjoying the entire process of the planning for a big event, the details of the rest of our lives don’t get left behind.

So how do you survive planning a bar or bat mitzvah? It’s easy. Just enjoy it!